Responding to co‑host Amanda Lang’s summary of an new report by Oxfam which notes that the 85 richest people on the planet have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people, O’Leary said: “It’s fantastic. And this is a great thing because it inspires everybody, gets them motivation to look up to the one per cent and say, `I want to become one of those people, I want to fight to the get up to the top.’ This is fantastic news and of course I applaud it. What could be wrong with this?”
Oxfam is an international anti‑poverty NGO. Its report “Working for the few,” confirmed that almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
Ishmael Daro of the news site The Albatross broke the story and recorded a Youtube video below which received close to 10,000 views in less than 24 hours.
On the clip O’Leary calls the report “a celebratory stat, I’m excited about it, wonderful to see it happen” and says “I love capitalism!” adding: “Don’t tell me that you’re going to redistribute wealth again, that’s never going to happen.”
“What value [O’Leary] possibly provides to the CBC is entirely unclear. Either nobody watches the Lang & O’Leary Exchange to catch this routine stupidity or management is purposely destroying the CBC,” Daro wrote on The Albatross.
Oxfam documents how seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years, a “massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people” which means “governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites to the detriment of ordinary people.”
“That monopoly capitalism undermines democracy and social well‑being is, of course, a suggestion which fits with the long‑standing analysis of our magazine,” says Rebel Youth. “The reality that working people socially produce all the wealth in society but do not control the results of their labour which is privately accumulated has been consistently exposed by Marxists who describe this relationship of `we make it, they take it’ as exploitation and the main contradiction of capitalism.”
Perhaps ironically the Oxfam report still sets out to defend capitalism, quoting Adam Smith and claiming that “Some economic inequality is essential to drive growth and progress, rewarding those with talent, hard earned skills, and the ambition to innovate and take entrepreneurial risks.”
But Oxfam’s picture in its new report can’t hide the reality today ‑ an emergency situation with the global capitalist economic crisis which is very difficult to hide, despite continued claims of “economic recovery” just around the corner ‑ capitalism is crisis.
Rebel Youth says that “O’Leary’s role as a commentator on CBC is to peddle cheap lines defending the boss class and their capitalist system, presented as news from a expert TV personality ‑ and for that reason we urge all our readers to sign the petition to get him off the air.”
Check out the petition at www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/cbc-fire-kevin-o-leary.
The Rebel Youth website is www.rebelyouth-magazine.blogspot.com.