The driving force of the capitalist economy is the extraction of surplus value from the working class. This is accumulated by capital in the form of profit. Capitalist production, it must be emphasised, is not production for use, or for economic growth as such, but for profit—the basis of capital accumulation. The rate at which this accumulation can take place, measured broadly by the rate of profit, is the key indicator of the health of the capitalist economy and its overall regulator.
Every year, more than 800 million people around the globe go hungry. Tens of millions die from malnutrition. Yet the world produces more food than it needs — waste and spurious use of food products are rampant in well-off societies.