By Jospeh Ssebunya
Capitalist Economists say that resources are scarce and so cannot satisfy everyone’s needs. People have received PhDs in Economics by developing this theory of scarce resources. Is it true that the world’s resources are not enough for all the people that inhabit the earth?
Economics is about allocating the scarce resources to satisfy the infinite human needs and wants. That sounds reasonable but it’s wrong- intrinsically wrong because it bases on wrong tenets.
First, resources have never been scarce naturally; they have just been made scarce by misuse and misallocation. Economic principles that base on the assumption that nature is incapable of satisfying our needs are faulty and fallacious. Our needs are satiable by nature’s provision; only our wants aren’t- because they are insatiable not matter the level of abundance.
What they said about Economics
Modern scientific knowledge and research are objective and value-free, said Jurgen Habermas, a German Philosopher. He argued that ‘reason and science have become tools of domination, rather than emancipating humans from myth, suspicion, and tyranny.’
Seven decades ago, before most of the richest men on earth were born, Mahatma Gandhi said that ‘in this world, there are enough resources for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed’. This is one the greatest quotation of the 20th C and we can reflect on it.
Our needs arise out of our nature; to thrive, we need to food, clothing, education, housing and medical care. Our wants arise out of our nurture that yields to greed. The nurturing is done by advertising and parenting. If Economists draw a clear line between needs and wants, we can see that nature has enough resources for everybody’s consumption.
Does a person need five family cars? Does a country need 200 radio stations airing in the same language? In Kenya, every one person out of twenty four would own a car if the cars in the country were shared out on the principle of one man one car! The same statistic applies to Uganda. Instead, one man owns six hundred taxis and a fleet of other omnibuses!
Does a poor country like Uganda or Kenya need 400 hundred MPs? If the parliament is halved and the funds reallocated to healthcare, how much impact would it create? If the expenditure on 100 sleeping MPs is rechanneled to building one serious hospital per month, how many would be built in a year, in five years? Instead, resources meant by a million people are shared out a handful of those who have political power.
Natural resources Vs population
Malthus predicted that there would come a time when population would overwhelm the scarce resources leading to catastrophic effects like famine, conflict and death. Was Malthus right? No, he wasn’t! His conclusion or theory was based on the fact that resources are scarce yet they are not.
The land on earth, is it really scarce? Is the population too much for every person to own a small piece of land? No! If it was shared out equitably, each person, including babies, would have at least two acres of productive land. Truth! What happens when an individual possesses tens of thousands of acres of land! Others are excluded from possessing land and consequently become paupers.
How human activity causes scarcity
As long as the world is at the mercy of the cabals, there will always be war, hunger, disease and poverty since these eschatological forces are the ones that provide market to their multinational corporations. All these are planned in boardrooms of the big corporations.
When they want war in Africa or the Middle East, all they do is to arm the dissenting nationals with weapons and dollars to fight their governments. They use political strife to take control of the mineral wealth of countries and impoverish those countries.
Eco-norm-mix should be seen as a result of the ignoble culture or norm that has mixed the ecological balance by creating contradictions too big to resolve. Deforestation, chemical weapons, chemical fertilizers and GM seeds all affect the ground that should give us sustenance. Scarcity is not natural; it’s created by human activities. So, economic theory is based on a false assumption of scarce resources, making it bullshit.
Do a time travel and tell the Africans in pre-colonial times that there is famine because resources are scarce. They won’t understand you let alone believe you. Even in a long drought food would be available; the surplus of good seasons, as kept in granaries, would feed them through the dry times.
Even today, the world produces surplus food for its 8bn people but scarcity is imposed on people through unfair commerce. Global food consumption mostly depends on rice and wheat. USA and Canada are the chief producers of wheat- but perhaps also the chief importers of wheat! Why import what you produce in excess if you don’t intend to create shortage in the rest of the world and then sell yours at a very high price! If food is dumped into the Pacific to reduce supply, is the resultant limited shortage the same as the scarcity Economics professors teach in universities?
Distribute all the global wealth and see if there will ever be want or scarcity. Of course, even if the global wealth was multiplied a hundredfold, it would not quench the greed of many. If there is famine, its not that little food was produced; it’s because some food was either hoarded or dumped in the pacific to keep supply low and maintain high prices. The law of demand and supply is a central tenet of capitalist economics, and itself is based on wrong premises because nature has always produces surplus and human deliberately create the shortage.
How much resources go in the manufacture of deadly weapons today? What if the technology and finance were directed towards producing more food, medicine and improving housing technology? Would there be a person on earth who sleeps hungry, who is homeless and who die untimely for lack of medicare? If we have famine and poor welfare standards globally, is it a case of resources scarcity or of poor resource prioritisation?
Much of what is textbooks I factoid subtly planted in literature. Academic research is sponsored by the cabals who subtly influence the reports. That’s why we are made to believe there are scarce resources in the world; the economic professor says so, and the journalist regurgitates the same. Meanwhile the resources belonging to millions are selfishly taken over by a few tens of families.
In the light of the outgoing paragraphs, can you convince me that what is taught in ‘Principles of Economics’ is truth? Does Economics meet the criteria of a scientific discipline realising that its central tenet is questionable.
Is it a problem of resource scarcity or of resource allocation and distribution? Have the professors of Economic lied to us and we just regurgitate their skewed reasoning?
What about development strategies?
Development strategies that arise out of the skewed thinking can not bring about harmony, peace and happiness in the world. Why? The development strategies like the MDGs or SDGs ignore the core of the problem: distributive injustice. Those goals are bogus as long as the few ultra rich continue to impoverish Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.