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Are there limits to the economy?

Many social developments that occur in areas outside the economy, are in fact determined by economic interests.

 

Examples?

Medicinal drugs against diseases that mainly occur in Third World countries are not developed or marketed because the people who really need them, cannot afford them.

Education has gradually degenerated into a system whose primary function seems to be to deliver enough people qualified for working in the economy.

Innovative technological inventions cannot gain a foothold, when there is a chance that they may affect the investments of vested economic interests.

Legislation, for example in the field of environment, education, healthcare, labour law, tax law, is strongly determined by economic interests.

 

If it is true that the economy has the task to serve the needs of man, then one could say that there seems to be a odd flawed vision of the needs of mankind.

 

Because, when we do not look at man as an individual but as a member of society, we all know that man, every man, also has other needs than those which the economy takes care of.

 

For example, the need to develop oneself in freedom (a general human need that every individual carries out in his own, unique way) and the need to be equally responsible in the decision-making process about laws and regulations which affect all of us.

 

The economy can contribute to these human needs by focusing solely on producing and distributing the products that we, consumers, need. The economy, including economic interests, should not interfere with any other matters, it is even better for all of us if that is not the case. Because formulating laws and regulations can then happen free from economic interests within the democratic state. And sectors such as education, healthcare, science and arts, will then be able to develop freely and according to their own nature; that is: based on the expertise and capabilities of those who work there and on the needs of those who want to use them.

 

That is the economy that would serve mankind optimally: the economy that does not go outside the boundaries of economic activity: i.e. producing, distributing and consuming the goods that people need.

 

John Hogervorst

January 2015


John  |  2015 01 26  |  Permalink  |  Share

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