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Let us satisfy need — not greed

YOU can bet that during the French Revolution when the revolutionary masses were calling for the blood of a greedy and arrogant aristocracy who had brought the country to ruin, some deluded souls were calling out “citizens, the only our aristocrats can save us”.

Similarly deluded are those who manage to convince themselves and try to convince the rest of us that the answer to the country's economic woes is to leave our economic destiny to those who “proudly hold the banner of free market capitalism aloft”.

According to these supporters of free-market capitalism, while this system is occasionally suffers economic collapse, they still believe it is the most effective way to maximise material wellbeing.

I’ll put this another way: What is very clear now is that free-market capitalism, and especially the neo-liberal variety of that system, has proven itself to be completely incapable of maximising economic wellbeing for all of the people all of the time, or even for all of the people for most of the time.

Indeed, it has proven itself to be incapable of maximising the material wellbeing for all the people at any time.

We need only refer to the fact that in Ireland — despite the recent economic boom — 20% of children still lived with poverty while others engaged in conspicuous consumption. In fact, free-market capitalism has been very good at maximising one thing — the shifting a huge quantity of wealth from the poorer sections of society to a greedy and arrogant minority.

Well, these neo-liberal free-market capitalist diehards you can shout “citizens only our free-market capitalists can save us” as loud as they like. Myself, and I suspect a few million others will be shouting even louder, “cut off their heads” (metaphorically speaking of course).

Let’s build an economy who sole objective is to satisfy human need and never again human greed.

Brian Abbott

Bishopstown Road

Cork


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