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 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 615
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...Page 19 of 33    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33)
^^



What is that saying about democracy, "it is the best of the worst form of governments" and until someone comes up with a better one, it will remain so.

As for the "reign them in", "check them out" and "regulate them" well your right. When our government, not unlike yours or any gives over the jobs of oversight to underpaid clerks making 1/50 of what the executives of that company make, lobbyists who spread cash and jobs around in the industry, the system will ALWAYS be flawed.

A 60K middle management type regulating an oil giant, looking to the day, he will leave government service and take a job in the industry, will always be vulnerable to looking the other way for promises of a great future with that company then. 20 years later, he leaves with a government pension, AND a job paying at least that or double or triple what he made.


yes, you are right, by emphasizing "your" gov. I didn't mean to imply that it is worse than others, or 'mine' is better. The same thing would happen/does happen in Canada or elsewhere , gov. officials pimp themselves out to the highest bidders, of course..!

no offense intended to our US friends
 imalwayssmiling
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 616
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History
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/30/2010 2:16:39 PM

If you're going to blatantly rip off something with a poorly edited cut and paste job, at least cite where you got it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 617
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/30/2010 2:16:56 PM
Appreciate it.
 imalwayssmiling
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 618
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/30/2010 2:51:06 PM
Post 598 was same link,sometimes I just forget to add the link,even though I know your not even supposed to cut and paste........I believe thats the rules,who knows,I should look it up,its just there are soooooooo many rules to the forums,

anyways,sorry.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 619
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History
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/30/2010 4:39:44 PM
Dave. Thanks for your always insightful posts.

Since the beginnings of the agricultural phase of human existence starting around 10,000 years ago, people moved from nomadic, hunter-gatherers toward being anchored to a certain piece of earth. Throughout most of those thousands of years, there remained a sense of the commons even as the concept of ownership grew over time. On this continent, the area now known as Kentucky was considered the commons, the hunting grounds for many disparate first nations' people. In the period of Manifest Destiny, we as a nation condoned the stealing the lands of others, doing the genocide and destruction of the commons, ie. the Buffalo herds, forests and prairies, the damming of rivers, mining waste destroying the waters, etc. It was not until Teddy Roosevlt that the concept of the commons was returned in the form of the National Parks system. After time, the air again became the commons, along with rivers, fisheries, soils, wildlife, and yet more biological gems, the living libraries of the things that allowed life to flourish over millions of years.

Corporations are a recent phenomenon that threatens life on earth. Where for most of human history, people inherited the goodness of the land from their ancestors and borrowed it from their children, the corrupted model of corporate thinking absconded with everything and anything for one generation's use, abuse and waste. As corporations took greater and greater control over governance, the concept of the commons has been under increasing attack. Not all states seperated mineral rights from property rights. The most egregious assaults on property rights tend to occur in states where corporations rule. The coal industry in our part of the country was the player that seperated those rights. The rock mining industry is just riding the coat-tails of obscure language. Tennessee has been trying to reform the rock rape loop-hole, but the rock industry has paid off well placed politicians to block any meaningful legislation. An irony of this situation is that many of these political whores would normally be property rights advocates if it were not for the money.

My grandfather bought a depression era farm that was horribly abused. The previous tenants, driven by desparation or greed, ploughed through the protective drainage areas and put in motion a rapid erosion process that cut through the 6 feet of topsoil, hit the sand layer and caused a half mile long ditch 60 feet deep. Grandpa and my dad and uncles immediate planted tens of thousands of cottonwood trees to stabilize the situation. Farming is again turning toward the darkside as farmers forego crop rotation, proper maintenance of drainages, cutting windrows for more sun, and accelerating soil depletion and water pollution in the name of profit and greed or survival in the world of diminshing returns.

Corporations and their tools in governance lead this model. Someone brought up a good point in what drives biostitutes, confusionists and bureaupaths in government. If they are compliant, take the payoffs, the hookers, the parties and be a good boy or girl, they are promised a far better paying position in the industry sector as a reward. This is what drives, even the most well intended regulatory structure in an increasingly oiligarchic world.

The BP crime scene was aided and abetted, not only by truly evil intentions from the corrupt within the government, but more fully by the inherent corruption of the system, and the ethical meltdown of not only those in government and industry, but also a populace that expects the worst of human nature, willingling participates in it, and only feigns outrage when it finally hits their back yard.

Until we have an honest conversation about ethics, the rights of future generations and our life support system, we are doomed to be mere lemmings on this death march.
 imalwayssmiling
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 620
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/30/2010 6:28:10 PM
Dave, as earthpuppy,I think the same also,I can just take your posts usually and say ,Ditto,me too !
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 621
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/31/2010 11:22:40 AM


Corporations and their tools in governance lead this model. Someone brought up a good point in what drives biostitutes, confusionists and bureaupaths in government. If they are compliant, take the payoffs, the hookers, the parties and be a good boy or girl, they are promised a far better paying position in the industry sector as a reward. This is what drives, even the most well intended regulatory structure in an increasingly oiligarchic world.


yes, sadly the same symbiotic, or if you prefer , incestuous relationship that exists in the military-industrial complex, between military officers & the defense industry.

Eisenhower warned against that, and he was even part of it really

I f they are 'good boys' showing why we "NEED " this multi-billion $ weapons system, weapons platform, they are rewarded with post-military-retirement sinecures in the defense industry at multiples of their military pay

sadly this even encourages military "engagements" & wars around the world that cost not only plenty of $$$ but also many people's lives.. both in the militaries engaged and in civilian populations
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 622
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/31/2010 2:59:06 PM
Sarnia...
The military and oil industry go hand in hand as well, thus perhaps a large part of why regulators must be controlled as to how much they regulate.

