The Lie of Supply and Demand

Every time I get involved in some kind of conversation or debate over economic justice, there’s always some guy who will jump in to invoke the “Law of Supply and Demand.” Invariably, he steps back then to see if any of us are dumb enough to continue. It’s a law, man, a settled issue, something that only an idiot would challenge. But supply and demand is not a law. A law is something that absolutely must happen. But no one has any obligation to follow this supposed law in any transaction they control. If I have the only loaf of bread and I’m surrounded by hungry people, I can give the bread away if I so choose. Supply and demand is a syndrome—a philosophical justification for greed. One of the assumptions behind supply and demand is that people naturally want to get as much as they can and will play every angle they can in order to get it. A further assumption is, that’s okay. The only law involved then is the Law of the Jungle. But it’s not okay. Greed is killing us. It’s been sanctioned for a long time and the ill-effects are mounting. Climate change is one of them. Another is the cost of housing. We have to change our approach to how we exist and survive. We don’t need so much stuff. We’re heading for the cliff, and the cliff isn’t that far away now. If we don’t stop soon, we’re going over it.

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6 Responses to “The Lie of Supply and Demand”

  1. unhoppy Says:

    Wow, I can’t believe that you are actually writing about the very subject that has been on my mind lately. As I was walking by and noticing that ‘affordable housing’ was the subject of a front page article of a popular business tabloid that was on the ‘for anyone to read’ table at work, a recent economics graduate laughed loudly and obnoxiously. I asked her what was so funny and she said “affordale housing, that’s so funny, everybody knows it’s all about supply and demand.” The business school taught her this idea and she believes it whole heartedly. I didn’t respond, I just looked at her straight faced. Affordable housing has been on my mind ever since that encounter. It is a crisis.

    • markbittner Says:

      Yes. I want to write more about this. We live in an upside down world. People’s minds have become corrupted. We don’t see straight.

  2. unhoppy Says:

    Here is the Nov 16 2015 article that I was referring to, along with a second artcle that was also published in November:

  3. Brad Biggs Says:

    A time is coming when we’re going to have to put aside our political ideologies and learn to live together and protect each other if we’re to survive as a people…. A Free people….

  4. Linda Says:

    I think you will find that the wealthy don’t care if any one survives or not, as long as there are people to do their work and slave for and serve them and raise their food, they just don’t care. We are worth less than a steak dinner to them. They only need enough of us to serve. That’s why they kill us off in wars in which the banks they own make money off both sides. Who is holding Daesh’s money? Somewhere a bank is making and holding money from and for them.

    What we need to do is to kill the consumer idea. We are not consumers, we are human beings and have greater value as people than we do as cogs in the money wheel. We need as a world to stop using more than we need and stop using the banks for anything other than just a means of paying bills. We need to start saving our money in such a way that it doesn’t benefit the banks, they don’t pay decent interest rates anyway. We and only we can put a stop to this.

    • markbittner Says:

      Yes, I agree that we’ve got to kill the consumer idea. But that’s just the contemporary clothing worn by the old problem of materialism. We are the most materialistic people that have ever lived. It has to end or we do.

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