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Guest Post: What Do BP And The Banks Have In Common? The Era Of Corporate Anarchy

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Submitted by Gonzalo Lira

(Update: I've cut material which I cannot support with convincing, unequivocal evidence regarding BP's actions immediately following the disaster of the Deepwater Horizon. These edits do not change or detract from the points about corporate anarchy that I am trying to make. Additionally, at the end of this piece, I provide a short discussion of BP share prices in NYSE and FTSE.)

On the occasion of the BP oil spill disaster, President Obama's delivered an Oval Office speech last night—a masterpiece of milquetoast faux-outrage. The speech was all about "clean energy" and "ending our dependence on fossil fuels". Faced with the BP oil spill—likely the most severe environmental disaster ever—this was President Obama's response: Polite outrage, and vague plans to "get tough", "set aside just compensation" and "do something".

President Obama missed what the BP oil spill disaster is really about. Though unquestionably an environmental disaster, the BP oil spill is much much more.

The BP oil spill is part of the same problem as the financial crisis: They are two examples of the era we are living in, the era of corporate anarchy.

In a nutshell, in this era of corporate anarchy, corporations do not have to abide by any rules—none at all. Legal, moral, ethical, even financial rules are irrelevant. They have all been rescinded in the pursuit of profit—literally nothing else matters.

As a result, corporations currently exist in a state of almost pure anarchy—but an anarchy directly related to their size: The larger the corporation, the greater its absolute freedom to do and act as it pleases. That's why so many medium-sized corporations are hell-bent on growth over profits: The biggest of them all, like BP and Goldman Sachs, live in a positively Hobbesian State of Nature, free to do as they please, with nary a consequence.

The added bonus to this, though, is that the largest corporations have convinced the governments and the people of the "Too Big To Fail" fallacy—they have convinced the world that if they cease to exist, the sky will fall atop our collective heads. So if they fail, they must be saved—without argument, without penalty, and without reform.

Let's take BP: British Petroleum caused the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. There were various Federal Government agencies charged with supervising their operations—but all of those agencies deferred to BP, before the accident. As a large corporation—one of the largest oil companies in the world—BP operated more or less without any Government supervision. As is emerging, because of this lax and toothless supervision, safety rules and procedures were ignored. Insane risks were taken. No safety contingency plans were drawn up.

From what some memos are saying, disaster was inevitable.

Once the accident happened, BP controlled the information it released concerning the disaster. BP unilaterally decided not to inform the general public, or allow independent scientists to see the raw data or take independent measurements. In the initial stages of the disaster—before it had become a political maelstorm—the decisions and course of action in dealing with the oil spill were determined solely by BP, while the general public and the U.S. government were pretty much left in the dark. This is akin to someone whose apartment has caught fire, but who decides to put out the fire himself with his own garden-hose, and refuses to either inform the other tenants of the building of the extent of the fire, or allow the authorities to provide assistance or supervision.

Where was Authority? Where was Someone In Charge? The fact was, there was no one in charge. There was no one supervising—or at any rate, the ones who were supposed to be supervising had had their teeth yanked. And BP knew it—so they did whatever they wanted, regardless of the risks, or the costs.

Worst of all, BP realizes that, if it finally cannot get a handle on the oil spill disaster, they can simply fob it off on the U.S. Government—in other words, the people of the United States will wind up cleaning BP's mess. BP knows that no one will hold it accountable—BP knows that it will get away with it.

No one was holding the banks accountable either. It's no accident that American and European banks nearly went broke, but banks here in Chile sailed along smoothly: That's because banks here are regulated up the wazoo. They literally can't fart without an independent banking inspector supervising them, and then getting a stamped form in triplicate. When Chile's banks went bust in the crisis of 1980, it put paid to any illusions that the banks knew what they were doing—the government bailed out the banks then, but kept them under glass ever after.

But in Europe and America, the story was the Greenspan Put. Easy Al was so convinced that the banks would "self-regulate" that he pulled the teeth of the Fed, the banks regulatory agency, and let the "free market" have its way.

With this free pass, what do you think the banks did? They went anarchic—they invented all sorts of clever "financial products" that exponentially increased risk, rather than mitigating it. We all saw how that movie ended. When Lehman busted and the credit markets froze, a slap-dash improvised "rescue package" was drawn up, then the $700 billion TARP, then Quantitative Easing, all of these efforts lubed up with a lot of talk to "strengthening the regulatory environment" and "protecting the financial markets".

The upshot? The banks did whatever they pleased—with no supervision. And when their recklessness led inevitably to the catastrophe in the Fall of '08, the banks got bailed out—with no repercussions. The biggest ones even managed to turn a profit off the tax payer-funded bail-outs!

Even after the worst of the crisis—when the effects of no regulation and no supervision were clearly understood—nothing happened. The zero-regulation, zero-supervision regime continued.

This isn't the case for people, for individuals: People are regulated, people are controlled. Individuals are supervised and limited in what they can do and say—and no one complains. On the contrary—everyone is relieved, because it protects us all from the unreasonable behavior of an individual.

As an individual, I am limited in countless ways, from the trivial, like jaywalking, to the severe, like murder. I can't even speak up and yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater—I would be arrested for inciting a panic, the general good of avoiding a potentially lethal stampede overriding my need to express myself by yelling "Fire!" when there is none.

Curiously, individuals—ordinary people—are being supervised and regulated more and more stringently. Yet at the same time, corporations are becoming more and more free to do as they please. No one notices how strange this is—we have even lost the social framework to even talkabout regulating and supervising corporations, because too many foolish pundits equate supervision and regulation with Socialism. Yet curiously, personal freedom is being chipped away, day by day, without a peep from these self-same "freedom-loving" pundits.

Meanwhile, the banks run amok.

Meanwhile, BP runs amok.

We can look at other industries—Big Pharma, for one—but there's no real need: Big Pharma will fit the same pattern as BP and the banks. Get so big that you can do whatever you want, and no one will challenge you, not even the government. Carry out practices that will inevitably create a crisis—like unsafe drilling, like toxic bonds—and be confident that you will be bailed out.

Bailed out, and allowed to continue, unfettered. "Allowed" to continue, unfettered? I'm sorry, I mis-spoke: Encouraged to continue, unfettered. After all, the banks continued with their practices, and added some predatory new ones for good measure. And though there was talk of a moratorium on deep-water off-shore drilling, more drilling seems to be apace ("Drill, baby! Drill!!").

This era of corporate anarchy is reaching a crisis point—we can all sense it. Yet the leadership in the United States and Europe is making no effort to solve the root problem. Perhaps they don't see the problem. Perhaps they are beholden to corporate masters. Whatever the case, in his speech, President Obama made ridiculous references to "clean energy" while ignoring the cause of the BP oil spill disaster, the cause of the financial crisis, the cause of the spiralling health-care costs—the corporate anarchy that underlines them all.

This era of corporate anarchy is wrecking the world—literally, if you've been tuning in to images of the oil billowing out a mile down in the Gulf of Mexico.

I think we are at the fork in the road: One path leads to revolutionary change, if not outright revolution. The other, appeasement and stasis, as the corporations grind the country down.

My own sense is, there will be no revolutionary change. The corporations won. They won when they convinced the best and brightest—of which I used to be—that the only path to success was through a corporate career. No necessarily through for-profit corporations—Lefties never seem to quite get how pernicious and corporatist the non-profits really are; or perhaps they do know, but are clever enough not to criticize them, since those non-profits and NGO's pay for their meals.

Obama is a corporatist—he's one of Them. So there'll be more bullshit talk about "clean energy" and "energy independence", while the root cause—corporate anarchy—is left undisturbed.

Once again: Thank God I no longer live in America. It's too sad a thing, to watch while a great nation slowly goes down the tubes.

—————————————

Parenthetically, regarding BP’s share price:

Between April 20, the date of the disaster, and May 12, the release of the video feed of the broken pipe which we all know so well, the price of BP shares (NYSE) slid in a very slow, very controlled manner, from 60 to 48.5—that is, just shy of 20% in three weeks. The volume of shares spiked to 157 million on May 3 (share price 50), following a run-up in volume on the previous three trading days; before that, volume had fluctuated between 5 and 10 million shares a day. Then, after the release of the live video feed on May 12, which only happened after severe congressional pressure, the stock plummeted to 29 by June 9—an additional 40% in four weeks, on volume roughly averaging 25 million shares per day, with spikes recently as high as 200 million shares.

