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Author Topic: Monopolies  (Read 5269 times)


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Re: Monopolies
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2006, 10:12:52 am »

if sharks are incredibly efficient killing machines then corporations are simply one great big, efficient, cost shifting machine - taking from what is classified as "unowned" by the neo-classicals of the environment and turning it into useful products and then using the environment as a dump socializing the costs.

Only a tiny minority of businesses damage the environment though (logging & mining companies are the only two I can think of at the top of my head, I am sure there are more) and the vast majority of those who do end up doing more to benefit the environment as they balance the scales (such as planting trees in their wake or raising the quality of life for locals resulting in less reliance on antiquated technology that does damage to the environment). Considered side by side I would say environmentalists are the real danger to humanity. They prevent technology & wealth from entering an area and are entirely anti-human. Not to mention their perchant for lying and doing their very best to suppress the truth (such as the complete nonsense surrounding man made global warming).

There is a very good documentary on this subject, trailer for it

the problem lies at the feet of the neo-classical revolution in economics which created what we call today the dismal science of economics (the classical liberals studied "political economy" a social science).

it is "dismal" because it was designed with an inherent flaw (we talked about in the environment post) that can only give us negative externalities and never give us true cost pricing.

I am not going to disagree that modern economics is lots of guff but not for that reason. Unless a corporation is dumping poisonous chemicals in to a water supply (which faced with civil suits they won't) the cost is represented by disposal costs. Just as the corporation itself has to avoid litigation from making people ill do too does any company contracted to dispose of waste.

so just like the shark killing being amoral we should think of the corporation as simply a reflection of it's internal nature.

we tried to create an amoral system of efficient distribution (invisible hand) and instead have wildly incentivized immoral behavior - the destruction of the environment and the violation of the rights of self-ownership of those excluded by the privilege to enclose what had formerly been owned in common as an individual equal access right.

the way to fix it is not so much to demonize corporations but rather to understand and address root causes.

I would strongly disagree that we are destroying the environment. In most areas of the world forested areas have grown since the beginning of the industrial revolution and I have yet to see any evidence suggesting that the tiny amount of damaging chemicals the world produces a year are not dealt with by the processes in nature designed to do just that.

I would also say that imparting collective ownership on the world's natural resources is the violation of rights of self-ownership. How can I secure resources to exist and prosper if everyone has equal rights to everything? How can I have property if the materials used to create that property are collectively owned and the space that property occupies is collectively owned?

If the environment exists for equal access then surely someone with large lung capacity should be penalized for not using their equal share of the air?
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