Why is there this system, where one can afford vastly more than the next – this is the free market mechanism, supposedly, that ‘creates wealth’. For how many does it create wealth, and what are the social and environmental costs of wealth creation associated and unaccounted for? Must there be poverty and joblessness in order for capitalism to exist? On what platform do the wealthy, ‘get rich’? And what property and ownership of natural resources, and waste and pollution, and hunger and anger and denial goes along with it?

How does one get to the point where all things are equal in terms of a starting platform, for each child to be born with equal opportunities to further themselves in society? It would primarily have to be education, we would all have to have the same access to, and standard, of primary, secondary and tertiary education. If we are to equate it to days of old, when to survive people had a shelter, heat for cooking and warmth for survival, and food to eat, we could say people need housing, electricity, and food. Can we tag onto that, the ability to learn about ones surroundings to take better advantage of it? And might this equate to the right to learn? Could governments not supply all these criteria as the minimum social welfare? If we all do better, we each do better.

I emphatically reject the notion that the way to societal-wide happiness is enlightened self-interest. This idea runs counter to logic. If everyone acted for themselves and themselves only, we would have chaos – and it seems we are going in that direction. There needs to be some obligation toward others and toward the planet, and toward future generations, built in to our system. At the moment there are feeble laws that do very little in terms of biodiversity loss and climate change, our two most massive problems. We are extracting and polluting and emitting at rates that would see everything crumble in who knows how long – 20, 50, 100 years from now?

Every society has always had rules and norms and creeds. The free market ideology rejects this notion, calls it red tape, barriers to innovation and killers of job creation, but all it is, is a barrier to the elites further enrichment. The absence of war, viewed in that light, is a killer of job creation. Does anyone think their stance is not totally self-motivated? Do they, of all people who continuously cut costs, including jobs, in the pursuit of maximum profit, really care about JOBS? We need rules to function harmoniously as a society, we humans have always needed agreed-upon rules, boundaries and limitations, so that we do not end up spiting ourselves and so that we have a blueprint to refer to, when deciding how to act. We need to place economics within the framework of ecology and society.


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