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

Find out what the tax increase will be in your area of the Tri-Port

The Gazette reached out to all three communities financial departments requesting numbers to crunch

Tree falls inches away from Port Hardy home

The tree narrowly missed the residence on Wolleson Street

Port Hardy firefighters to earn money for calls

Council has approved a Fire Department Remuneration policy

A memorial mural will be painted in Port Hardy

The mural will honour lives lost to substance abuse and mental health

VIDEO: North Island Local Hero Awards 2018

On the North Island, we are blessed with many different kinds of heroes.

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Most Read