Saturday, May 22, 2010

Obama blames Gulf oil disaster on breakdown at BP | Reuters

Below is one of today's headlines from Reuters, and a link to the article. Unfortunately, the President is 100 percent wrong. What happened at BP was not any type of "breakdown", but an example the way capitalism works without genuine government regulation and oversight. This is not an example of "bad people" but of a a flawed system.

Businesses in a pure "ideal" capitalist economy are beholden to their owners only and to required to produce profit for their owners. Period. Businesses are not beholden to the public, to their customers (except to the extent that they need customers to make a profit for their owners), and most especially businesses are not beholden to "the environment" or to the human species. The only thing that can change this is "interference" by government, in the form of laws and regulations, regular inspections and oversight, and fines, penalties, and in extreme cases shutting down operations when laws and regulations are not followed.

If our government does not provide this type of "interference" there is no reason on earth for a manager or executive in any business to spend money for safety measures, tests and retest, safety equipment, etc. The logic of a capitalist business is to cut costs wherever costs can be cut, to produce the greatest profit possible.

Obama blames Gulf oil disaster on breakdown at BP | Reuters

Photo: Bands of oil are seen near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana May 21, 2010. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Lee Celano

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