The US military is the largest oil consuming entity in the US and the world. We fight wars to stabilize oil supplies, causing instability, to cause more war to try to stabilize and get more access points, thus more instability, ad infinitum till the end of oil. The coming "greening" of the Pentagon will involve massive deforestation and soil depletion to make fake green fuels from biomass sources. Forest wars will be on the way.

http://www.truth-out.org/greening-pentagon60385
SNIP
..... the Pentagon devours about 330,000 barrels of oil per day (a barrel has 42 gallons), more than the vast majority of the world's countries. If the U.S. military were a nation-state, it would be ranked number 37 in terms of oil consumption - ahead of the likes of the Philippines, Portugal, and Nigeria - according to the CIA Factbook.
And although much of the military's technology has become far more fuel-efficient over the last few decades, the amount of oil consumed per soldier per day in wartime has increased by 175 percent since Vietnam, given the Pentagon's increasing use and number of motorized vehicles. A 2010 study by Deloitte, the financial services company, reports that the Pentagon uses 22 gallons of oil per day per soldier deployed in its wars, a figure that is expected to grow 1.5 percent annually though 2017. (5)
The worst offender is the Air Force, which consumes 2.5 billion gallons of aviation fuel a year, and accounts for more than half of the Pentagon's energy use. Under normal flight conditions, a F-16 fighter jet burns up to 2,000 gallons of fuel per flight hour. The resulting detrimental impact on the Earth's climate system is much greater per mile traveled than motorized ground transport due to the height at which planes fly combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit. (6)
Among the ironies of all this, given that a central goal of U.S. military strategy is to ensure the smooth flow of oil to the United States, is that the Pentagon's voracious appetite for energy helps to justify its very existence and seemingly never-ending growth.
END SNIP..
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 623
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/31/2010 3:50:33 PM

Post 598 was same link,sometimes I just forget to add the link,even though I know your not even supposed to cut and paste........I believe thats the rules,who knows,I should look it up,its just there are soooooooo many rules to the forums,

anyways,sorry.

Sorry, wasn't meaning to be a stickler for the rules. Just trying to get an idea of what I'm reading to put it in context.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 625
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/31/2010 7:12:38 PM
RE Msg: 631 by Earthpuppy:
The US military is the largest oil consuming entity in the US and the world. We fight wars to stabilize oil supplies, causing instability, to cause more war to try to stabilize and get more access points, thus more instability, ad infinitum till the end of oil. The coming "greening" of the Pentagon will involve massive deforestation and soil depletion to make fake green fuels from biomass sources. Forest wars will be on the way.
Earthpuppy, I don't want to rain on your parade.

The recent 2008 estimates of USA oil consumption, are 19,500,000 barrels per day. You wrote that "the Pentagon devours about 330,000 barrels of oil per day", which works out at 1.69% of total USA consumption.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_consumption

You are right that "If the U.S. military were a nation-state, it would be ranked number 37 in terms of oil consumption". However, #37, which does consume 300,000 bbl/day, is Kuwait, a nation with 3.5 million people, which is 1.14% of the population of the USA.

Among the ironies of all this, given that a central goal of U.S. military strategy is to ensure the smooth flow of oil to the United States, is that the Pentagon's voracious appetite for energy helps to justify its very existence and seemingly never-ending growth.
I can see your argument.

1) However, this goes to show that a large consideration of the actions of the U.S. military, is to justify why generals, soldiers, defence contractors, and everyone else connected with the U.S. military, should keep their jobs.

The world has changed considerably. From the late 80s onwards, employees became completely expendable. There is no job security anymore. So if you want to keep earning, your only options are to keep yourself in demand, either by keeping your skills at top levels, or by keeping on switching jobs, or by artificially ensuring that your company needs you. The last is the one that provides the most job security, and the least true effort. So in many professions, we can now see many people who go to great lengths to artificially ensure that you always need them.

One classic example is "inbuilt obsolescence", a company-driven artificial demand, that ensures that products are manufactured in such a way, that they will break down and stop working after a fixed number of years, so that you will need to keep buying new product.

This can be found in car manufacturing. Petrol engines normally break down after a few years and need replacing, but their gearboxes rarely need replacing. Diesel engines seemingly last forever. But the gearboxes of diesel cars break down and need replacing quite often. It was suggested to me that the gearboxes of diesel cars are deliberately made with a fault in them, that makes them break down, because if they weren't, then you could run a diesel car almost forever, and then everyone would buy diesel cars, which would run forever, and hardly any new cars would be bought.

Artificial demand is an excellent way of providing job security. The U.S. military were needed to protect the U.S. in the Cold War, in case of attack by the former U.S.S.R. However, the U.S.S.R. started falling apaprt, and finally ended in 1991. So from 1991 onwards, there was no longer a need for a large standing military force in the USA, or in any other Western country.

Fortunately, Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, which set the stage for the first and second Gulf Wars. Terrorism mysteriously showed to be a problem after the U.S.S.R. collapsed, with no foreseeable end, guaranteeing that the U.S. military, and the military forces of most Western countries, would be guaranteed to provide job security for at least the next 20 years, and quite possibly forever.

A large way to accomplish job security is to ensure that you cause the problem that you are fixing. In this case, oil is only one way to accomplish this. Another far more important one, is to treat foreign forces in ways that are guaranteed to ensure that U.S. forces are seen as unwelcome invaders, that need to be forced out militarily. That ensures that any U.S. presence will incite even greater violence against the U.S., which will necessitate U.S. forces kept on, to protect Americans from the danger their own forces actually made happen.

