Ideology and Markets

I have been following with interest the vote in Switzerland on the motion of banning ‘speculation’ on food. The result was a defeat for the motion and a vote of approximately 60:40 against the motion which was put forward by the Young Socialists who sought curb dramatic price rises on foodstuffs by restricting financial institutions from speculating on food and agricultural commodities. A most pleasing result for reality and pragmatism over the ideology (fantasy?) of the left-wing and inexperienced in my opinion. For me, the idea that trading or ‘speculation’ in commodities is in any way responsible for famine is, simply to be honest, total ignorance of the facts and how the real world works. Since human history has been recorded, people bartered goods and raw materials and when supplies were plenty prices were low and when supplies were scare, prices were higher. It is the fundamentals of supply and demand that primarily dictates price. Those who ‘speculate’ may add volatility but I will argue that they do not impact price unless they are in a position to influence the supply/demand dynamics unfairly or improperly – in which case, that is fraud and not ‘speculation’. Besides which, what the Young

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