Greed and Markets

Being a western European type it is probably blasphemy for me to criticize market economies but I am increasingly convinced that using such systems to address our major problems will be (and has been) disastrous.

I have long been concerned about the substantial pain that humans experience and mother earth endures because of the incredibly slow response time of market economies to new realities -- not to mention those which are developing but which have not yet had an economic effect.  Any large capital investment program is seriously inhibited by market mechanisms.  Global warming, for instance, does not create economic disruption at the moment so market economies fail to respond to this very real threat -- in fact, those types of economies aggravate the threat, they increase both the magnitude and speed at which it is occurring.  But greed, and market economies are the social manifestation of greed, is such a powerful and devious trait that humans seem powerless when confronted with this fundamental weakness of our psychic.

In the past, I have mentioned the use of Diclofenac in India and other locations, as a result of the use of this drug it is likely that remnant populations of several Vulture species will exist in zoos and captive breeding programs, but no where else.  Time and time again humans make the wrong choice and all to often those decisions are made on the basis of the workings of a market economy -- and usually at the margin.

FAO reports that 75% of the crop varieties used by humans have been “lost” in the last 100 years.  Corn (maize), rice, banana, and wheat are the primary food sources today and the number of traditional crops drops by the day.  The replacement of traditional crops, like millet, by these economically viable crops represents a substantial risk to our species.  If natural selection has taught us anything it is that the flexible survive.  Our economic systems are leading to a loss of flexibility in our sources of food and in myriad other areas and as such we are doomed.

We do not have the capacity to deal with greed and the market economies that it breeds and we shall pay the price.



© Robert Barnes 2018