Time to sell shares in greed

Lessons need to be learned from stock market collapse.

Dear editor:

In its early years, the stock market became a vibrant force in society, a source of benefit for all and a chance for ordinary working people to escape the suffocating power of the financial elite. It had only one weakness — the ever-present cancer of human greed and opportunism.

Over the years, the market grew to infiltrate almost every aspect of our lives, and the lives of everyone on the planet. After a century of ups and downs, however, it suffered a global collapse in 2008, and trillions of dollars of theoretical “wealth” evaporated in a vacuum of empty promises and fancy bookkeeping.

At the time, the public was shocked to find that the two basic principles (the laws of supply-and-demand and unrestricted competition) had been swallowed up in a sea of mergers and acquisitions, friendly and hostile takeovers, credit-default swaps, hedge funds and corrupt regulators.

Instead of performing an autopsy and holding a funeral service, however, the market was placed on “life support”. Huge infusions of taxpayer bailouts and giant computers (that trade stocks by the billions in a split second) are now keeping the supply of artificial currency flowing up to the one per cent and the dividends and interest payments returning from the 99 per cent, in that age-old rhythm of “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.

Whole countries, which are already bankrupt, are being forced to borrow themselves even further into debt, but nothing seems to work.

I think that any reasonable person would agree that it’s time to unplug the machines and create an entirely new system. One that defines “profit” in terms of the benefit a community (local, regional or global) receives through the investment of time and energy of individuals, and “credit” as the response of the community for the integrity and investment of individuals.

The only “debt” we need to acknowledge is a universal debt of gratitude for the time and opportunity to sort out the mess we have created. Let’s not waste another moment of that time trying to revive a disease-riddled corpse.

Blair Hamilton

Port Hardy

Just Posted

Survey says: Port Hardy Fire Rescue deserves on-call pay

75 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of financial compensation for the fire department.

VIDEO: Incredible waves spotted at Cape Scott

Lighthouse keeper captures video of huricane force winds

Tyson’s Thoughts: Make Port Hardy great again with a new multiplex in 2018

Population growth means there should be more recreational activities for community members to enjoy.

VIDEO: Stormy weather at Storey’s Beach

Envirnoment Canada has issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia

RDMW pens letter asking Pacific Coastal to reconsider cancellations

Board raises concerns over loss of flights to the region

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Kervin’s Corner: Our region’s communities heavily rely on the forestry sector — Let’s not change that for now

“Any transition out of our forest-based economy would take years along with careful planning…”

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read