A growing reliance on imported food and other necessities is making First World nations such as the United Kingdom increasingly vulnerable to social collapse, warns Andrew Simms, policy director of the "think-and-do tank" of the New Economic Foundation, writing in The Guardian.
"Events are revealing that many of the things we take for granted, like bank accounts, fuel and food, are vulnerable," he writes. "If we value civilization, the litmus test for economic success should not be short-term profitability, but resilience in the face of climatic extremes and resource shortages."
Simms notes that the assumptions of the free market have led to an economic system focused on producing the greatest cost savings rather than the greatest sustainability. This has led many First World countries to turn away from producing food domestically in favor of cheaper (and more profitable) imports.
"The result is easily disrupted just-in-time supermarket food supply lines, and a risky assumption that anything we need can easily be bought on global markets," he writes.
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