Lack of perceivable incentives to change

Our friendly politicians (by “our”, I mean the US) have helped (whether this was their intention or not) to create this. The economic collapse wasn’t allowed to happen because of the banking bail-out(s), which essentially meant that no one there learned any lesson except that they were “too big to fail”. This sort of means that reality is on hold for them and they can keep making more of the crazy kinds of decisions they were making circa 2006, with no fear of repercussion. If only life were that easy for the little fish!

Probably it would’ve made more sense to bail out individual mortgages and let the banks fail (ala Iceland), but they didn’t and they haven’t. Our only hope is that the US government (and the UK government, and all the other major players on the financial field) get it together and manage to pass some regulations that have meaning. Then I suppose they will have to give their regulating bodies some power to actually regulate.

Environmentally, we’re seeing the same problems with slightly different uniforms – lack of incentives financially rather than morally. In the US, the EPA, the regulating body who decides matters of potential environmental and human impact, (they do things like decide whether a pesticide is safe for use on food) rely on research carried out by the very corporations who stand to gain from having their substance pass. Okay, it seems to make sense to place the burden of proof on those who want to license something for use, but the problem is the strength of these proofs. They aren’t required, for example, to look at effects of substances on subsequent generations that may be affected. Overall, it seems to me to be a massive conflict of interests — especially when for most corporations, their only real interest is the bottom line, and making money for their stakeholders.

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