In London’s FTSE, the initial spike in share volume was slightly earlier—April 30, there were 165 million shares traded at 576 pc. To compare, on April 21, the share price was 651 pc, on volume of 23 million shares; before the disaster, volume was between 15 and 30 million shares daily.

Without question, senior BP execs and the mutual funds with large BP positions would have known the true extent of the disaster almost immediately after the Deepwater Horizon went down. Presumably, while the true extent of the disaster was withheld from the general public, these corporate players would have had time to get out of BP stock. This is a reasonable inference—or else why keep the video feed under wraps for close to a month? Why prohibit independent scientists from measuring the flow-rate of the leak?

 


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Thu, 06/17/2010 - 21:53 | Link to Comment Mesquite
Mesquite's picture

!!

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 21:55 | Link to Comment VK
VK's picture


Good ol' Joe Bageant says it best; http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/05/lost-on.html#more

That common womb of American consciousness is dying. Slowly or rapidly, depending on how you assess the global ecocide and peak everything, it is dying. There will be resuscitations along the way, more massive infusions of money, fear and the rawest sort of fantasy fed to a mood and commodity drugged public. Still, its condition is terminal, because the hyperdrive consumer culture it was built to sustain, is itself unsustainable. Its appetite ate the world. In fact, so voracious is its appetite that even if our "consumer economy," (legalized feudal theft) sees a recovery, and resumes the level of growth required just to keep capitalism alive, it will die just that much faster. It is not in capitalism's DNA to care about the death of the earth. Nor is it in the brain chemistry of an American satiated on prime beef and sailing across the landscape at 70 miles per hour in a $40,000, steel exoskeleton from General Motors, to care. Hominid gratification is what it is -- hard wired -- and there is no circumventing it.

The system has just begun its crash, and already we are seeing an armed infantilized nation wail, hurl blame and do horrific things, the worst of which we do to one another (excluding sending predator drones after Middle Eastern school kids). Surveillance, witch hunts, destruction of civil liberties, and the government inching toward star chamber trials for those who do not display correct traits. Citizens embracing totalitarianism as stability in the face of the ultimate instability -- the death of the planet.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:24 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

 VK 

"Citizens embracing totalitarianism as stability in the face of the ultimate instability -- the death of the planet."

Once again the reason of Carlin will set you free.


George Carlin, “The Planet Is Fine”

We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet?

I’m getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

You wanna know how the planet’s doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet’s doing. You wanna know if the planet’s all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic…asshole.

So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that’s begun. Don’t you think that’s already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let’s see… Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh…viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

Well, that’s a poetic note. And it’s a start. And I can dream, can’t I? See I don’t worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we’re part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron…whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn’t punish, it doesn’t reward, it doesn’t judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:00 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

you have to agree..  and the planet is probably itching for us to start nuking each other to speed up our demise.

 

BUT  what people really mean when they say "save the planet" is "save the way the planet used to be" but hell the Indians would say we already totally fucked it to hell while some urban thug would only start bitching once the air is so thin that it gets hard to light a crack pipe

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:24 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Is this Carling guy a success? He  made such a mockery of the US citizens' way of thinking.

The  only way I see him be a success is that US citizens do not understand they are being mocked and take his comments for face value, not as the derisional mockery they are.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 09:01 | Link to Comment jailnotbail
jailnotbail's picture

Is this Carling guy a success? He  made such a mockery of the US citizens' way of thinking.

The  only way I see him be a success is that US citizens do not understand they are being mocked and take his comments for face value, not as the derisional mockery they are.

 

Well, you might say so. He had about a fifty-year career as a stand up comic and recorded fourteen HBO specials, the last one about  four months before he died at age seventy-one.

But you're right, U.S. citizens didn't really understand him, especially towards the end when he told them to their faces that they were a bunch of sheep, owned by an elite class that had been robbing and exploiting them for years, and that they had now resolved to steal their social security. 

He was a little early on that last point, but I give it a couple of years or so until it proves to be a solid hit.  After all, we've got to get rid of all these "unfunded liabililties" that we've been paying 14% of our wages to fund for the last thirty years, because the money has already been spent to fund tax cuts for the top few percent of income earners who run this plantation they call the United States of America. 

How else are we going to maintain those tax cuts for the elites and fund their wars all over the planet?

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 09:01 | Link to Comment jailnotbail
jailnotbail's picture

Is this Carling guy a success? He  made such a mockery of the US citizens' way of thinking.

The  only way I see him be a success is that US citizens do not understand they are being mocked and take his comments for face value, not as the derisional mockery they are.


Well, you might say so. He had about a fifty-year career as a stand up comic and recorded fourteen HBO specials, the last one about  four months before he died at age seventy-one.

But you're right, U.S. citizens didn't really understand him, especially towards the end when he told them to their faces that they were a bunch of sheep, owned by an elite class that had been robbing and exploiting them for years, and that they had now resolved to steal their social security. 

He was a little early on that last point, but I give it a couple of years or so until it proves to be a solid hit.  After all, we've got to get rid of all these "unfunded liabililties" that we've been paying 14% of our wages to fund for the last thirty years, because the money has already been spent to fund tax cuts for the top few percent of income earners who run this plantation they call the United States of America. 

How else are we going to maintain those tax cuts for the elites and fund their wars all over the planet?

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:57 | Link to Comment Inspector Asset
Inspector Asset's picture

So So true.

Its a sad state.

I am going to make a wager and say GS will be the bank making the disbursmentrs to the gulf victims, all 20 billion of it, eager Obama is to cut those checks to the victims. 20 bil in stimuluis over night.

 

RReminds me of FDR and had a program , some works program, where he paid people to dig ditches and and then paid other people to bury those ditches.  TVA maybe?

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 08:07 | Link to Comment blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

indeed, sad. And no one will every see a dime, less a few oil stained souls for the media to parade around with some BP or adminstration stooge with a giant check that all three must hold up, . By the time the bank and it's administration fees, attorney fees from all sides, income taxes, misc expenses, etc., etc., are deducted from the "promise to pay" there will be nothing there. And, let not forget about the arbitrator who will decide if that dollar is a bit over the top or not.

BP will drag this out for decades, until the claimants are dead from old age.

Every have a disagreement with your stock broker? Well, same thing ...all stacked against YOU.   And you are asked for the last 10 years of tax returns, police and credit reports, business affilations, and on and on. The "claimants" will scratch their heads and ask WHY all this. And BP will say 'to be sure you are not a criminal trying to scam us"! " To be sure you don't have a past history of scamming another oil company or some other Great American Industry".

I am in Florida and the hurt from this is staggering. Consumers and tourists are using it to blackmail businesses into giving discounts and money back promisses for no reason other than the MEDIA has painted the whole world black with oil. The Media sells a 100K dollar ad spot to broadcast speculation which stupid drink like cola, and our county has to spend 5 million with them to advertise that we are OK. Another example of an industry that practices anarchy against the citizens, they get paid to play both sides of the fence.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:54 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Brilliant find VK, thanks so much for sharing.

Searing, sad and so true.

In this fractal world we are all Americans. As an interesting experiment (with real intent behind it), I put up a page on my web-site asking people to help come and set up a Gulf Evacuation Assistance program. I offered to fund the initial development (I am not rich, nowhere as rich as some of the folks here probably), be the hub from where it could/should take off. I invited broad participation and plastered the link all over the place.

It was especially targeted to the hand-wringing arm-chair sitting, keyboard banging, educated, wealthy, well written activists here at ZH on all the BP pages and the folks over at the oil drum. I got hundreds of visits. And being that all the hand-wringers are regulars, I'm sure they were those among the hundreds of visitors.

Yet not one, not a one wrote in to even say, interesting, keep me posted if it picks up steam.

So, sitting here in India, I offered time, money and resources to get something going for a looming disaster in the USA and the only, single response I got was : and i quote "that is the gayest idea ever".

That about sums up the apathetic world we live in, helpless, even in the full knowledge of what is bearing down upon us.

Well said Mr. Bageant.

The train has left the station.

ORI
http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:39 | Link to Comment cossack55
cossack55's picture

Being a soldier in the Army of the Planet, it would have been counterproductive of me to assist.  This species developed out of anarchy, and now it is time to return to our roots. Have a good day.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 09:05 | Link to Comment G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

In this fractal world we are all Americans.