2) Another factor is that 98% of American oil consumption does not go to the military. 71% of U.S. oil consumption goes on transportation, and 23% goes to industrial uses. Only 5% goes on residential and commercial use, and only 1% on electric power. So in reality, nearly 3/4 goes on cars, trucks, and planes, and nearly 1/4 goes on making products that use oil, like plastics, and household chemicals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States

Most people imagine that most oil goes on heating, and power, things that we need. But only 6% goes on that. However, we do use the rest for our needs. But what needs? We can take jobs closer to home. We can choose to go on trips closer to home. We can choose to use planes less, and go on less overseas holidays. We don't need to keep making new plastics. We could potentially recycle them. We can even choose to make products out of other materials we can grow. That would require a more frugal lifestyle, that would be more inconvenient, but would potentially decrease our use of oil to 1/10th of current demand.

This shows that our use of oil is mostly for ease of comfort. We are fighting wars to protect oil, and causing accidents like the BP spill, not to secure our needs, but to secure our luxuries, and to ensure we don't really need to think how to do things more productively.

Not the result I expected when I started this post. But then, evidence is supposed to show us when we are wrong, and in this case, it has shown me when I was wrong.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 626
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/1/2010 10:53:48 PM

As corporations took greater and greater control over governance

...because there are government agencies controlled by government workers who they are able to pay off...


The solution to corporate takeover is not more government. This is what the has been tried for decades. It has only made the problem worse. Adding more government power over the economy (which necessarily includes the environment) only means those with the lawyers and the lobbyists will control those powers. That is an inconvenient, de facto reality of real-world politics and explains why corporations have grown in power along with the state.

The solution? Sever this connection between government and corporations. How? By repealing its controls over the economy. That is the only thing that will give land-owners - the ones with the most incentive to maintain the value of their property the ability to protect it.

Under this system, you will even find corporations that now own valuable land (instead of leasing it from the government) will act in ways we would consider "more responsible".

This isn't just text-book theory, as I have been accused of dozens of times in these forums. This is exactly what happened in South America after massive privatization of land. Companies that were polluting rivers when they were exercising their leased mineral rights stopped doing so after they bought the land. Why? Because they found they could contain their pollution for a relatively small price and compared to what they could sell/rent out the land for private home property use.

This, sadly is what is so common. All of us science-minded folk know that this waste can be contained for relatively very little and we know that there are alternative, less enviornmentally-impactive ways of extracting minerals from land than what many companies are currently doing. The problem is, most of us are going about it the "wrong" way. They think they can get laws passed and agencies formed that will force companies to comply with their demands. But after decades of only making the problem worse, this method has shown to be a complete failure. It has succeeded only in giving power to lawyers and lobbyists, and those who pay them.

That system separates those with an incentive to maintain the land from those who control the land and those who use the land. To the extent we can unify these incentives, I believe we can see the land used more "responsibly".
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 627
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/1/2010 11:06:44 PM

This can be found in car manufacturing. Petrol engines normally break down after a few years and need replacing, but their gearboxes rarely need replacing. Diesel engines seemingly last forever. But the gearboxes of diesel cars break down and need replacing quite often. It was suggested to me that the gearboxes of diesel cars are deliberately made with a fault in them, that makes them break down, because if they weren't, then you could run a diesel car almost forever, and then everyone would buy diesel cars, which would run forever, and hardly any new cars would be bought.

Reliability is one of the most important factors one considers which car to buy. Companies know this, which is why the compete with how strong of a warranty they offer.

Toyota is fretting over a tarnished image of being a reliable auto manufacturer.

I won't deny that this ever happened (can't prove a negative) but what I can say is that it is irrational for an auto manufacturer to believe it is in their best interest to build a car that breaks down after a few years and expect the consumer to buy from his/her company again. What he would in fact be doing would be giving his customers away to other companies.

If this did occur many years ago, then it has surely backfired by making the public extremely concerned about the reliability of the car they choose to purchase.

Still it is sad to see that GM is being propped up when its factories and plants could have easily been sold to an all-electric startup for pennies on the dollar in bankruptsy court. Also, all of the costs and rules and regulations a new auto company needs to meet in order to manufacture cars large-scale in the US are so enormous and complex that we have far fewer choices and a far less adaptive and dynamic auto industry than we otherwise would have.

That, and to a lesser extent, enforcement of "intellectual property".
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 628
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 2:31:32 AM
RE Msg: 636 by Ubiquitous.:
Reliability is one of the most important factors one considers which car to buy. Companies know this, which is why the compete with how strong of a warranty they offer.

Toyota is fretting over a tarnished image of being a reliable auto manufacturer.
You are absolutely right. Most people would rather buy a car that is guaranteed to work for 5 years, even if after that, it falls apart completely, so long as you get signs when it is falling apart. That way, you know when to buy a new car, and your car is always reliable. So as long as you keep buying a new car when the old one seems to be wearing out, you always have a reliable car.

I won't deny that this ever happened (can't prove a negative) but what I can say is that it is irrational for an auto manufacturer to believe it is in their best interest to build a car that breaks down after a few years and expect the consumer to buy from his/her company again. What he would in fact be doing would be giving his customers away to other companies.
Only if some other company can produce the same quality of car, without inbuilt obsolescence, and sell it for the same price or less than their competitors. That's why establishing inbuilt obsolescence requires a certain understanding of the market, and a certain agreement between the major manufacturers of your product, which requires a certain organisation of your market into an industry-specific organisation. Without such an organisation, companies would do exactly as you supposed, that some would advertise their lack of use of inbuilt obsolescence to gain a greater appeal to customers.

