Saturday, July 31, 2010

In Greed We Trust, Markets Are For Chumps

Why do so many people put their faith in market solutions when push comes to shove even the staunchest proponents, those in the financial sector, rely on the public sector to bail out their sorry asses?

Well, for one, discussions and negotiations are a lot less emotionally charged when we are focused on the machinations of the market instead of having to face up to the fact that we are engaging a group of greedy bastards who don't give a rat's ass about the consequences of their actions or inactions upon anything else than their bottom line.

It's all way too polite for me and shows an incredible naivety with regard to the motivations of those who seek to profit from the free market discourse. When it works in their favor, let us all adhere to the gospel of Milton Friedman and his disciples, when it doesn't, we're all Keynesians now.

When it comes to climate change legislation, forget the cap and trade market-based solution no matter what economic theory may say because the other side ain't buying it.

When facing a zero-sum situation, we shouldn't engage in magical thinking guided by the belief that we are going to find a win-win solution. In this case, take the stick over the carrot.

Indeed, the recent failure to secure meaningful climate change legislation is the latest instance of a myth of Sisyphus situation where the environmentalists are trying to roll a huge boulder up a steep political incline - we're not playing on a level field.

Given the unlikely eventuality of achieving meaningful results within the existing political frameworks, environmentalists should now shift their focus to the courts, politics by other means, and do so on two fronts: environmental issues and democratic reform.

One day the good fight may be taken to the political arena but not in the immediate future.

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