What a ridiculous statement.

Perhaps you need to step out your back door, and solicit your own countrymen to help you pull your own country out of the cesspool it's been in. Oh, wait a minute you have American's to help you do that. Get back.....I think your train has left the station.

 

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 06:31 | Link to Comment Thoreau
Thoreau's picture

I recommend Joe's book "Dear Hunting with Jesus;" especially if you're presently incarcerated in the South, lol.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:03 | Link to Comment E pluribus unum
E pluribus unum's picture

The reason that people are lookimg to "big government" to save them is the rapacious nature of "big corporations. That "safety" is an illusion.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:37 | Link to Comment jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

boy is it ever.  it shouldn't be, in a democracy, but it is.  and the most pernicious part, to me, is the supreme court's paramount value:  corporations may not be limited in their campaign contributions as that is the most important constitutional right to protect.  

extending the crimes of the prior administration, the current one claims that individual citizens may be assassinated at any time and place by executive order without appeal or, alternatively, secretly imprisoned for life without counsel or appeal and the supreme court, perhaps, makes minute adjustments in procedure, possibly requiring, say, congressional support.  but let congress try to limit political contributions, clearly a poorly disguised form of bribery and the fountainhead of most of our current political ills, and the law is summarily struck down with no expectation of resuscitation.  thanks.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:40 | Link to Comment Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

The reason people look to big gubmint is because they've long been over-coddled, have become soft, stupid, slothful, looking for an easy out, and haven't the brain-power to recognize that gubmint ain't a solution.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:41 | Link to Comment cossack55
cossack55's picture

Sadly, it has now become impossible to even beat that into their empty noggins.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 09:20 | Link to Comment jailnotbail
jailnotbail's picture

The reason people look to big gubmint is because they've long been over-coddled, have become soft, stupid, slothful, looking for an easy out, and haven't the brain-power to recognize that gubmint ain't a solution.

 

That's the popular perception in the post-Reagan era.  And after thirty years of government by politicians who espoused the same sentiment, and recreated government to reflect the implications of that sentiment, I have to say that it's hard to argue with it.

But believe it or not there was a time, roughly from the time of the New Deal until business interests captured the government with the election of Reagan, when government worked in this country, after a fashion.

It was deeply flawed even then, but at least it wasn't openly feeding off the labor of it's citizens.

And more importantly, people actually trusted government, and believed it was capable of  initiating societal change and transformation that would ultimately result in a better country for all.  Oh, I know, pure socialism.  Anything that contemplates government doing anything for the 90%  who don't own this country is of course.

But that's all over now anyway. Now, we bide our time in the predator state,
and cower in fear as we await the master class's execution of the final phase of their plan to impoverish and enslave us, reducing us to subjects to serve their needs and desires as long as they find us useful.  Until such time as they decide we are no longer worth the resources we consume, and are done with us.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:05 | Link to Comment percolator
percolator's picture

I got news for you, Corporatism isn't just happening here in the USA, but is happening in Europe and Asia too!

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:27 | Link to Comment Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Agreed.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:41 | Link to Comment MADinMelbourne
MADinMelbourne's picture

it's a global phenomenon, one key incident was when the Queen of England classified 'business' class on trains for (initially) product.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:06 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Hermits unite!

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:11 | Link to Comment Bearster
Bearster's picture

Let's not confuse regulation with law.  The former is more formally known as prior restraint.  If you "regulate a corporation" up the wazoo, then the corporation cannot act in any way without permission.  The latter is about convicting criminals--those who in fact have actually committed a crime.

The former is also known as fascism.  Private (non-coercive) action is strictly limited to whatever the government has granted you permission to do.  Your life, your property, and your liberty exists only at the good graces of the government.

The US was founded (but is no longer even close to) the opposite.  It was government that was strictly limited to powers enumerated in the Constitution.  And private action was unlimited except an enumerated list of crimes like murder and fraud.

If you say that fascism is better, then you have to ask: what makes the men of government better than the men of corporations?

And of course you have to be aware of the difference between a government and a corporation.  The former does what it does by force.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:14 | Link to Comment theopco
theopco's picture

When corporations control the government, then corporations are the government. They are the same. Even the most rabid, right wing idealogue would have to admit that corporations write the very laws that govern them, and indeed even the laws which govern their customers.

In what way are they separate from the government?

"And of course you have to be aware of the difference between a government and a corporation.  The former does what it does by force."

And now that corporations are the government, they have that power too, with the government as their proxy.

 

 

 

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 06:21 | Link to Comment Notenpresse
Notenpresse's picture

First off, I don't think you understand the terms "prior restraint", law and fascism the way you're loading and lobbing those terms around.

You then say "life, your property, and your liberty exists only at the good graces of the government." But this is in fact true! If "YOU" is a corporation of foreign individuals--"YOU" exist only on condition that "YOU" do not violate our inalienable and sovereign rights. It is a fundamental duty of a justice system to protect the rights of the weak against your plundering, pillaging oligarchs.

Now we're getting to the topic of how "The US was founded" This vast injustice you are attempting to frame-up as guilt of the elected government is perhaps the most stark example of the lack of the Sovereign Citizens of the US to protect their basic freedoms.

If the ability to protect national collective resources like sovereign waters and fisheries against British oppression and destruction by fraud is not part of the powers, then what exactly is the Government of the Democratic Republic to do? What is more clearly enumerated?

There were oil men in the WH, the lackeys were plied with women and drugs, and documents were forged. What other criteria do you require?

"if you say fascism is better...what makes the men of gov. better" Now who has been advocating your straw-man undefined fascism? You certainly don't have any interest in productive, logical debate.

But to the point, the men of the Government are not better by nature, but they are the designated representatives of American power. There are enumerated protections within to avoid populist overreach.

However, it is the refusal of your those of your ilk to allow the balance of power and the levers of Democracy to function. This fact is at the heart of our great indecision. The true Constitution must prevail; the Senate must actually vote on legislation.

Enough with your putrid and tired apologies for corporatist "rights." This only indicates that you must be 5000 feet deep on a giant gusher of teabagging glory. Cheers mate, you'll keep calm and carry on.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:15 | Link to Comment DeweyLeon
DeweyLeon's picture

Corporations give larger political donations than do individuals.  So individuals have less rights and freedoms, simple as that, end of story.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:20 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

DeweyLeon

You seem to disregard political self preservation. A politician will throw anyone or anything under the bus for purely personal gain.

Yep money may give one the political advantage but only until a far greater need arises.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:46 | Link to Comment jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

dewey and i (and perhaps others?) are waiting for that need to arise.  so far there has been precious little evidence of it.  the last decade has been a particularly painful demonstration of just how far money will take the evil doers and how much taking the money will make evil the doers.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:18 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Both are skimmers

Both had blowout quarters

Both have clueless CEOs

Both are lying about toxic assets

Both abuse small fish

ad nauseam

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 06:36 | Link to Comment Thoreau
Thoreau's picture

ad infinitum

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:51 | Link to Comment LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

Barney Franks abuses small fish, too.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:17 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

I sincerely doubt it was corporate Anarchy. Corporate self interest, corporate manipulation, corporate control, all of those but definitely NOT Anarchy.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:18 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

Interesting article.  Not sure if we need another word for fascism, but I understand the nuance of corporate immunity from rules as opposed to state-sponsored industries.  Kind of fascisms by default.  I look at it as a new dark ages.  A majority of the populace seems closed minded to openness, reason and personal industry and seems to prefer to abjagate  control over their most basic human transactions to a higher temporal authority.  In the Middle Ages, it was the Holy Roman Catholic Church that controlled lives from cradle to grave.  The Social Democrats of Europe and Progressives/Liberals/Democrats of North America have brought us Big Government.  I am an American and I can say that we have strayed far afield from the writings of Messrs. Adams and Jefferson.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:22 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Cursive 

Dude, those of us who read Cyberpunk are not that startled by corporate hegemony. In fact everyone probably underestimates the sheer power wielded.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:24 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

Did my comments suggest that I was startled by corporate hegemony?

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:37 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Cursive

I don't know, are you? 

Have you read any Cyberpunk? Maybe watched Johnny Mnemonic?