However, we do live in a society in which almost every industry has such organisations that allow all the major manufacturers to sit down at the same table, and make agreements across the industry. So it's irrational not to make such industry-wide agreements, that will keep your customers buying your products forever, not when you can eliminate the dangers of competition.

Of course, there are always those people who won't play ball. But what type of company would not want to embrace inbuilt obsolescence, when everyone else will? Only a company that wants to use lack of inbuilt obsolescence as a UPS. Well, if they won't play by the same rules as everyone else, then they are declaring war on everyone else. So a bidding war erupts to get rid of them. Prices drop to rock-bottom. Everything is sold at a loss. Assets diminish. Who wins, is who can last the longest before everyone else goes bankrupt.

Usually it's the smaller, newer companies that won't play ball. The major and established manufacturers are normally already part of the organisation. However, the smaller the company, the less the profits, and the shorter time the company has been in operation, the less time it has had to accumulate those profits as assets. So normally, a company who won't play ball, has only a tiny fraction of the assets that most of the organisation-led companies do, and they are made bankrupt. A few of the smaller companies in the organisation are lost as well. But that's collateral damage. The company that won't play ball, threatens everyone, and so they must join, or be eliminated, and they almost always either end up joining, or going bankrupt.

It's been done before, many times, on the small scale, and on the large scale.

If this did occur many years ago, then it has surely backfired by making the public extremely concerned about the reliability of the car they choose to purchase.
Longevity is not the same as reliability at all. Reliability is how reliable your product is, during the time that it is promised to last. If that is fairly sure, then after say 5 years, the product is worthless, but for the first 5 years, the product is reliable. So as long as you keep buying cars every 5 years, your car is always reliable.

However, such behaviour does worry customers, as it means you cannot really trust manufacturers to do what is in your interest. That is why customer loyalty used to be guaranteed, and now, customer loyalty is rarer than platinum.

Still it is sad to see that GM is being propped up when its factories and plants could have easily been sold to an all-electric startup for pennies on the dollar in bankruptsy court.
I agree that it could have been allowed to go bankrupt. I agree that if an electric-startup company had bought it, then it would have been quite good for America in the long term.

However, GM is a lot more than just a car manufacturer with some factories in the USA. GM is recognised as a huge American company that deliberately acts in American interests, as well as its own. It has a similar status to the East India Trading Company did for Britain. So what is good for GM, is good for America, and what is good for America, is what is good for GM. Thus, to allow GM to fall, is like saying you don't mind if America goes bankrupt when it runs out of dollars.

Also, when property seized from bankruptcy is sold cheaply, the reason is that it is put to auction, to recover as much money as possible. People go to auction, for what they can get new somewhere else, precisely because it is much cheaper there. So you never get the best price at auction. But you do get a quick sale, and that maximises the capital you can raise from the property in the short term. However, that still means that anyone can bid for it. Doubtless, other car companies would bid for those machines as well, maybe not American car manufacturers, but Chinese car-makers would, and they would pay more to get them, as they would get the machines they need for the budding Chinese economy, for "pennies on the dollar", as you put it.

The U.S. government could refuse to allow them entry to the auction. But that would be seen as stopping the creditors get as much of their money back as possible, and so would represent severe interference in the markets, just to make America look big and strong, to the cost of the people. So that would put the U.S. government against its own citizens.

So the U.S. has little choice. China buys those machines, and takes over GM's share of the market, and the American economy suffers, which means Americans suffer, or it props up GM.

Unfortunately, a global marketplace means that a freely unregulated market helps those who are willing to work hardest for the least money, and that's the Chinese. So a global marketplace means the free market means Americans become poor. So in the current state of the world, a global marketplace means the free market is opposed to American interests.

The only way forwards for the free market system, is to let companies and governments rise and fall, according to the law of supply and demand, and in this time, that means we let America go to the wall.

Also, all of the costs and rules and regulations a new auto company needs to meet in order to manufacture cars large-scale in the US are so enormous and complex that we have far fewer choices and a far less adaptive and dynamic auto industry than we otherwise would have.
True. However, a car is an incredibly dangerous product.

As long as it is active, it is running an internal combustion engine, generating the equivalent of several petrol bombs every second. It is moving at high speed. Without an extremely accurate balancing and speed-controlling systems, it would throw the driver and the passengers into rocks at very high speed, and easily can hit someone at very high speed. All in all, it's an incredibly dangerous machine, one that would kill many drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, if not for the high levels of safety measures and quality control. But to achieve all that, any car manufacturer has to have a huge expense in setting up a factory to include all the necessary measures for very high quality control of every one of their products.

After all, if something does go wrong with quality control, that allows even a small portion of cars to be released with less than reliable components, such as the brakes on Toyota cars, the results could be disaster.


That, and to a lesser extent, enforcement of "intellectual property".
Intellectual property is a consequence of a freely unregulated market. If you spend much time coming up with a good idea that no-one else has, and you have no intellectual property, then the minute you make them, someone else will reverse engineer them and copy them. So without intellectual property, it's not worth investing in any new idea, no matter how good it is, or how useful it is for humanity. For that reason, the investors on Dragon's Den won't touch any new product unless you either have a patent on your product, or you have a contract guaranteeing exclusive rights to sell that product from the patent-owners. It's one of the first questions they ask every budding entrepreneur.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 629
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History
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 3:06:38 AM
"The solution? Sever this connection between government and corporations. How? By repealing its controls over the economy. That is the only thing that will give land-owners - the ones with the most incentive to maintain the value of their property the ability to protect it.

