Public event: ‘Poverty of the state? The state of poverty.’

Public event: ‘Poverty of the state? The state of poverty.’

 

WestGAP will be hosting a two-part event on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th July at Garnethill Multicultural Centre, exploring the economic logic behind austerity measures and welfare reform.

Friday’s event will provide an overview of the connection between state finance, debt and austerity – ‘why the government’s agitation against “benefit scroungers” is agitation not only against people on benefits but also against other workers’. On Saturday we’ll hold a longer workshop to learn in greater detail about the role of sovereign debt in determining public spending.

Both workshops are open to all. No prior knowledge of finance or political jargon is required. Each event stands alone – you’re welcome to attend one or both.

Poverty of the state? The state of poverty

Friday, July 4 at 7:00pm and Saturday, July 5 at 12:00pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, G3 6RE

With the advent of the financial crisis of 2008 and the following world-wide general economic crisis, living conditions for many people deteriorated. This crisis and the reaction to it by capitalist states led to a sovereign debt crisis which governments responded to with further large scale but this time planned impoverishment: austerity.

In these two workshops we want to give an introduction to how the state finances itself – and what for – in order to explain why the state implements austerity and how this economic system presupposes and reproduces poverty in boom and bust.

1. Austerity Talk and Discussion
Friday 4th July, 7pm-10pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre

In this workshop we want to present and discuss what welfare reform has to do with the UK’s AAA rating, why the benefit cap is an apt austerity measure even though it only affects a small minority of people, why the government puts pressure on people to find work in a time of mass unemployment, and why the government’s agitation against “benefit scroungers” is agitation not only against people on benefits but also against other workers.

2. Sovereign Debt Workshop
Saturday 5th July, 12noon-7pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre

That austerity is somehow related to how the state finances itself is well known. It is however a bit of a riddle how something with the power to raise taxes – i.e. choose how much money to earn – can be in trouble with paying the bills. Indeed, one response to austerity – by groups like UK Uncut and beyond – is to remind the state of its tax raising powers and to demand “tax the rich” to plug the hole in public finances; so why isn’t this happening?

These workshops are hosted by WestGAP and presented by Critisticuffs.

Please note that although Saturday’s event has level access (and an accessible toilet), Friday’s event will be taking place up two flights of stairs. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The State of Poverty


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