Oh geez, you must not get out enough. Ya sure if you only rub shoulders with
educational elete, dey may not haf da type of opinion dat I see at da lumber
yard. I did not mean to call them masses of protoplasm though, as some a dem
are my friends. But I'm pretty sure alot ov'm are cheezeheads though.
>> 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
Whether consumption comes naturally or if the consumption paradigm has been
generated by continuous input by a media that has taken over as the main
source of information, entertainment and even nurturing of our children, it
will not be able to be maintained if it violates every rule of
sustainability. It is therefore logical to do everything possible to alter
the consumption paradigm before reality forces painful and costly change.
>> >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.
I think we agree here entirely. We can show corporations the folly of their
ways, and a better, even more profitable way, and maybe they will take that
path. But that path usually requires long range thinking, and some initial
up-front expenditures. This conflicts directly with the imedeacy of
fudiciary trust. We see consistant choice in favor of fudiciary trust
responsibilities rather than the long range sustainable choice.
>> 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.
I think it would be great to devise incentives for good behavior. I think we
should carry a big stick too.
>> 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.
Yes...why is that? What cause such continous, inadaquate assessments of an
externalizrd cost? How can we fix that?
>> 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?
Yes, there may be more. I have never really studied it. I never went to
school to research in depth, the criteria of capitalism. I must admit that
these ideas are mine based on the simple logic of sustainability. But they
are true, nonetheless.
>> 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.
Do they watch much TV? Are children naturally like that, or do they emulate
the behavior they see modeled around them. I think the TV media, which
thouroughly permeates our culture, models incedibly negative behaviors. It
also has a mission to sell as much as possible.
>> ... 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".
We will probably be debating the issue until most of the natural capital is
used up, if past human experience is used as an indicator.
>> Until that is done, capitalism is built on a lie.
>I guess I don't understand. Isn't capitalism (people) doing what comes
I not convinced that is what people do naturally...I think this is what
people are being programmed to do. There are examples of cultures living
harmoniously with nature. If modern technoledgy were used only
synergisticlly with nature, we could do some amazing things.
when inputs (natural capital) are provided at artificially low
This is what corporations, dedicated to the responisibilities of fudiciary
trust will do. I try not to do this, and I believe it is not neccesarily a
natural act for hoomans. And if it is, it is something we had better learn
to change, and quick. My personal spirtual belief is that these are some
the...obstacles we are to over come to reach perfection.
>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.
Perhaps both. The lie come in, in that capitalism will not continue as it is
practiced because it is unsustainable. We are playing make believe if we
think the next generations will not suffer from our joy ride today. It is a
lie to make believe we can continue as we are going.
>> 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.
If that is the case, then we really do need a govenment and a religion to
mandate and guide a moral path.
>> Something called fudiciary trust mandates that all
>> else become secondary to profit.
>I don't think this is true in practice.
I plainly disagree. Look around you. Look at the exploitation occuring in
nearly every aspect of corporate culture.
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.
That is what is so insidous about fudciary trust. The people can be
wonderfully honest and all that, they simple will not be allowed to make
But even if
>what you say were completely true, the corporation would still respond to
>economic incentives formulated by public policy.
Maybe that's true. I wish I had more money so I could buy some.
>> >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?
Avoiding soil erosion is good...
>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)(good point). One positive example is the placing of environmentally
>pesticides on the EPA fast-track. This is a very strong incentive to
>develop safe, low-use-rate pesticides.
This assumes chemical companies are; 1 honest, 2 able to test acuratly and
completly for side effects, and 3 able to anticipate future of unexpected
consequences. I prefer the precautionary principle.
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..."
Who said that?...Wasn't that Reggie White?
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