> I believe that most people are brain dead and don't have a
> clue what't going on, because they haven't heard a thing
> about it between 'Packer' games and the Clinton scandle.
I don't know many people like that.
> They are a mass of protoplasm being molded into cheeseheads
> with a mission of consumption, by a media dedicated to
> nothing more noble than profit.
I think consumption comes quite naturally, yet people do think about these
> >Taxation is a less intrusive and painful form of
> >coercion than, say, reeducation camps or
> >public humiliation.
> Coersion is nice. The trouble with being nice is you get
> stomped on by the undying mega oligarchies, know as
That's a good point that I didn't address, the issue of power and group
loyalty. Yet I believe that it is possible to coerce groups (corporations)
too. In fact, it is easier, since corporations are more likely to operate
on the basis of rational self-interest. I know I am ignoring the
possibility of distortion of the political will by powerful interests.
> Holding accountable, is a more direct
> means of assessing costs of irresponsible behavior.
Don't you think it is better to devise incentives for good behavior than to
plan to simply pick up the pieces after the fact? IMO responsible behavior
should be publicly defined when possible, and incentives for such behavior
hammered out politically.
> IMO costs need to be assessed for all the 'externalilities'
> of those benefitting from our socialistic/capitalistic society.
I agree. But setting the prices of the externalities is a difficult
political problem. It seems like people tend to set the price too low. Or
maybe they just ignore the whole issue, which amounts to the same thing.
> We will not be a true capitalistic society until the leeches
> are held accountable for the responsibilities that
> are inhierent in a true capitalistic society.
Could you define in a few sentences, what are the responsibilities of
corporations in a "true capitalistic society"? Are the responsibilities you
list below what you have in mind?
> Responsibilities like cleaning up after yourself, not
> impinging on the rights of others,
These are the things I find most difficult to instill in my children, along
with being polite and respectful.
> ... and treating the natural capital of the land as an asset
> to be counted on ledger are a few that come to mind.
I agree, but no one is going to do that if prices have not been established
for "natural capital".
> Until that is done, capitalism is built on a lie.
I guess I don't understand. Isn't capitalism (people) doing what comes
naturally when inputs (natural capital) are provided at artificially low
price? This is the same old commons dilemma. When people don't have to pay
for use of the commons (ie natural capital), the commons will be overused.
This isn't "a lie" just bad policy.
> the banality of 'purely economic growth' you refer to is to be
> exspected by a meme based in our current economic rules.
All this behavior is caused by fundamental aspects of human nature IMO.
> Something called fudiciary trust mandates that all
> else become secondary to profit.
I don't think this is true in practice. The people in the corporation are
subject to many forces of socialization and ethics. The people I rub
shoulders seem to have a high degree of integrity and honesty. But even if
what you say were completely true, the corporation would still respond to
economic incentives formulated by public policy.
> >We need to temper that with practical short-term measures
> >to protect the environment now, like taxation.
> Ya hey, you betcha! So how is that done for agricultue?
> This is an astute group of readers. What ideas are out
> there that incentivises sustainability in agriculture,
> and penalizes the greedy, exploitive ba$*&%@s?
Didn't (doesn't) participation of growers in government price support
programs require responsible residue management to help avoid soil erosion?
That is a pretty strong incentive. Pesticides are highly regulated and the
extensive data package required of the companies is a kind of tax. This
produces many incentives for chemical companies (not all for the public
good). One positive example is the placing of environmentally benign
pesticides on the EPA fast-track. This is a very strong incentive to
develop safe, low-use-rate pesticides. Taxes on certain agricultural inputs
like nitrogen fertilizer constitute a powerful (and controversial) approach
that has not been used much.
> I remember the idea of awarding carbon credits for building
> carbon reserves in the soil. That is one good example of
> rewarding a stewardship-like idea....
> I would like to create a list of these incentives to reward
> good stewardship, and another list of ideas to punish
> exploitation. If anyone can think of other means to do this,
> please post them on the listserve.
> Please forgive my anger...this subject makes my blood boil.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness..."
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