Does exchange cause scarcity?

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

(Facts::Food grows for free,like weeds. Land lies empty,and abundance is a glut).Exchange causes scarcity?
Search: BEarthright, Henry George, Gerard Winstanley,diggers. Give and Take. Freecycling. Give away shops. Freebox. The 1st pages of any economics text book will describe opportunity costs and equilibrium price, which states that supply of a good rises to meet the amount of demand that will bring in the greatest profit. Scarcity is purposefully produced. And also there is a hidden lie, and this lie or error, is in thinking that the earth does not produce food or warmth(wood) for free, Food grows like weeds, ask my rhubarb,or any green leaf(green leaf curd), papaya and mangoes, and all other fruit of the earth. One can just take it. of course the rub is land ownership, the earth is for sale. hence land lies unused while people starve, this is an ongoing horror of greater proportions over history than any horror we hear about. It is the reason for all other human trouble and injustice.

Food does NOT “grow for free”. Land needs to be tilled, fertilized, watered and otherwise cultivated. Cattle has to be herded or kept in enclosures; chickens need henhouses to protect then from cold and predators. Even more importantly, cultured varieties of plants and animals must be bred and enhanced over long periods of time. Even if you abolish land ownership, there will still be a lot of labor and/or capital required to grow food.

Also, growing food only accounts for about 20% of its cost to the consumer. The bulk of the cost is not in growing, it’s in processing, transportation, wholesale, and retail.

Finally, if you abolish land ownership, the effect on food production will be far from certain. Without land ownership, how do you keep other people from letting their cattle to graze on your beloved rhubarb?

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