Friday, March 15, 2013

Somebody Should Write A Song About That

Trey Smith

In the United States everything is polluted.

Democracy is polluted with special interests and corrupt politicians.

Accountability is polluted with executive branch exemptions from law and the Constitution and with special legal privileges for corporations, such as the Supreme Court given right to corporations to purchase American elections.

The Constitution is polluted with corrupt legal interpretations from the Bush and Obama regimes that have turned constitutional prohibitions into executive branch rights, transforming law from a shield of the people into a weapon in the hands of government.

Waters are polluted with toxic waste spills, oil spills, chemical fertilizer run-off with resulting red tides and dead zones, acid discharges from mining with resulting destructive algae such as prymnesium parvum, from toxic chemicals used in fracking and with methane that fracking releases into wells and aquifers, resulting in warnings to homeowners near to fracking operations to open their windows when showering.

The soil’s fertility is damaged, and crops require large quantities of chemical fertilizers. The soil is polluted with an endless array of toxic substances and now with glyphosate, the main element in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide with which GMO crops are sprayed. Glyphosate now shows up in wells, streams and in rain.

Air is polluted with a variety of substances, and there are many large cities in which there are days when the young, the elderly, and those suffering with asthma are warned to remain indoors.

All of these costs are costs imposed on society and ordinary people by corporations that banked profits by not having to take the costs into account. This is the way in which unregulated capitalism works.
~ from Polluted America by Paul Craig Roberts ~
Oops, I forget. Tom Lehrer already did!

I addressed this same topic in a post on March 3. The only point with which I quibble with Roberts is on the qualification. It doesn't really matter if capitalism is unregulated or regulated -- externalization of costs still occurs. It is just that in unregulated capitalism, those costs are far higher.

In the more regulated form, big business spends much of its time figuring out how to skirt the rules as well as lobbying to weaken those rules. Some industries spend so much time and money trying to get around the rules that they actually might have saved some money by following them! But the nature of capitalism is to maximize short-term profit at all costs and if that means sacrificing the health and well-being of the unwashed masses, so be it.

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