What we never hear is the fact that these crises are, in fact, connected. They are symptoms of a global economic system that is not only driving up resource use and pollution; it is squeezing people financially, undermining democracy, concentrating wealth and power in the hands of unaccountable global corporations, and exacerbating conflict and violence.
In addition, recent events have highlighted how vulnerable we are because of our dependence on the global economy. Long-distance supply chains are failing around the world, and the cost of living is skyrocketing as a result.
This is clearest when it comes to our most basic need of all: food. At the grocery store, Americans are paying 10 percent more for food than a year ago, while the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that global food prices hit record highs in March. In the United Kingdom, the price of chicken is set to soon match the price of beef.
Why? Largely because economic globalization — which, in short, involves using public monies and government regulations to favor exports over self-reliance — has ensured that we source our food from ever farther away, via ever longer, more complicated supply chains.
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