The 2008 recession was and is one of the largest economic events of recent history, and has caused economic upheaval the world over, massive increases in levels of poverty and thousands of companies declaring bankruptcy, forcing their workers out of a job and spreading misery and despair.
For young people, this event was particularly catastrophic: austerity measures have led to university education becoming often unbearably expensive, and it is difficult to get a job even with a degree – and nigh on impossible without one. Young people have almost no possibility of gaining the economic base that makes it possible to buy a house or support a family. Our futures have been taken away – we are being forced to take any work we can, often through shady temp agencies that give young people no chance at unionisation or industrial action, which means that we can’t even improve situations for ourselves.
Why is this? Commonly the blame falls on the bankers. While we certainly have no love for bankers, and they contributed in no small way to the crisis, it is not the case that the whole crisis was caused by a few stupid bankers making bad investments. This argument lays the blame at the feet of a clique of individuals, instead of where it should lie – with how the economic system of Capitalism functions at a fundamental level.