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:39 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

I have done neither.  Enlighten me.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:55 | Link to Comment jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

the author of the story that the film is based on thought the film missed his point (and humor) and that the film was recut to make it more "mainstream".  basically a dystopian fantasy about megacorporations (primarily east asian) controlling/destroying the world in pursuit of short term profit.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:10 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

@jeff montayne

Thanks for the info.  That's a pretty common theme (mis-adaptation of the book), but maybe the biggest irony (besides Gully pulling a what's-the-frequency-Kenneth moment with me) is that a guy who wrote cyberpunk sold it to the mainstream.  Can't have your cake and eat it too.  Rebels are not sell outs.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:57 | Link to Comment Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

I love this site.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:22 | Link to Comment jimijon
jimijon's picture

Forget cyberpunk. Go to the source, that drug slinging, non-stop writing, underrated literary genius, Phillip K Dick!

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:53 | Link to Comment LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

How 'bout those andriods dreamin'?  Electric Sheep, you say?

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:19 | Link to Comment Privatus
Privatus's picture

After the state, the corporation is the coldest of cold monsters.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:25 | Link to Comment Salinger
Salinger's picture

from the article above

"My own sense is, there will be no revolutionary change. The corporations won. They won when they convinced the best and brightest—of which I used to be—that the only path to success was through a corporate career. No necessarily through for-profit corporations—Lefties never seem to quite get how pernicious and corporatist the non-profits really are; or perhaps they do know, but are clever enough not to criticize them, since those non-profits and NGO's pay for their meals."

From today's hearings two brilliant video clips side by side:

Rep. Steve Calise (R-Louisiana) asks Hayward,  Who's in charge?

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) asks Hayward about healthcare

 

 

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:24 | Link to Comment Catullus
Catullus's picture

Idiotic from beginning to end.  Mistaking oligarchy for anarchy.  Just because your precious government (the particular band of thugs in power at the time) isn't controlling these people doesn't mean they're not controlling each other.  Also, equating a corporation as being on par with the individual shows the depths of your blindness.  A corporation is nothing more than a human construct; an association that exists only in the minds of human beings.  There is no collective.  It's just an association of people.  The lawlessness you correctly observe is the ability of the INDIVIDUALS who control these associations to act with impunity.  You serve them well by referring to their corporations and not the individuals themselves. 

To this end, I say let the derivatives market continue to be unregulated.  Let these people eat each other.  It's only the free market finding a way to prevail.  At least the "destruction" in the derivatives market exists only a balance sheet. 

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:45 | Link to Comment Apostate
Apostate's picture

There's anarchy in the philosophical sense, and then anarchy in the "chaos, war of all against all" kind of meaning.

What we have now is the latter. Governance through force and fraud is not order, but chaos. It offers no stability - only madness and tumult.

Attempts to regulate the derivatives market could destroy the governing apparatus. Leaving it unmanaged will also destabilize the system sufficiently to take down the Fed and the government.

Anarchy in the sense of non-aggression and integrity begins with personal behavior. 

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:05 | Link to Comment Catullus
Catullus's picture

I think the derivatives market (and the CDS in particular) created the archnemisis to fractional reserve banking -- the bank run. It's really the greatest regulator of all. And that's why I think the established authority fears it so much. They had no idea that it was going to cause a cash call. They thought the FDIC was enough. But it's unsustainable and the market found a way to run on the system and expose it as a fraud.

To get rid of the derivatives markets would be the end of contracts. That's the chaos. Not contracts being enforced.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:55 | Link to Comment Captain Willard
Captain Willard's picture

Catullus - you're right that "anarchy" wasn't the right term for Lira to employ. But he made some good points along the way. In the end, Oligarchy, as you observe, is the right term for the abysmal situation we find ourselves in.

Corporations have been given unlimited rights to political speech by the Supreme Shysters recently. The people that control them run amuck. Imagine if you or I spilled all this oil. We would be in Angola State Prison in Louisiana getting severe correction. A corporation just runs away.

We have oil CEOs that don't understand engineering, bank CEOs that don't understand loans or derivatives. Should we be surprised that we have politicians that cannot govern? And yet they all control us...........

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 01:25 | Link to Comment RichardP
RichardP's picture

Are you free to go buy a farm somewhere in hunting country - where you can grow and shoot your own food?  Some will answer "yes", and I will answer "so they don't actually control us, right?"  But the fact is, if everbody under the thumb of corporations and governments were to do that, there would not be land enough available to support them all.  There are too many of us to escape the corporations and government by living off of the land.  If we cannot support ourselves, then we must depend on others for the satisfaction of a least part of our needs.  Because of this, we will not ever be able to do away with either corporations or government.  Shoot down what we have and new ones will rise to take their place, out of necessity.

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 09:02 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

Monsanto is doing its best to control and dominate the individual farmer.  Given what I know of the Monsanto patents and tyrannical control of its patented seeds, I firmly believe that Thomas Jefferson, were he alive today, would be vandalizing the Monsanto research labs and corporate offices.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:09 | Link to Comment jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

where to begin.  if you think a corporation is nothing more than an association in the minds of human beings then you really, really have not been paying attention.  

at the barest of minimums, the laws/finances/immortality/scale of corporations give its officers powers that are to the powers of almost all individuals as the hydrogen bomb is to the revolver.  at least as important is the utterly different psychology that governs the groups of people who operate corporations, especially publicly traded ones, especially the tbtf, as compared to the psychology possible at the individual human level.  

what does the last line of your post mean?  that the destruction caused by the derivatives market exists only on a balance sheet?  that there is no further tragedy?  really?

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:37 | Link to Comment Catullus
Catullus's picture

A corporation is no more dangerous than a glee club. It's just a group of people. The association they have with each other is not tangible. It has no life of it's own. It cannot take positive action to ends. Only the individuals of the group can. It's not that Goldman sachs is evil, it's the people that run it. To hold the association responsible for what it's obviously the actions of the individuals is what is wrong. To say the an association exists in state of lawlessness is meaningless because the association itself does not take positive action. It's that the people running them are free to act as they choose and with impunity by the central thuggery of the day.

Balance sheet destruction is very different than actual destruction. What was always disturbing when goldman was made into a depository was that as an investment bank had they gone under in 2008, the world would not have collapsed. A black hole was not going to open up on water street and engulf the planet. All of the stuff would still be here. The electrons would just read zero in the Goldman account.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 08:32 | Link to Comment LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

Wow.

So I can write an operating system for my corporation as:

(1) profit is the most important thing

(2) consideration of ethics and human collateral damage are last.

And invest this construct with the rights of a body: a person as the Corpus defines.

So you say this "person" this "Corpus" this legal entity, whose officers are responsible to following not their personal human dictates, but to insure the survival and growth of the Corpus, is not dangerous?

Please, Dr. Frankenstein tell me another one.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 04:44 | Link to Comment lost in the usa
lost in the usa's picture

The article wants more regulation, We are already stiffeled enough, The problem with corperations is that they do have rules or no liability for what they do, in my small business they always want a personal garentee of credit or liability, corperations get to play by different rules, take big risk and win big or walk away with limited liability, or none at all. The gov along with corprate america/world are in bed with eachother and no regulation would make a difference for long. There is a great need for capital/corprate american to keep moving ahead but as long as we have a fractional reserve and boom/bust cycles to fleece all the regular investors with the gov acting as back stop for wall street the banks and themselves we will always get f****up no matter how many rugulations they put out and it is just a matter of who they are going to throw under the bus so the rest of them can go on partying.

For another take on who is at fault try this out. Great right wing anarcist.........

 

http://www.lewrockwell.com/napolitano/napolitano20.1.html

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:37 | Link to Comment Mitchman
Mitchman's picture

It feels to me that we are living through a stage that resembles the era that brought Teddy Roosevelt and his "Trust-Buster" slogan into power.  Nothing is more hilarious, and more sad, than to hear that the idiot Obama is actually reading Roosevelt's biography as a matter of inspiration.  One may as well give an iPad to a gnat.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 05:09 | Link to Comment TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Yep, they were pretty frothed up over FDR's "first 100 days".  A great success in multiplying remote, egghead central government power at the expense of the citizens, local governments, and state governments who are closer to the issues themselves.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:38 | Link to Comment gumstick2003@ya...
gumstick2003@yahoo.com's picture

Corporations do not have to abide by any rules because they are writing the rules.  And either we live with those rules or we perish by those rules.  The true anarchists are the few who still believe in freedom.  I think that freedom is a state, not a right.  In this new totalitarian world where only robots will survive.  Until one day they won't.       

