Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UPDATE: Capitalism Is Really, Really Stupid

Sorry for the light blogging again. Been busy lately, etc.

Here's a piece I'd been meaning to write about for quite some time but have only now gotten around to. And I'm not really in the mood to be clever, so as usual, please imagine this space is filled some really clever and insightful analysis.

So this is a somewhat recent piece in the Guardian about how private commodities-trading firms are planning on making big bucks on the upcoming projected food crisis.

The short version is this: droughts and other bad nature stuff (as is the scientific classification of what's going on) are combining to leave major staple crops in short supply. Now, to you or me or any one with "human emotions," this registers as a bad thing, because it will likely lead to food shortages and/or starvation crises in various parts of the world.

But to a commodities-trader, it makes for "a good environment." You know, because food shortages mean more money. Or to put it more accurately, millions of people starving means other people will pay even more money for food than they do now so they don't also starve to death.

But of course, this only highlights something that is already happening. It's long been a settled question amongst those who study such issues that global food crises are normally a problem of distribution, not of production. Meaning it's not that we don't have enough food for everyone, it's that not everyone has enough money for food. So we let people starve to death because it's more important to make money than it is to feed starving people.

As such, this is example no. 89,053,738,643,211 why capitalism is completely fucked up. But hey, at least a bunch of starving people gives Bono something to do. Thought to be fair, giving Bono something to do is actually example no. 89,053,738,643,212 of why capitalism sucks.


Anonymous said...

How much of your miniscule Assistant Professor income will you pledge to donate to feed the starving?

Scott said...

Anonymous (bedwetter),

You are a mindless animal. Why are you anonymously bitching about political comments someone more intelligent than yourself makes on their own blog? Last/only post I will ever make in response to anything you say. As Jesse has said before, all you can do is ignore cynical, ill-tempered children like yourself.

Scott said...

Also, to talk about something actually relevant, there were two great pieces in Harpers about global food crises and stock market futures. I'd be happy to forward those to you if you have any desire to check them out (scanned them for friends and colleagues they were so damn good).

Anonymous said...

No one who goes into sociology is more intelligent than anyone (with the exception of someone for whom a parenthesized "bedwetter" is the ultimate retort).

John Wozniak said...

Dad (grandpa) always said the only time you make money in farming is when some other poor bastard suffers.