Under this system, you will even find corporations that now own valuable land (instead of leasing it from the government) will act in ways we would consider "more responsible". "

Nice theory Ubiq...
In the world of reality, corporations buy land, liquidate the minerals, pollute their neighbors for hundreds of miles downstream, blow up mountains and fill in valleys, strip mine soil nutrients, fill the air with poisons that cross property lines, fill up hazardous waste dumps with leaky liners, and generally act like azzholes in all manner of ways. Ownership to corporations is just temporary and often a liability. Corporations often act like your worst nightmare of a neighbor.....

My theory would be closer to treating them like persons, since that's what they claim to be now as they buy candidates. If we treated BP as a person, the top executives would be in jail awaiting trial, some would be getting life sentences, some executed, their assets seized, the victims compensated, and a trust fund set up for the thousands of future victims of this criminal act.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 631
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 9:38:04 AM
This post is in response to Sarniafairyboy's message # 615.

1. I did not say there should be no questions asked about the pardon of Marc Rich. I think it was an abuse. It was a LEGAL abuse, and yes, it stank. Clinton should have been much more viciously criticized over it. Frankly, that power OUGHT to be abolished, but that will take a Constitutional amendment.

2. Legal ethics are imposed on attorneys regardless of whom they act for.

If you have an issue with what an attorney is doing on behalf of BP or any other company, learn legal ethics yourself, learn how to draft complaints to governing bodies and put your money where your mouth is.

For every attorney acting for BP, there are probably 2 or 3 holding them to account for their actions.

3. You accuse me of hypocrisy, which is interesting. I personally do not own or drive a car: for environmental reasons. I have also personally planted over a million trees over the course of several summers spent working in reforestation. Can you say either of those things?

4. There is nothing hypocritical in insisting on holding oil companies to account for environmental violations, whether you use their products or not. They are making vast profits, which is a clear enough indication that they can handle the financial imposition of tough environmental standards that would be more effective.

BP also has a worse environmental and safety record than it's competitors.
 mr.evil
Joined: 11/14/2009
Msg: 632
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 10:45:36 AM
"Legal ethics are imposed on attorneys regardless of whom they act for."

This made me laugh! Hahahahaha!!!

Now that maybe so in Canada, or at least it MAY be taken more serious. Here in the good ol USA, lawyers are the equivelant of Jackals, hyena's and Vultures. The ethics committee of Bar associations rarely do anything but slap them lightly on the wrist. The fuking lawyer would have to kill someone "directly" in order to receive disbarment! Hahahahaha!!

Do you believe those jokes came from nowhere? Besides far too many lawyers hire people to do their dirty work, then "claim" they had no idea of what that person was doing.

In addition most all politicians ARE lawyers. So the odds of changing their behavior is slim and none, and guess what, slim just left! How many senators and congressman have been ousted, resigned or driven from office for illegal acts, recieving bribes. I'm not even going to talk about those who commit immoral acts of a heinous nature. NOTHING ever happens to them, they just leave office and hang up their stained shingle and go about life as though nothing were wrong or happened. Do you believe for a moment Representative Rangel will be disbarred, despite receiving 600K in questionable money?

In my mind, I sometime fantasize about a time when the citizenry wakes up, figures it and hangs them all!! We would be soooooo much better off.

Right now somewhere there are a room full of them figuring out how to get BP off the hook, if not for all, certainly for much of what they did. When you stop and think about it in those terms, what "ethics" could those subhuman lawyers have?

Hahahahaha! They are just scum.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 633
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 10:57:04 AM
The solution to corporate takeover is not more government.

That's true, but your idea of less government and my idea of less government are quite different. For example, my idea of less government would be to not allow corporations to be considered people and therefore not be covered as people under the Bill of Rights. That eliminates any right to lobby.

Under this system, you will even find corporations that now own valuable land (instead of leasing it from the government) will act in ways we would consider "more responsible".

You seem to be ineducable. What incentive do corporations or even individuals have to be ``more responsible'' with thir land? What incentive is there to not dump toxic waste and allow it to contaminate the ground water on the property of others? Brazil tried asking the world for money to preserve the rainforests, but had no takers, so the timber industry is deforesting the rainforests. The only reason that Brazilian Rosewood is not extinct is because it is now on the endangered species list.

Companies that were polluting rivers when they were exercising their leased mineral rights stopped doing so after they bought the land. Why? Because they found they could contain their pollution for a relatively small price and compared to what they could sell/rent out the land for private home property use.

Wrong. What companies did was privatize the water supply and made water very expensive. Bechtel was thrown of several countries for that reason. Privatization has led to revolutions which have put despotic regimes into power which, in general, have become enemies of the US and actually served their citizens better. Venezuela is an example. When Chavez came to power, 97% of the rural land was owned by 10% of the population and the land just sat there doing nothing. Chavez intervened and began redistributing that land to people who would actualy use it.

This isn't just text-book theory, as I have been accused of dozens of times in these forums.

Actually, it's not even a textbook theory, since even Adam Smith recogized the importance of giving ;abor the same freedom as corportations. You only address half of the equation, so we aren't talking about a theory here. We're talking about sound bites and cliches you've picked up on without any critical thinking.

All of us science-minded folk know that this waste can be contained for relatively very little and we know that there are alternative, less enviornmentally-impactive ways of extracting minerals from land than what many companies are currently doing.