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:49 | Link to Comment seventree
seventree's picture

In the future envisioned by SF writer Kim Stanley Robinson,

"Trans-national Corporations, nicknamed "Transnats", are extremely powerful multinational corporations that first emerge in the mid-21st century. These multinational corporations have grown so large as a result of globalization that they have sufficient economic power to take over or strongly manipulate national governments, initially only relatively small third-world governments, but later, larger developed governments too."

This was written in 1992. It may not take as long as he thought.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:30 | Link to Comment Apostate
Apostate's picture

This has really been the case since the beginning of the 20th century.

It's partly why the Fed has to be destroyed. It enables a government - and a system of global governance through finance, diplomacy & force - that is too powerful.

Take away the governing system, and the corporates lose much of their power. Actually, the government has already lost a lot of relevance to corporates already, as there is no more effective enforcement of patent law or copyright.

Would Amazon be as dominant as it is now without its fucking retarded one-click patent? Would BP be as large if it had to actually buy all the land that it drills from rather than get an expropriation rape-contract from a government?

As for prospects for revolution in the US... I'd say that they're high, probably by democratic means. Perhaps a 1688 style Glorious Revolution.

The wild card is what the military and the intelligence agencies will do.

No one can take a shit without the permission of the NSA, more or less, so it's best to keep any fantasies about marching into the White House to yourself. 

The hard place upon which governments now must operate is gold. The hammer is corporate unrest, which can easily transmute into political and civil disarray. The first country to re-organize around sound money wins. The one that does will be well-armed with nuclear weapons so as to prevent any potential retaliation.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:47 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

I think it is still possible to save the world. Consider what would happen if we the people could vote directly on any legislation before Congress, and the vote tally would be the sum of all adult citizens. The Congressman would simply be the default for those who chose not to vote.

There is so much more we could also do along these lines and in a way that is easily backwards compatible with the current system in most countries.

I explain it all at http://www.endofinnocence.com/2010/06/representation-amendment.html

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:07 | Link to Comment Apostate
Apostate's picture

I don't want to hurt your feelings, because you've obviously put a lot of thought into direct democracy.

I'm pretty confident that the majority of Americans would vote in favor of crazy stuff like making it illegal for atheists to vote, etc. 

Also, the indoctrinated masses are trivial to rile up in support of imperial aggression, but that's getting harder now that the media has become uncontrolled and largely uncensored.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:16 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

As an atheist, I share your concern, but American Christians also believe in the Constitution, and such a law would be unconstitutional. Also, the Supreme Court would still exist (remeber, it's backwards compatible) and would strike down such a law.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 01:14 | Link to Comment seventree
seventree's picture

Some US states allow citizens to propose and ultimately ratify laws through self-organization, bypassing their "representatives" in the central government. California's Proposition 13 is an enduring example. Sadly this system doesn't always fulfull its promise. If a citizen initiative begins to threaten really powerful interests, these will raise a war chest to flood primetime television with messages crafted by experts in the art of planting doubt and confusion in that large part of the population lacking confidence in their own intellect. Next thing you know, fervent supporters of reform are expressing contrary thoughts that they now believe to be their own. And once again, through money and broadcast media, power triumphs again.

As has been said many times, people get the government they deserve -- even if they themselves are that government.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 15:33 | Link to Comment Marla And Me
Marla And Me's picture

Sorry Jim, but democracy isn't all it's cracked up to be.  I know it's not what the TV has been feeding us since we've been born, but there are real world examples out there.  For example, take a look at the results of California's ballot proposition system.  People keep voting themselves larger benefits, without ever voting in favor of the necessary tax increases to support said benefits.  What could go wrong?

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 22:56 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

It's ok. Anarchy catches up to ya.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/37732312

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:00 | Link to Comment Trimmed Hedge
Trimmed Hedge's picture

Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

 

Now stop yer belly-achin' and get crackin', son....

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:05 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

Business are not regulated?!

LOL!

America has MILLIONS of pages of regulations.

Government/Regulations are both the cause of the oil leak as well as the cause of the failed cleanup.

I explain it all at http://www.endofinnocence.com/2010/05/property-rights-solves-oil-leaks-better.html.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:06 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

Business are not regulated?!

LOL!

America has MILLIONS of pages of regulations.

Government/Regulations are both the cause of the oil leak as well as the cause of the failed cleanup.

I explain it all at http://www.endofinnocence.com/2010/05/property-rights-solves-oil-leaks-better.html.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:18 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

junk?

Looks like we got us a bully on this site.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 01:09 | Link to Comment beenburnedtwice
beenburnedtwice's picture

Amen brother Jim.  <regulation=more freedom

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:24 | Link to Comment Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Excellent post. Love it.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:33 | Link to Comment bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I enourage plutocracy.

It makes (it) that much easier.

EUR/USD goes to 1.50? What?

 

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:39 | Link to Comment FTWBTWFY
FTWBTWFY's picture

I think this may all be fiddling while Rome burns to the ground.  Anarchy sounds good to me in a pastoral kind of way.  What we're seeing is the subjective perspective of the impending spontaneous and cataclysmic reorganization of a closed energy system that has been pushed way beyond its functional tolerances...on a global scale.  Yippee...not.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:53 | Link to Comment TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

"too many foolish pundits equate supervision and regulation with Socialism."

Bollocks on stilts.   Most regulations in our representative republic-slash-lawyerocracy benefit large organisations to the detriment of smaller ones.   Large organisations and their wonky revolving door helpers behind each member of congress, cabinet member and federal agency figurehead shape and enforce regulation that only large organisations have the economies of scale to be able to deal with...and/or benefit from.

The socialist version of this leans on this process the other way, instrumentalising existing large private businesses to achieve the ends of the clique of demagogical politicians in power.   When said politicians are nationalist demagogues, this is called national socialism.   When they are nominally internationalist you get the current Venezuelan sort of scenario.

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:56 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

Not only have millions of pages of American regulations failed to prevent the oil leak, but regulations are in fact the primary cause of the leak, and regulations are also the primary cause of the failure to clean up the oil. Let’s look at three compelling examples before we look at the solution:

Everyone knows by now that America lacks the ships and technology to clean up the oil leak, and we all know that several foreign countries have offered to provide ships and technology that could do the job. However, US regulation (The Jones Act) has prevented these foreign ships from entering US waters. The Jones Act was passed in the 1920’s to favor American unions, and after 57 days of nearly zero progress, Obama is still reluctant to offend American unions and waive the Jones Act so that foreign ships can help. Consider that Bush waived the Jones Act within four days after Hurricane Katrina.

This reminds me of “regulatory capture” where the regulators are basically working to protect established businesses from lawsuits and to create hurdles for new competitors. In this case we are witnessing a phenomenon I will call Presidential capture – by the unions.

The second example is the regulation that limited BP’s liability for any accident to a mere 75 million dollars. Clearly, if BP knew they would be required to repair any and all damage they caused to our property, then BP would have been more careful, and we know in this particular case that BP could have been more careful.

The third example of how regulation caused the oil leak is that BP had to drill in 5000 feet of water because regulations prevented drilling on land, and regulations prevented drilling in shallow coastal waters.

How’s that Big Government working out for you?

The solution to the BP oil leak is the a fundamental human right that the mainstream media fear to utter aloud.

It is Property Rights.

It is the authoritarian leftist bent of the elitists who control the mainstream media that makes them fear the concept of property rights because one cannot respect property rights and also redistribute wealth. The two concepts are diametrically opposed.

Not only would Property Rights solve the BP oil leak, property rights would have prevented it in the first place.

Property Rights are simple. If BP pollutes my property then I (or my agents acting on my behalf) have the right to force BP to restore my property or provide equal compensation, and if BP knows that it will be forced to clean up its mess, then it will be very careful to not make that mess.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:17 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 100

If I were not so tired and drunk I would expand...

Property rights and freedom are what made America great.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:21 | Link to Comment jesus
jesus's picture

BP knew it would have to clean up any mess and they still made it. They cut corners in the hope they would not have to pay, their risk calculations were obviously off.

Canadian rigs are regulated to have a relief well drilled before they can open the main one. That REGULATION would have prevented this whole thing, instead we will wait many months for this to be drilled.

Your problem is that you have confused bad regulation as meaning regulation is bad. This is incorrect.

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:46 | Link to Comment Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

Excellent insight, thanks for sharing something I did not know.

Note to Congress/MMS/EPA - Require a relief well to be drilled before operational.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:55 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

So, you have a way to guarantee that only good regulations exist?

