Where the Profit Motive Governs

“The capitalist mind perceives the world purely in terms of material resources to be used for its benefit… and profit without thought of long term consequence…”

― Daniel Pinchbeck

“A term like capitalism is incredibly slippery, because there’s such a range of different kinds of market economies. Essentially, what [we should be] debating over [is] what parts of the economy are not suitable to being decided by the profit motive. And I guess that comes from being Canadian, in a way, because we have more parts of our society that we’ve made a social contract to say, ‘That’s not a good place to have the profit motive govern.’ Whereas in the United States, that idea is kind of absent from the discussion.” 

― Naomi Klein

Those who know me at all know how I often rail against Capitalism. But I’m not against it, per se, as everything I have – income, house, cars, and all manners of creature comforts – are the result of it.

What I am riled about is how we’ve allowed it be become so dominate and utterly unrestrained, raised to the level of religion in this country, to the point where everthing has a price attached and is sold to the highest bidder without consideration to morals, ethics, or the common welfare.

For example, I recently read that Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy company has bought another 14,000 acres of land, in California’s Palo Verde Valley and near Vicksburg, Arizona, to augment the almost 4,000 acres they already bought a few years ago. Why? Well, it seems the Saudi’s want to conserve their own diminishing water reserves and have banned the growing of water-intensive live-stock fodder, such as alfalfa, and have decided to take advantage of our patchwork of regulations, legal protections, and court rulings in the West that allow farmers to drain the Colorado River and unrestrictedly pump dry existing underground water tables to grow and profit from thirsty water-chugging crops even when cities in our drought-stricken Southwest are restricting water usage and urging people to take shorter showers, skip car washes and tear out lawns.

One might ask, “Why should the Saudi’s drink milk from cows fed with alfalfa grown with our own scarce water? Given our own people’s need for water, should that be a place to not have the ‘profit motive govern’?”

To ask that would invite being called anti-capitalist, and therefore unAmerican.

But when the day comes that you turn on your tap for a glass of water, and nothing comes out, remember Pogo, who was want to say, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

And another thing – those who know me at all now how often I admire the Canadians. If it wasn’t for the fact that family is only what keeps me here, I’d move there in a heartbeat. 

– Bill




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