Monday, April 23, 2012

This response is important enough to be it's own post

I've recently become a member of Progressive Bloggers. I've been reading many new fascinating blogs, but this one post in particular deserves a direct response.

What are people supposed to do? It's an important question. I would phrase it this way though: what are people free to do?

The problems voiced in the post are all serious, relevent problems. I'd like to start with the simplest and what I believe is the root to the problem. The author states:
Why should food be sold for profit? In Canada and other advanced nations, it is recognized that health care should not be a profit-making enterprise. If we have a universal right to health care, why don't we have a universal right to not be hungry? Why don't all people have all the food they require for themselves and their families?
I always preach personal responsibility.

Number of farms and average farm area in Canada, census years 1931 to 2006.
As you can see by the above chart the number of farms is declining but the farm sizes are increasing. Larger farm sizes due to the industrialization of agriculture allows for the management of such large farms, which leads us to oil and pesticides which are petroleum products. This is where the cost begins.

This is not to say that family farming didn't require energy, but it was much smaller scaled and back then there were significantly more farmers. All of this comes down to energy. Money represents energy, pure and simple. Either you exchange an equivilent amount of energy for the food, or you put in the energy yourself by growing the food. What people should do therefore on this point is grow food.

On jobs, growth, and wages the author writes:
Wages have been slashed or have been stagnant for years. Corporations continue to eliminate jobs, forcing the survivors to work much harder for the same (or lower) salaries, while the unlucky into a job market that is more like an empty larder.

While wages plummet or stagnate, everything costs more, seemingly every day - not only extras and luxuries, but the price of basic survival. Food, shelter, and fuel account for an increasing share of whatever income we have. Many people can't afford gas or public transit to even look for a job. Governments cut public services that are needed for meaningful participation in society, forcing more people into social exclusion, be it from lack of health care, child care, elder care, therapies, basic nutrition, or a decent public library.

Not seemingly, actually. I've written about this in another post 'the penny' which deals with "inflation". Most importantly however is the effect of peak oil which I've written a bit about here in this context. All of these problems are important and real. There is another portion to this problem though that's not often talked about in our media and that is the method in which Canada borrows it's money. I've  talked a bit about this here.

The system is surely corrupt, but it is not a capitalist system. The privilaged elite are bailed out at the cost of the taxpayer. It's a system based on infinite growth and the method in which we borrow our money is by definition a ponzi scheme. Socialism is based on infinite growth too. In a world of expensive energy, what people are supposed to do and what people should do are completely different. People should be preparing for the possibility we experience the same disruptions as Greece. Grow your own food, live your own life, stop waiting for the government to invent a solution as there is likely not one coming; just more attempts to stimulate growth.

We need to address the current crisis and after we have stablized perhaps economic theory such as resource-based economies can be implemented, although I think sound money is probably the best as it remains resource based and not debt based.

Hope this helps you figure out what you're supposed to do, all the best.


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.


  1. Hi Richard. I'm not sure, but I believe you forgot to link back to my post. If I missed the link, please point it out to me. If not, please correct this. Thanks in advance.

  2. Of course, as soon as I posted my comment, I found the link. :)