Tim says, of speculation in foodstuffs:
Imagine we had no speculation at all? Not even physical hoarding.
You don’t have to imagine. As I pointed out in a post a year ago, this was exactly the situation during much of the Middle Ages, when regrating was at times illegal and always condemned by the Church. Regrating means:
To buy in large quantities, as corn, provisions, etc., at a market or fair, with the intention of selling the same again, in or near the same place, at a higher price, — a practice which was formerly treated as a public offense.
The consequence was word formation; they had to invent a new word, “caristia”, to denote the shortage of labourers that would occur from year to year because so many people had died the previous season from malnutrition. This isn’t the Black Death, just year on year fluctuations in labour supply caused by death from starvation.
I find it interesting that those who object to commodities speculation today consider themselves to be radical when they are in fact reactionary. They consider themselves to be motivated by morality and in a way that’s true. But it’s the morality of the medieval Catholic Church.
That’s why I think these folks are right wing, not left wing.