12 December 2019

Grace Blakely: “For decades, all over the world, a single question has constrained the ambition of socialists: ‘How are you going to pay for it?’ … The only convincing way to answer that question is that most of us can’t afford the things we need to survive because we’re paid less than we deserve for the work we do — because the rich monopolise the returns from our hard work.  … The only way to build support for radical economic and political transformation is to change the terms of the debate. We don’t advocate public investment because it will boost profits that will trickle down to everyone else; we advocate ending austerity because it will reduce inequality, boost workers’ power and facilitate decarbonisation. We don’t advocate taxing the rich because it’s better for growth; we advocate taxing the rich because working people are the ones who create the wealth, and that wealth should be returned to them. These arguments are not only more compelling, they also lead naturally to arguments for much deeper political and economic transformation. At root, the answer to ‘but how are you going to pay for it?’ is not economic, it’s political.”