Saturday, June 11, 2011

increasing shortages and growing inequality - a lethal mix

We just want to get enough money to get the bank off our back,” he said. “We would love to stay here because this is some of the best dirt in the world. But I can’t farm myself out of this water problem.” says an American farmer who has to let his land be converted into a solar power field. read more

It is astonishing that there are still so many who seem to believe that human ideas are the only limitations we have. In area after area, there are clear indications of that resources are getting shorter in supply. Some resources can be traded globally and therefore it is a matter of money, who gets them. And those that are too poor can't pay for them. That is why some people strave to death while others are obese and why 2 billion don't have electricity while others use it even for brushing the teeth of their dogs. Other resources are not possible to trade, because of their nature, such as land and water and solar radiation. For them competition is already fierce, as the examples from the US shows. In a recent posting I told about how the Chinese government had to order water into the fields from the Three Gorges Dam, instead of using it for food.

In a market economy, there will of course, by definition, always be a balance. There simply can't be any "shortages", because demand and supply are regulated by price. That is why starvation is not real issue, perhaps just a "market failure" in the view of neo-liberals (I know irony is hard to use on the web, I hope the reader can appreciate that these are not my views).

The combination of increasing shortages and the massive inequalities - which are increasing (see more here) in the world makes it clear that the market economy totally lacks instruments for any kind of sustainable and fair distribution of resources. And isn't that what we need?

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