New Internationalist

G7 plus 13: lucky for some

So the G20 ‘Bretton Woods II’ shindig has come and gone in a gridlock of rival motorcades, a haze of emissions over Washington DC.

The Financial Times detected ‘a shift in economic power’; the Economist celebrated ‘not a bad weekend’s work’. Perhaps the King of Saudi Arabia was not as obliging as he could have been, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina was, well, ‘unhelpful’.

Even so, all could agree that the government of business is the business of government. There was only one thing for it: go for growth!

But growth of what, and for whom? Who, come to that, are the G20? Does adding 13 to 7 somehow make G more legitimate?

They were, after all, considering how best to dispose of public funds. These funds will, eventually, be raised from those of us who are still stupid enough to pay taxes.

They were, after all, confronted by a florid financial disease, a cancerous growth which feeds off the body politic and threatens to become terminal within the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, the financial meltdown pours its poison over the ‘real economy’. Lost livelihoods, homes and hopes fuel the flames.

What’s missing is not money, but democracy.

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About the author

David Ransom a New Internationalist contributor

David Ransom joined New Internationalist in 1989 and wrote on a range of issues, from green justice to the current financial crisis, before retiring in 2009. He was a close friend of Blair Peach, once worked as a banker in Uruguay and continued to contribute to New Internationalist as a freelancer until shortly before his death in February 2016. He lived on a barge on the waterways of England’s West Country.

His publications include License to Kill on the death of Blair Peach in 1979 and The No Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade. He also co-edited, with Vanessa Baird, People First Economics.

Read more by David Ransom

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