Whereas Property Rights are simple, Big Government is complex. We have millions of pages of regulations. Big Government tries to regulate everything, which offers more opportunities for bribes, human error, miscalculation, and confusion; however, Big Government is neither omniscient nor can it predict the future.  BP obviously did not fear us or our agents in Big Government acting on our behalf to defend our property rights.

How’s that Big Government working out for you?

Big Government decouples actions from consequences. Big Government insulates business leaders from the consequences of their business decisions.

Regulation strangles innovation and makes us less safe in the long run. For example, assuming that by some miracle government actually mandated  the best valve for each oil well in every single one of the diverse set of variables related to each well (astronomically unlikely), then if a better valve were invented, it is extremely unlikely that regulators would adopt it in a timely manner, thus making us less safe in the future than we could have been. Of course, regulations would make businesses less likely to invent a better valve in the first place because they couldn’t sell it until they got government approval, thus reducing innovation in a manner that we cannot even see or measure.

Very sneaky.

Very douchy.

How’s that Big Government working out for you?

Although regulation strangles innovation that could make us safer, consider that sometimes regulations do prevent bad behavior – even violations of property rights. Regulation sometimes prevents mistakes by companies, and thus prevents some problems from escalating to the point where government would have to enforce our property rights.

It is in our best interests to avoid a situation where we are dependent on Big Government to protect our property rights because Big Government doesn’t care. In fact, Big government is more likely to abuse our property rights itself than to defend them. How else can it redistribute our land and wealth to its constituents such as wealthy land developers as well as voting blocks of poor people.

Therefore, by preventing some problems from escalating to the point requiring government action, which would result in failure either by incompetence or corruption, regulation protects us – not by  regulating business – but by regulating government.

How’s big government working out for you?

It is the left that grew government and scrubbed concepts like property rights from our national dialog, which more and more people are beginning to realize was a really douchy thing for the left to do to we the people.

Big Government tries to make us believe they are competent, and if they can't convince us of their competence, then they try to at least assure us that they’re the good guys.

The reality is that Big Government is incompetent. The reality is that Big Government is not the good guys. The reality is that Big Government avoids reality.

The Promise of Reality is Freedom.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 05:25 | Link to Comment TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

I'd add that we the people have allowed too much precedent to be established, of the central government regulating any activity down to the last detail.  It has become "normal" now, and far too many people born into that state of affairs can't imagine life without it.  Maybe it could be called people capture.   You see that in France regarding their cradle to post-doc nationalised education system.  They were born and raised with that, and can't imagine benefits to a privatised, competitive system.   And then there is our system which generated a price bubble in higher education, thanks to government(Sallie May, Pell grants, student loan guarantees etc) encouraging such.  Damnit I changed topics, but there is still the common thread of government distorting out of recognition what a free market would reward and maintain.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 14:45 | Link to Comment Marla And Me
Marla And Me's picture

I'd like to share some information with all of you on that "wonderful" and "free" french education system;  it has the exact same results as our system - it separates the haves from the have nots.  It works like this:  The French are obsessed with their central government and with having the right credentials, so anyone who is anybody MUST be in Paris.  That means that in order to get into the best jobs, you must have gone to the right schools (Les Grandes Ecoles - literally "The Great Schools" [think Ivy league in the states]).  Well, how can that be if everyone has access to the free public school system?  Well, the public school system discriminates in terms of access.  In order to get into the best colleges that lead to the most prestigious jobs, you have to have gone to the right high school, and to get into the right high school, you must have gone to the right grade school.  Where are all the "right" grade schools and high schools?  In Paris, and in the most expensive neighborhoods.  Who can afford to get into those schools? The have's kids who live in those neighborhood.  Sure, they will let in the very best  (top % of their class) of students from schools outside of Paris and in the rest of the country, but the chances are VERY slim, and the numbers are against them.  So yes, you can get a "free" education anywhere in France, but it won't lead to anything worthwile.  Different propaganda, same result.  Oligarchs rule all over the world.  From America, to Europe, to Africa, to Asia.  All that ever changes is the propaganda...

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 04:08 | Link to Comment idle muesli
idle muesli's picture

I can't see how what you claim in your post is logically possible.

No matter how you cut it, a relief well is merely a second well that lowers the pressure on the main one.  The first well down is the "main well" even if you call it a relief well.  Unless you simultaneously drill and open two wells, a precaution you do not describe, you can't immediately lower the pressure on a well that blows out.

The safety precautions you describe would make it much easier to get a blowout under under control quickly, but they wouldn't prevent "the whole thing."

When you read that according to industry best practices BP should have abandoned the well when the gas began to kick up, not to mention that it should have used much more robust materials, the (incredible) stupidity does seem to lie else where.

 

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 23:59 | Link to Comment nuinut
nuinut's picture

This behavior is a result of a dishonest monetary system.

They really are to big to fail, as far as the Ponzi scheme is concerned.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 05:27 | Link to Comment TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Absolutely!  The Fed and the Squid's nefarious activities caused the blowout.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:06 | Link to Comment proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

Corporations and people who run them misbehave because they have a weak moral compass and the operate in a distorted incentive environment.   A good deal of this can be laid at government's feet: the MMS was involved in many of BP's operational decisions by exercising a rubber stamp.  We rightly complain when an executive shows moral dysfunction, yet how many came from government schools where morality cannot be properly taught lest some parent complain.  Government itself sends signals that it is permissible to steal from people as long as you are powerful enough.  How else would you describe the Kelo decision or deliberate inflation of the currency and levying a tax on the resulting gain in the value of assets?  The health care bill was one big lie, fiat money is a lie and advancing a socialist agenda is the biggest lie of all.

Indeed, the moral executive is becoming an exception simply because of how much tide such a person has to swim without getting his head chopped off like Justice Clarence Thomas almost did.

 

 

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:09 | Link to Comment Apostate
Apostate's picture

The incentives under ponzinomics is to behave as unethically as humanly possible. 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 05:40 | Link to Comment TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Temptation to cheat or steal is there with or without the Fed, or fiat currencies, or stock markets.   Simple scarcity is enough to multiply cases of theft and cheating, as people do what they think they need to, to survive or compete and win(mates, resources, etc).    I like to add at this point that heavy government regulation and socialism in particular creates, accentuates, and shapes scarcities of every type from top to bottom and across the board in economies.   Cheating and stealing becomes the way forward because of the scarcities. 

Markets on the other hand hate scarcities like nature hates a vacuum.   People are less likely to cheat when they can easily get what they want fair and square.   Likewise taxes are more likely to get paid the lower they are with respect to incomes.   Under socialism  or heavy regulation, scarcities are likely to reign, including scarcities of jobs, housing, parking spots, and especially expendable take home income(the government taking its cut up front).  Under such conditions fraud becomes a way of getting by.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:13 | Link to Comment GeoffreyT
GeoffreyT's picture

Anybody who has not suffered a severe head injury should know the following as axiomatic:

  1. Politics involves the entrusting of a small group of people with a monopoply of violence over some region;
  2. this constitutes a huge source of POWER; and
  3. Certain pathologies (sociopaths, psychopaths, megalomaniacs) really REALLY like power and will do anything to get it

 

Once you accept those premises, the syllogism compltes as follows:

Political power will be sought most assiduously by the sorts of peope who are fundamentally hard wired to do things which are directly opposed to the best interests of the polity, and the political classes will be dominated by people of above average moral degeneracy.

 

In other words, the very EXISTENCE of a State virutally guarantees its eventual descent into croney-ocracy, where the legal system is not relevant to anyone with enough money (or incriminating photos of the politician up to his scrotum in a 12 year old Dominican boy's 'chocolate starfish'... I'm looking at you, AIPAC)

 

Anarchy (more precisely, voluntaryism - where those who want a state are free to fund it out of their own pockets) is the only defensible form of social organisation - anything else is gang rape. If you participate in gang rape, you ought not be surprised when it turns out that those you think are leading your gang, are actually not remotely fucking interested in your problems.

 

Remember - a representative of the appropriate government agency signed off on EVERY SINGLE STAGE of the building and putting-into-operation of Deepwater Horizon.

Cheerio

 

 

GT

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:04 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Bingo!  Someone finally gets it!

Concnetration of power is antithetical to anarchism.  The ONLY true tenent of anarchism is "No centralized power."  Big corprorations represent centralized power.

