Capitalism hinders progress because it ensures that all mass-scale human behavior will be driven by the pursuit of profit. For example, a huge global issue we have right now is cleaning up the pollution in our oceans. That is an easily solved issue if you take out the profit motive; you don’t wait for market forces to find some way to make it profitable, you just get in there and clean it up. But with the profit motive it’s almost impossible to conceive of it ever being solved.
How often have you been excited by a great idea only to feel that familiar disappointment wash over you as you realize that it will never happen because it won’t make anyone any money? That’s how the profit motive stunts innovation.
The profit motive will never find a way to leave a forest alone or minerals in the ground. There’s no business plan that makes money out of moms being paid to bring up healthy, happy, secure children. You can’t find a way to make money out of people driving less or buying less. There is no money in curing an illness, only treating it. There is no money in solving poverty, only in setting up a multi-million dollar “charity” that never actually intends to solve poverty because it’s a business and a business requires endless expansion.
People who proffer the market as a solution to our massive problems have either never really thought about the restrictions of the profit motive, or they are heavily invested in pretending those restrictions don’t exist. I don’t respect either of those positions.
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