Well, I'm a ``science minded folk'' and I think you're talking out your azz. Give me an example of waste that can be contained for very little and then tell me why a company has any incentive to contain it at all. Which minerals do you know of that can be extracted in a less environmentally harmful way that also provides incentive for anyone to do that?

If there was an environmentally safer way to extract minerals or dump toxic waste that also provided incentive for doing so, comanies would save themselves the effort of dealing with regulations by just being environmentally safer.

That system separates those with an incentive to maintain the land from those who control the land and those who use the land.

The reason those things are seperate and can't be unified is because of a thing called a covenant, in particular, a covenant that runs with the land. In other words, when you buy a house, you buy the land, not the mineral rights. Whether or not the owner of the mineral rights is the government or a private individual is irrelevant. The only way to transfer mneral rights would be to have the government intervene and restrict land owners from selling the land without selling the mineral rights. That would violate your right to create a contract with a buyer. For the same reason, if you buy a house which is covered by a homeowner's association, you have no right to opt out of the homeowner's association if you don't like the rules. That is also a covenant that runs with the land and you don't get to opt out (except by moving elsewhere). Homeowner's associations are not government entities, yet they can tell you what you can and can't do with your land. (I'm all for eliminating zoning laws and homeowner's associations, though.) You've been reading to many freeper web sites.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 634
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 12:59:46 PM
@ Mr. Evil-- There isn't much point having a discussion with you on this subject.

You are basically determined to judge all lawyers as being inherently bad. That's basically a belief system that's impervious to evidence or counter-examples.

I rather doubt you could explain how to file a disciplinary complaint against a lawyer, let alone the discuss actual content of any disciplinary decision rather than things you *think* you have heard in the media.

@ Abelian: Abolishing independent legal personality for corporations would not eliminate lobbying. The lobbying would simply be done by other means. Lobbying certainly existed in the U.S. and Canada prior to the advent of independent legal personality for corporations and incorporation-on-demand and it will continue to exist if they are abolished.

Abolishing independent legal personality for corporations always struck me as an excellent idea, but for completely independent reasons. Read Bakan's The Corporation and you'll see what I mean.

As far as the issue of "What incentive is there to not dump toxic waste and allow it to contaminate the ground water on the property of others?" a decent incentive **would** be the elimination of the independent legal personality of the corporation and very aggressive CRIMINAL prosecution of polluters.

It is a solution that would be less effective in countries with relatively corrupt legal systems, as polluters will bribe their way out, but that's a more general problem with corruption rather than the existence or use of environmental law per se. In the U.S., with extremely aggressive elected District Attorneys-- different story.

I don't know where you're going with Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, and independent legal personality for corporations and incorporation-on-demand did not show up until MUCH later, initially in New Jersey and New York statutes that were the model for statutes that spread across the U.S.

Commonwealth countries did not have it until 1862, as confirmed in Salomon v A Salomon & Co Ltd [1897] AC 22.

Your understanding of restrictive covenants is better than 99% of the population's, it seems to me, but still not entirely accurate.

Unless and until explicitly separated by a deed, oil and gas rights are owned by the surface landowner. Once severed from surface ownership, oil and gas rights may be bought, sold, or transferred, like other real estate property. (This is a VERY general statement and details can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction).

As a *practical* matter, most people acquiring real estate are only acquiring the fee simple interest in the surface, and NOT the oil, gas, mineral rights in the sub-surface. They never owned those rights to begin with-- they were severed long before.

There is nothing that would prevent a holder of a fee simple interest in the surface, from acquiring the oil, gas, mineral rights in the sub-surface, and then linking the two interests with a restrictive covenant, to prevent the sale of one without the other. It would be no breach of the freedom to contract, because the owner chose privately to set up the RC, and anyone buying the rights to both, took it with the RC.

I'm not aware of anyone doing it, though. All you would do would be to limit the value of your own assets.
 imalwayssmiling
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 635
view profile
History
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 1:36:02 PM
Who else is shocked at the amount of toxic dispersants were actually used,Coast Guard(well those at charge of the decisions)and BP need to be penalized for that,they act like it would not matter if human beings ate the seafood that those toxins are in.

Obama does not have a crystal ball,I feel he and almost all others learn most this stuff when we do.I would now only blame him if he didn't crack down on the governmental safety inspectors,BP and whom ever made the Coast guard decision to allow an already warped BP to use it,they ofcourse had no problem with the poison.

He hit BP with 20 billion of penalties thus far,more stricter very necessary regulations on the way,now I await the government agencies to receive some wrath,and as with the inspectors,prison terms are what I hope for,we shall see,hope I'm not disappointed
Here in the good ol USA, lawyers are the equivelant of Jackals, hyena's and Vultures. The ethics committee of Bar associations rarely do anything but slap them lightly on the wrist. The fuking lawyer would have to kill someone "directly" in order to receive disbarment! Hahahahaha!!Do you believe those jokes came from nowhere?
Nonsense,I have known,very ethical attorneys,your stereotyping the whole lot,that's just not fair nor accurate .Sure I feel the worst of them are jackals but many are very fine people.So with your logic,I assume all Polish are retarded,I mean after all do you think the jokes came from nowhere,also does this mean then all southerners are racist black haters,of course not and Blondes are all stupid,after all,those jokes all the school children are telling came from somewhere.

Sometimes your logic is really out there !
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 636
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/2/2010 3:37:10 PM
Abolishing independent legal personality for corporations would not eliminate lobbying.

