Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Market Doesn't Offer Solutions

Solutions to ecological crises cannot be found in the market. The capitalist market is driven by profit. Efforts to maximize profit necessarily involve reducing costs to the bare minimum, which means lowering wages of workers, eliminating/lowering benefits and cutting corners in ways that directly or indirectly harm the health of people and/or the environment. 

Businesses and corporations tout the green economy and green technologies as answers to ecological crises. They seek investment from investment funds, tax breaks from the government and concessions from regulators. And elected officials are often happy to turn over whatever hard-earned money regular folks paid in taxes to support these market schemes. Together they convince regular folks that by giving wealthy people and their businesses tax incentives, public spaces at free or reduced rates, and other perks, the economy will improve and green jobs will be created. But the costs to the people always outweigh the purported benefits. And the environment still suffers. 

Petrochemical companies, Big Ag, Big Pharma and other major polluters spend lots of money on grooming politicians who'll fight to protect their interests, overlook their harmful practices, collude to bypass or roll back regulations, and lie to the public. Solutions to the ecological crises we face are not in these places. And won't be found among these groups. 

Solutions are born among those most impacted by the crises.  Solutions are brought about by populations who - after having grown tired of being beat down, run over and mistreated - take actions to stop the people and corporations who cause harm and put an end to their harmful practices.  Starting as a seed and growing into a mighty force of nature...change will come. And it will come from the masses. 

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