And to those who claim it's somehow government's fault for BP fuck-ups, yeah, right!  BP's morals are lower than whale shit!  It's that simple.  Sadly, BP is a British company and will be the nail in Britain's coffin: a huge percentage of pension money is tied up in BP.  Sorry chaps, but you let a rogue operate under your banner and you're all going to pay dearly for it.  Time for the courts to let loose...

Oh, I in no way am excusing the poor behavior of goverments.  But, they should get the fuck out of the way of the legal system and let the people rack bastards over the coals!  Heads on pikes, that makes the next shit head (like Hayward) think twice about shortcuts.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 05:53 | Link to Comment TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

"Remember - a representative of the appropriate government agency signed off on EVERY SINGLE STAGE of the building and putting-into-operation of Deepwater Horizon."

Uh huh, maybe, but this signing off and checking was nothing like the level of signings off and checkings required to justify a space shuttle mission to not be scrubbed, and yet the Challenger blew up for reasons known in advance by the people who designed the part that failed.   The dissection of the decision process that led to the disaster still hasn't been published yet, and my guess is that the administrations' rush to punish, its early focus on lawyering up and persecuting, will hide what happened, so it can't be learned from.   Similarly, the bureaucratic CYA, regulatory overreaction, and rushed lawmaking/moratoriums descending on this will obfuscate the causes, obliterating an opportunity for progress.  There's a load of oil in deep waters folks, and our economies, our lives run on that right now.  The key to discovering causes lies in offering immunity to the actors most immediately involved, such that the truth can come out, but the obummer administration is going for demogagical high dudgeon and political opportunism squared.   That is the disaster here.   The spilled oil itself will degrade and dissipate much faster than the destruction to our lives, liberties, and economies resulting from the stupid reaction to the spill. 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 14:55 | Link to Comment Marla And Me
Marla And Me's picture

As succint and accurate of a summary as to how we got here as you'll ever get, anywhere.  We could all get along if we could just get rid of human nature...

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 01:00 | Link to Comment Pitchman
Pitchman's picture
BP: Beyond Pathetic; An American Metaphor It's easy to attack a company like BP. Point your finger. It's right to do so. Their track record is the worst among all the unsupervised oil giants. According to publiccitizenenergy.org; BP has paid out $730 million in fines/settlements. They also have two criminal convictions and have been implicated in numerous instances of criminal misconduct. They damn sure aren't the green boy scouts they would like you to believe; PR hype with little to back it up. Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Monsanto, Toyota and BP? Yes, BP has earned the right to stand with these elite corporate bogymen.  They're just making the best of the rules they helped write; you say! Yes, and paying fines is cheaper than adhering to regulations. Each firm has tremendous influence over lawmakers and regulators; going as far as fashioning the rules that regulate them. Not only do we send the Fox to guard the Hen House, we let them write the terms of the contract. And, when the Hen's are decimated we call on the very same Foxes to clean up the mess.

Due in part to their corrupt relationships and lax oversight, many companies have moved further afield; perpetrating fraud, some multiple times, causing devastating harm to the American people. That said, the true culprit is the Federal Government and our sycophant "representatives" whose total abdication of oversight and leadership set the table for these disasters.

Through campaign contributions, influence peddling, government contracts, promises of cushy corporate jobs/retirement, hookers...,what ever it takes; according to Bill Moyers the corporate oligarchs have pulled off  "A Leveraged Buyout of Democracy". See: Health Care Reform: A Leveraged Buyout of Democracy

To see how this works (health care reform in this instance) Check out Bill Moyers essay on the topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsIcS7egnyw

Industry by industry, corporate K street denizens have captured our lawmakers and regulatory bodies to serve their interest. And their interest are in-congruent to democratic principles. Add to this, twenty years of Alan Greenspan's insane notion that fraud can not exist in a free (unregulated) market and you get elite class of corporate sociopaths with virtual control over our policy making apparatus. How else could we end up with tax laws that reward domestic corporations for outsourcing American jobs? See: BP flexes muscle in D.C.

It's not about protecting the people; governments only legitimate purpose. No, it's about money and the influence it buys. And, the action is in Washington where these socialist minded oligarchs have built vast complexes of brick and mortar in support of their illegitimate web of influence. All dysfunctional relationships require co-conspirators. Corporate interest and the fawning lawmakers get what they want. In their wake "we the people" get vast bureaucracies, tens of thousands strong, who do little to nothing to carry out their original charters.

"To expound on this point; the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs and the failures of the SEC, FDIC and the FED come to mind. Then there's the duplicity of Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in their decade long crackup. Lastly, there's Monsanto the USDA and the courts in that company's blatant push to control agricultural seed supplies and thus life itself! ... Suffice it to say, the conclusion is the same in each regard; these companies wield great influence and are far to cozy with their regulators." See: Health Care Reform: A Leveraged Buyout of Democracy

Further; Prior to the financial crisis the SEC had just 24 regulators with oversight authority for the worlds largest financial organizations.  This is an agency with tens of thousands, a number of whom were recently charged with surfing porn while the financial crisis unfolded. To say they abdicated their responsibilities is an understatement of Knock Nevis sized proportions. See: Financial Reform; Bill Black Calls Out Geithner and Bernanke on Congressional Testimoney

Regarding the massive credit default swap market; in a speech, the President claims that few "were fully aware of the massive wagers being made" This conveniently overlooks many "warnings" especially the efforts of  Brooksley Born head of the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) who fought to bring oversight to the eventual $680 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market but was shut down by Greenspan, then Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (the man behind scrapping Glass-Steagall) and Larry Summers who prevailed upon Congress to stop Born and limit future regulation. Looking out for the American people? No; these guys had other interest.  See the PBS production; "THE WARNING" and more here: Financial Reform, The Presidents Speech; Regulation and Fraud

The problem is systemic. From the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy to, pharmaceuticals, health care providers, defense contractors, agriculture and big oil; all industries have forged incestuous co-dependent relationships with "our representatives". The system and the money required to be in the game (get elected) make it so.

Historically, such self dealing and overt corrupt policies lead to trouble. And when it comes; out of convenience and as a cover of misdirection (obfuscation), the here-to-fore benefactor corporation (usually because of a particularly egregious affront) is targeted for discipline. At this point, the previously asleep at the wheel regulator reappears on the scene to put their "boot on the neck" of the bad seed. Thus; we get sweeping reform, perhaps a show trial and a toothless shuffling reshuffling of regulatory responsibility and captured government stooges who failed their obligations in the first place. Rinse and repeat!

BP is just the latest of "the usual suspects" to be exposed to the light.  Like Goldman Sachs, their egregious acts and arrogance seem outrageous to hard working, do the right thing Americans. But, among the Washington Kleptocracy they're right at home.

No strangers to controversy themselves; Halliburton did the faulty well cap cement work. No honor among thieves; I guess. And, Transocean owns the rig (who made a $270 million profit from disaster insurance payouts). But BP gets the blame and will be forced to pay for the sin's of the industry. To pursue the others may shed more light on the system than wanted.

So; to focus only on BP, Goldman or Toyota misses the mark. This is exactly what the oligarchs and their government lap dogs want. Such narrow focus deflects insight into a system rife with corruption and self dealing that has nothing to do with promoting the peoples interest. Unfortunately President Obama's promise of "transparency and the rule of law" is still "the same old politics" he said "the American people could not afford."

As long as corporate rule with its inherent malfeasance and neglect holds sway over our "representative democracy" we can expect more of the same. Only through an open and honest restructuring of "our system", to root out self serving politicians and the means of their capture can we stop the gravy train and return the power to the people. -EC

For More on this subject please read Jim Hightowers piece: Who the Hell's in Charge Here? BP Disaster Caused by a Nasty Mix of Government Impotence and Corporate Rule -- "What we're witnessing is not merely a human and environmental horror, but also an appalling deterioration in our nation's governance." -Jim Hightower Also See: 10 Things You Need (But Don't Want) To Know About the BP Oil Spill
  Inflection Point: 

The President has already used the tragedy in the Gulf to re-ignite Cap and Trade legislation that will dramatically increase governmental power and ultimately prove to be the largest fraud ever! See: Global Warming, Climate Change Or Something Else? 

"Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people" -Thomas Jefferson.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:22 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Great post.  So what do we do as individuals?

-- Buy gold.

-- Drop out of the system "off the grid".