It would eliminate lobbying by corporations. If a corporation is not a person, then the corporation is not entitled first amendment protection nor have a right to donate campaign money nor a right to government representation.

a decent incentive **would** be the elimination of the independent legal personality of the corporation and very aggressive CRIMINAL prosecution of polluters.

I agree, but Ubiquitous' argument is that government should not regulate those things and that the incentive to a landowner to not pollute would be motivated by profit. I'm asking him to give me an example of such incentive absent government regulation.

I don't know where you're going with Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, and independent legal personality for corporations and incorporation-on-demand did not show up until MUCH later, initially in New Jersey and New York statutes that were the model for statutes that spread across the U.S.

My reference to Adam Smith was with regard to Ubiquitous' notion of a free market. It has nothing to do with legal personality for corporations. Ubiquitous argues for free markets, but his idea of free markets does not include a free market for labor, which is fundanental to the idea of a free market.


There is nothing that would prevent a holder of a fee simple interest in the surface, from acquiring the oil, gas, mineral rights in the sub-surface, and then linking the two interests with a restrictive covenant, to prevent the sale of one without the other. It would be no breach of the freedom to contract, because the owner chose privately to set up the RC, and anyone buying the rights to both, took it with the RC.

My point was exactly that. In order to force the transfer of mineral rights with the land, the government would have to force it precisely because no one is going to do exactly what you just described voluntarily. Ubiquitous seems to think that people would do this.

 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 637
view profile
History
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/3/2010 12:44:39 AM
albien


My reference to Adam Smith was with regard to Ubiquitous' notion of a free market. It has nothing to do with legal personality for corporations. Ubiquitous argues for free markets, but his idea of free markets does not include a free market for labor, which is fundanental to the idea of a free market.


In what way have I proposed ideas that promote anything other than a free market in labor? I support complete open borders among nations. Sure, I realize that some nations harm themselves by not participating, but that doesn't mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater is appropriate. Free trade will just raise those nations' productivity at a faster rate relative to those countries that don't participate.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 638
view profile
History
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/3/2010 5:04:41 AM
"first you must prove its a criminal act ... and that is yet to be established.
second ... its an international case ... so .... more problems with any of that scenario.
Just emotional talk and no base in fact."

BP and Massey Energy types of criminal acts tend to up up with fines or a few personel changes. If they were held to the same standards as citizens are held to, they would be held on suspicion of manslaughter, since there is the fact of all those dead bodies, there are facts on negligent behavior the were causal, and the fact of their long rap sheets for similar crimes. Just facts. If you or I poisoned a few thousand people, or blew up a dozen or two by accident, we would not be roaming the streets until trial.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 639
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/3/2010 7:18:51 AM
@ Abelian:

1. Well, sure, *technically* it would eliminate lobbying *by corporations* if corporations did not exist, in exactly the same way that we could generate a 100% decline in illegal drug possession charges overnight, by eliminating the prohibition on drug possession.

Would it lead to a net decline in lobbying by, for example, individuals or trusts or associations or (fill in the blank) involved in the same economic activities that those formerly-existing corporations *used* to be involved in?

Absent changes in the laws governing lobbying, um, no, it would not. Lobbying existed before the advent of independent legal personality for corporations and it would persist after its abolition.

2. I was not addressing Ubitquitous' argument with respect to pollution, but rather yours. Landowners will only have a profit incentive not to pollute where they can easily make more money with their land through uses that do not pollute it-- so to that extent, I clearly agree with you.

Obviously those uses do not exist now, in the case of oil-rich land (because the owners would be engaged in them, right?), and even moreso in offshore cases, where we are talking about leases from national or sub-national governments-- often under shaky legal bases-- of something that is not even 'land', technically speaking.

Much of the sea is unfortunately a de facto commons, which explains why its ecological resources are being recklessly destroyed and over-exploited.

3. "Free market" fundamentalism makes little sense even on its own premises.

Much of it is based in Lockean versions of human psychology, the notion that we are somehow rational actors that pursue our own enlightened best interests. Actual empirical research in behavioural economics reveals we are actually systematically *irrational* in all kinds of consistent ways. And we hardly need the lab-coat types to tell us something that the people in advertising and insurance have known and applied for decades.

4. We've never had a "free" market for labour. It is something that never has existed, any more than a truly "free" market in land has ever existed. To create anything like it would probably require dismantling both the entire body of citizenship and immigration law that exists (at least on paper) in virtually every country (with the possible exception of Somalia, Afghanistan and a few other de facto anarchies, where the so-called law hardly matters) and permitting free passage for anyone through any "border".

A "free" market in labour, on those terms, verges on the impossible, in practical terms. A state with no border controls and no citizenship laws would have a very hard time even determining who would have voting rights and who would not, or even determining who was who at the level of personal identity.

If you had true free movement of capital (which we do not, now), it would be more or less impossible to even enforce contracts, because anyone subject to an "obligation" they did not feel like complying with, would simply transfer their capital beyond the reach of enforcement.

It's a little bit odd to even talk about a "free" market in land, because property rights are a pure creation of government-- unless you buy into some variant of a Natural Law theory that considers property rights somehow inherent in 'nature' or human beings' relationship to 'nature'. As an aside, if you tried to suggest to a serious anthropologist that fee simple ownership was inherent in nature (or human nature), you'd probably get either eye-rolling, laughter or condescension. But we've never really had a "free" market in land.

Just to talk about England as a single example, it went from land as a feudal tenure or estate, with inherent restrictions on transfers for money, to something freely transferable for money but burdened with zoning restrictions, environmental laws etc. etc. etc. over the course of a long historical evolution that took centuries. There never was a "free" market in land outside of Lockean fantasies.

