Corona virus expert: “You can’t expect anything else of capitalism”

Posted by in Culture, Economics, History, Politics

Australian immunologist Professor Peter Doherty, age 88, wrote “Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know.” In an interview this week with Radio New Zealand he said:

“I’ve felt for a long time that our society is essentially unsustainable. But I would hope that after this is over – and it will be over, in about 18 months and if we get a vaccine, we’ll be looking at it much like the flu – I’d like to think we could rethink a lot of that, but I have no great confidence we will.

I think we have to think in terms of what capitalism is. The way it is, you maximise short term profit and returns to shareholders. You can’t expect anything else of capitalism.

So unless you put in place various regulatory steps, or unless you’re smart enough to do what China and Japan have long done and minimise the short term profit and plough a lot of money back into development of future products and future strategies – which is not the way our industries have been working – then it will always transfer money to the rich, and the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. John Maynard Keynes said it years ago: ‘Why is it we think that the best way to run a society is to put it in charge of the nastiest people on the planet?'”