Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Capitalism Finds a Way.




Hi. He's Jeff Goldblum. You may remember him from such films like "Jurassic Park", where he played the consistently obnoxious Dr. Ian Malcolm, who was very negative about the whole dino-theme park thing.

In spite of all the safety assurances given by the very confident theme park experts, Dr. Malcolm was the killjoy spoiling everyone's fun. Chill -- was the experts' reaction -- they have everything under control.

"Life", Dr. Malcolm explains rather unsuccessfully, "finds a way".

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In spite of all the legal and presumably well-meaning controls imposed on nitrous oxides emissions, we have this:

(source)
Apparently,
"With the so-called 'defeat device' deactivated, the car can spew pollutant gases into the air, including nitrogen oxide in amounts as much as 40 times higher than emissions standards, said the US Environmental Protection Agency, which announced the allegations on Friday along with California authorities."
After that, you would have thought well-meaning liberal/progressives' faith on market regulation would -- at the very least -- be shaken. Yes?

Well, no. The first and more natural liberal/progressive reaction is denial that any regulations were ever put in place:
"The free market at work". (23 Sep 2015 6:36:55pm, here)
The second reaction -- mark my words -- will be to impose tougher, more elaborate, more costly, controls which will make cheating ever more profitable.

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Sorry to play the killjoy, dear well-meaning liberal/progressives, but you can have clean air (or good wages, or low interests, or cheap medicines, healthy food, or whatever) or you can have capitalism, but you can't impose well-meaning, liberal/progressive -- but ultimately costly -- controls on capitalist enterprise.

Capitalism finds a way to circumvent controls and screw us.

Choose.

2 comments:

  1. "Capitalism finds a way to circumvent controls and screw us."

    The libertarian solution to this is not to impose the controls so...capitalism can screw us more easily?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi UnlearningE, thanks for your comment and your links. Much appreciated.

    Regarding your question: I'm not sure I fully understand, but let me try to explain my position, anyway.

    At one hand, business will always, invariably, try to cut corners: that's good for their bottom line. Looking at the situation from a third-person perspective, that's all I say. In other words, it's predictable and understandable.

    Similarly with the community: negatively affected by with those business practices, the community will always, invariably, ask for additional controls. It's also understandable and predictable, from a third person perspective.

    But those controls also affect business bottom line: they are costly.

    It's when one puts the two things together that one sees in this a kind of an arms-race. The community reaction, in the end, only raises the stakes for business, which will further cut corners, again affecting community, which again...

    You get the idea.

    Mind you, I'm by no means a neutral observer. One side will end up winning the race and I take the community side. My solution? Abolish business. But that's my solution.

    The alternative solution -- predictably and understandably, the solution business prefers, even if it's probably unfeasible -- is to abolish community.

    Now, people need to make a choice. I cannot decide for them. They need to answer this question: Which side are they on?

    Hopefully, this explains my position.

    ReplyDelete