The U.S. is no different.

"Land" in the way we are talking about never really existed under the various native nations, which had an array of customary rights and obligations that varied wildly from nation to nation, as well as conflicting claims to contradictory rights over all kinds of areas.

Just talking about the Manhattan portion of New York alone, it went from the native regime, through a dubious episode of either fraud (by the Dutch or the Canarsee, depending on who you believe), mutual miscomprehension or technology transfer, to the Dutch civil-law patroon system of land holding, to English common law fee simple, to post-Revolutionary allodial tenure in fee simple, to the current state of property law complete with zoning restrictions, environmental laws and the like.

5. That Ubiquitous would think people *would* do what you are talking about voluntarily, is a bit odd. They CAN do it NOW, without requiring any changes in regulation. The fact that they do not do it now-- well, other than because they are unaware that they could do it-- speaks volumes. They *would* do it IF it was to their financial advantage, but in current conditions it just isn't.

But that is free market fundamentalism for you. Often it involves persistent and wilful denial of both obvious facts and well documented history, in favour of a fantasy version of both human behaviour and an imagined past that never existed.

The fact that Ronald Reagan manages to take credit, for example, for massive increases in the productivity of rail freight and venture capital, due to deregulation, (to pick two examples) is often adopted as a pretext for the unfounded assumptions that deregulation has anything to do with anything Adam Smith wrote, that its impact everywhere would be the same, and that it had anything to do with the internal collapse of the Soviet Union.

It's bizarre, and like many bizarre-but-self-consistent belief systems (Freudian psychiatry, for example) it's largely immune to internal or external correction.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 640
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/3/2010 9:44:17 AM
2. I was not addressing Ubitquitous' argument with respect to pollution, but rather yours. Landowners will only have a profit incentive not to pollute where they can easily make more money with their land through uses that do not pollute it-- so to that extent, I clearly agree with you.

What I said about incentive was in the context of Ubiquitous' argument. I can certainly think of lots of incentives to deter pollution, but those are the incentives that Ubiquitous is arguing to eliminate. Ubiquitous is arguing that self interest without government regulation will be sufficient incentive. Obviously, that isn't true, since I can make more money polluting than I can being environmentally friendly unless some regulation (like criminal penalties) deters me.

4. We've never had a "free" market for labour. It is something that never has existed, any more than a truly "free" market in land has ever existed. To create anything like it would probably require dismantling both the entire body of citizenship and immigration law that exists (at least on paper) in virtually every country (with the possible exception of Somalia, Afghanistan and a few other de facto anarchies, where the so-called law hardly matters) and permitting free passage for anyone through any "border".

Yes, I know that. I've mentioned that in previous posts.

A "free" market in labour, on those terms, verges on the impossible, in practical terms. A state with no border controls and no citizenship laws would have a very hard time even determining who would have voting rights and who would not, or even determining who was who at the level of personal identity.

That's my point. If someone wants to tout the virtues of a free market, he/she needs to address exactly those issues. Otherwise, we aren't talking about any free market ideology. All we're talking about is preferences on government regulation, not a theoretical construct. I'm just not going to debate ideology with someone like Ubiquitous, when what he's talking about is not the ideology he seems to think it is. I expect him to tell me how the lack of regulation on corporations is offset by some benefit to a labor market that is at a disadvantage by the regulations that keep them from competing in the same markets as the goods they produce compete.

That Ubiquitous would think people *would* do what you are talking about voluntarily, is a bit odd.

I agree, which is why I asked him for an example. My basic point is that Ubiquitous is very naive.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 641
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 8/3/2010 10:56:03 AM
@ Abelian:

"I expect him to tell me how the lack of regulation on corporations is offset by some benefit to a labor market that is at a disadvantage by the regulations that keep them from competing in the same markets as the goods they produce compete."

And in the case of the Deepwater Horizon, that is going to be pretty difficult to do, for a bunch of reasons.

1. It's pretty hard to argue that the absence or lax enforcement of safety regulations is somehow a 'benefit' to the workers who were supposed to be protected by those regulations-- many of whom were killed in this disaster.

2. Deepwater Horizon was technically a ship, and operated under a flag of convenience, that of the Republic of the Marshall Islands-- no doubt for an array of reasons, many of which may just include fun activities like tax avoidance and taking advantage of lax safety regulations.

Here you have a clear case of forum or jurisdiction-shopping by BP, to select for what they perceived as the most advantageous regime of regulation-- the one that allowed them to get away with the most.

3. The U.S. ought to ban the practice of using flags of convenience. It would be trivial for the U.S. Congress to do.

There is really no defensible reason for that practice to be allowed. As soon as you are passing any kind of health or safety regulation at all, you are assuming that that standard is the minimum one that should apply to your citizens.

It is completely hypocritical to just leave open a flagrant loophole that anyone who knows the first thing about Maritime law is well aware of, one that permits corporations to impose upon workers the most lax regime of health and safety regulation that they can shop the world to find.

Flag registries in flag-of-convenience countries basically amount to countries selling a pretext to impose their weak health and safety laws on workers who are never even told in any way what they are getting in for.

How on Earth can that be informed consent, and how on Earth can that amount to a "free" market in labour when the workers do not even understand, nor are they told, that indefensibly lax health and safety laws are part of the deal?

No one lets a company contract out of health and safety laws on the ground, why should it be acceptable out on the Ocean? To put the ecology of the Ocean at risk also?

They already ban bribery of officials of other governments in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, they could easily ban any company from doing business in the U.S. market if it employs a flag of convenience in its operations anywhere in the world.
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