N° 19 décembre 2021 According to the leaders of the employers and of the government, the economic recovery would be marked by a significant rebound in growth.
Bercy, (ministry of finance) stated on October 11: “Growth is strong, it is solid, it is dynamic. We will therefore revise the growth forecast for 2021, from 6% to 6.25%. " The same goes about employment, which would be marked by a strong upturn in recruitment, so that France would lack hands in certain sectors of economic activity: in particular in construction and commerce. A cautious suggestion that unemployment is mainly due to the unemployed’s unwillingness to find a job. This is indeed the ideological thread used by the capitalists and their political power to justify a very unfavorable reform of unemployment insurance.
This rhetoric about recovery comes up against much less positive realities. To put forward a more than 6% growth is to act as if the pandemic and the lock downs had not plunged the French and world economy into a great depression with a fall of the Gross Domestic Product of about 10%.
It is to act as if hundreds of thousands of jobs had not been destroyed while many Employment Protection Plans are in fact only restructuring with net jobs losses; this has strongly and durably affected important sectors of production. The reality is that current hires are not making up for the losses suffered over the past two years and they mostly concern precarious jobs on fixed-term contracts of less than two months! Thus, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates in a recent report (1): "that the " deficit "in terms of the number of jobs, caused by the global crisis will reach 75 million in 2021, before falling to 23 million in 2022. Linked to the previous one, the deficit in the number of hours worked, which includes the deficit in the number of jobs and those with reduced working hours, amounts in 2021 to the equivalent of 100 million full-time jobs and will reach 26 million full-time jobs by 2022. These declines in employment and working hours come against a background of high and persistent levels of unemployment, under-utilization of the workforce and poor working conditions. " In addition to all this, the skyrocketing prices of energy and fuels as well as of basic food products, leading to inflation which the government’s check of 100 euros will not compensate, make things very difficult for millions of workers and their families, the unemployed, young people and retirees. In view of this the optimistic and euphoric picture of the recovery is shattered. The employers and the authorities do not dwell on the fact that throughout the pandemic period of 2020 and 2021 wages have suffered massive short-time work and freezes while capitalist and speculative profits skyrocketed. This is what Le Figaro recently noted with some relish: “After a nightmarish 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the great containment, the French flagships of industry and services seem to have entered a dizzying year. The CAC 40 giants did much better than erase their performance in the first half of 2020, when they posted a cumulative net loss of 2 billion euros. Between January and June, they made more than 60 billion euros in profits, or 41% more than in the first half of 2019 (42.7 billion). "
While the characteristics of national economic development therefore require clarification from the point of view of the interests of employees, they cannot be disconnected from the realities of the world economy, one of the major characteristics of which is the deep integration into what we call global capitalism. The latter is reflected in the exchange of goods and important capital in the context of a fierce global competition between the capitalist monopolies and the states at their service to control natural resources, communication channels and labor power.
The health crisis, very unequally treated at the international level, depending on whether it affects the most powerful imperialist countries which have been able to vaccinate their population or the dominated and poor countries which have not had the means to do so, reveals the difficulties of an uneven global recovery – all the more so as the law of development of capitalism: rising profits and the accumulation of capital are incompatible with a response to the essential needs of billions of human beings.
The introduction to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on the outlook for the world economy echoes (very dimly) this reality: "The global economy is projected to grow 5.9 percent in 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022, 0.1 percentage point lower for 2021 than in the July forecast. The downward revision for 2021 reflects a downgrade for advanced economies—in part due to supply disruptions—and for low-income developing countries, largely due to worsening pandemic dynamics".
Thus, realities of which we have a daily echo are underlined:
•the colossal debts contracted by the dominant capitalist states to support their large private or public companies and whose speculative finance demand payment to the detriment of employees.
• The significant differential caused by a resumption of differentiated activity between countries depending on whether they have had the means for a massive vaccination policy or not.
• The energy crisis leads to significant price increases or even disruptions in electricity production which disrupt manufacturing production like in China.
• Difficulties in sourcing materials essential to economic activity such as electronic chips, which have cost lost production of 500,000 cars, Renault claims.
• The crisis in world trade due to the limited capacities of the large shipping companies concerning containers (2)
• the question of interest rates which is arising due to inflationary trends.
The description can not settle the key issue which is: Who is responsible for this huge mess?
Although capitalism in its global development has led to an expansion of productive forces and trade, the consequences of the pandemic make even more obvious that it is still unable to meet the needs of humanity; it is not not its purpose. Monopolies and the enormous accumulation of capital have reached a stage where they can seek the development of profits only through an increasingly harsh confrontation ranging from trade war to war itself. Getting rid of this predatory system is therefore a pressing issue. The question then arises of the class struggle to overthrow this system and build a society without the exploitation of man by man based on the cooperation of men, their productive forces and their development in the service of all humanity.
This fight requires the development of the class struggle and an increasingly influential revolutionary political party. This revolutionary party COMMUNISTES exists, let's strengthen it together.
• (1) World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2021
• (2) Speculation is rife with the rental of a container: $ 16,000 today, compared to 3,847 a year ago, with a peak of $ 20,000 on September 10 from East Asia to North America and from $ 2146 to $14,490 dollars in connections from China to Europe.