-- Take responsability for our own actions.

-- VOTE!

Be very aware of what .gov wants to do to us.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:07 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"socialist minded oligarchs"

People, PLEASE!, stop misapplying the term "socialist!"  In NO way is this socialism (when it's aimed at the top, and only the top few at that!).

I know that most of you were weaned on commie propaganda.  Time to grow up!

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 06:40 | Link to Comment epobirs
epobirs's picture

Indeed. A huge source of frustration to me during the HCR nonsense was that at no time was it ever mentioned loudly that the problem was not lack of health insurance but rather health insurance itself. The private and public versions of health insurance worked unlike any other form of insurance and created bizarre distortions in what should have been a normal competitive market for services. The immense amount of emotion tied to access to health care allowed the issue to be exploited and poisoned by irrational reactions to any perceived threat to access.

At times I worry we've exceeded the organizational capacity of our species. It is why we don't ever hear from any aliens. They have the same problem. It turns out nuclear war isn't needed to have your high-tech civilization crumble. Just an inability for evolution to match the needs of keeping it going.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:19 | Link to Comment MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

That's simply a brilliant turn of a phrase -- Era of Corporate Anarchy

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 00:51 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

How can a condition be called anarchy when it's funded by the taxpayer and backstopped by the government? Anarchy is the absence of government. It's oligarchy, fascism, maybe even feudalism that we have. Not anarchy. BP, GS, and the rest, not to mention the Fed and the White House, fear anarchy with every molecule of their being. Anarchy puts their heads on pikes.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 01:13 | Link to Comment Apostate
Apostate's picture

Well, I'd prefer that the rulers become defectors rather than support further repression.

The people that are most likely to put heads on pikes are the militant classes. The unions, the spies, the police, and the military.

Any movement for anarchic order - or even a mildly less repressive state - will have to face the power of the trained killers.

I mean, a single brigade with drone & artillery support could easily exterminate a small city, whether or not the inhabitants have AR-15s.

In the long run, those with the gold make the rules, but in the medium term, it's a question of how to convince and cajole the militarists to remain at bay.  

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:59 | Link to Comment cossack55
cossack55's picture

Speaking of drones, have you seen the air force now has an airship with crew that can remain aloft for three weeks.  First one due in Sept. I think, then deployed to Afghan.  Yeah, right.  Afghan, Missouri maybe.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:08 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Another person who gets it!  Thank you!  I'm now starting to thing that people can be educated!

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 01:22 | Link to Comment iPood
iPood's picture

"Once again: Thank God I no longer live in America."

I was just thinking the same thing. Btw, were big U.S. companies at fault for constructing the Chilean infrastructure that collapsed when you pleaded for U.S. aid last March?

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 01:48 | Link to Comment Lefteris
Lefteris's picture

 

By the way:

From the "World Socialist Web Site": Obama administration blocked efforts to stop BP oil drilling before explosion   http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/oilr-m10.shtml    
Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:38 | Link to Comment Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

Promising headline but fails to deliver.

Why not actually try to do what the headline proposed?

  • Chairman of Goldman Sachs International was until last year also Chairman of BP
  • Those that control Energy & Credit control the world influencing media and food too
  • BP and Goldman Sachs are the two companies that pushed hardest for cap & trade
  • Goldman Sachs owns the carbon credit exchange
  • BP was the founding member of Cap and Trade Lobby (Tony Hayward pushed for it)

Corporations are running the show and writing legislation to suit them.  It is as simple as incentives and financial compensation - governments don't stand a chance when the smartest minds go into private industry for the financial rewards.  There is no connection between intelligence and ethical behavior, which should be self evident today. 

We are suffering from a crisis of confidence due to megalomaniacs looking for more power and influence.  There needs to be a balance of power because absolute power corrupts absolutely.  It was set up to be a paper, rock, scissors game between the three branches of government to check each others power - as well as religion, business, and government balancing their powers.

I wonder if corporations ever consider false flag attacks, for example AIG looked like a company to load with all the bad bets and have it bailed out by the gov.  It was interesting that national environmental disaster drills were going on and a boat was nearby to take most of the BP personnel away from the rig.  This reminds me of how 911 was repeatedly used for trauma programming purposes.  Right now everyone's focus seems to be on the gulf and worrying about extinction events.  When people are fearful they often give up freedoms for security.  The leaked global warming emails stopped cap & trade in its tracks the last time it was proposed, now Rahm is trying to ram it through.

Why are they using toxic chemicals outlawed by the UK (where BP is headquartered), why are people being turned away from beaches by private security mercs, and why are thousands of national guard troops being called up for operations in the Gulf? 

Laws require penalties and fines commensurate with the crime to be effective as a deterrent.  People are generally self interested as a survival mechanism, including you, me, corporate employees, and government officials.  Therefore the rules need to be sufficient to appeal to the self interest of officials, corporations, and individuals.  Laws must be applied blindly, since if it is arbitrary there is no republic just a tyrannical government rewarding cronies and punishing opponents.  The rule of law (not just a clever quote) is the basis of all human rights, it begins with individual property rights - lose that and you lose all your rights as the slippery slope of history has shown us.

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:19 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"I wonder if corporations ever consider false flag attacks, for example AIG looked like a company to load with all the bad bets and have it bailed out by the gov."

I think that you're close here.  AIG's history is tightly coupled with the US govt.(providing info on China's infrastructure back in the 50s).  Richard Grove suggests that AIG was involved in 9/11 (http://www.dailypaul.com/node/63299).

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:53 | Link to Comment dcsos
dcsos's picture


Since almost day one of the well blowout in the Gulf, we & BP have been working at cross purposes. British Petroleum's purpose has been to save the well. Our purpose has been to save the environment.

Efforts to save the well have been an abject failure.

Now give us a chance to save the environment instead.

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:00 | Link to Comment epobirs
epobirs's picture

Irrational. It isn't an either/or choice. Getting the well under control would be of direct and immediate benefit to the threatened environment. There is no loser in that scenario except those looking to exploit this situation for further power.

Most of the things that could have been done to improve environmental mitigation are the government's realm and out of BP's control. Such as the silly ancient protectionist law preventing the use of foreign vessels designed for this very sort of problem. BP is focusing on those things that are within their realm of expertise and as such their best chance of reducing the scale of damage. Whether they are fully competent to the task is another issue.

Some love to talk about nuking the well but the use of nuclear explosives for industrial functions (this was discussed quite a lot in the 50s) has long since been made impossible to discuss due to the general demonization of nuclear anything. Outside of that scenario, any practical solution is going to include some form of salvage of the well. Keep in mind, the problem isn't the oil so much as the uncontrolled release of it. If things had gone as planned, perhaps with better engineering and infrastructure of the site, all of that oil and far more would be finding its way to LA and other ports. Contained in tankers and passed on to refineries.

Short of a nukes, it's not looking likely we can stop the flow of oil. That leaves controlling the rate of flow to a level we can  handle. Saving the well IS saving the environment. Otherwise, we'd just leave it alone and let tankers suck it up at leisure. Quite efficient, if you don't mind the big dead zone.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 04:02 | Link to Comment Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

The only way to defeat corporations is to stop buying their products. We can do this by becoming so poor that we cannot afford their products. Fortunately, this revolution is well underway. Long live the revolution!

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 04:17 | Link to Comment idle muesli
idle muesli's picture

There is something to your arguments; however when you resort to hyperbole make claims that are absurd

Faced with the BP oil spill—likely the most severe environmental disaster ever—this was President Obama's response: Polite outrage, and vague plans to "get tough", "set aside just compensation" and "do something".

 

you lose your credibility.  There have been oil spills larger, and even several times as large, as the Deepwater Horizon and the world didn't end.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_spills#Largest_oil_spills

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 05:11 | Link to Comment theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

Unfortunately for the rest of us, if BigCorp is more powerful than BigGov, then BigGov is likely to get bigger as a response (not BigCorp smaller).

Mayor O'Bama in the frontier town is in fear of the big rancher. Sheriff & the Deputies know which side their bread is buttered on, and sidle across to the Ranchers.

The Mayor hopes the Cavalry are going to ride in & save the day. That's where we are at the moment, waiting for a cavalry that will never arrive.

The choice is simple, either the townsfolk rise up and arm themselves, or the Mayor will hire some mercenaries. Once the mercenaries arrives, say goodbye to any form of democracy; and say hello to higher taxes and a new life of penury.

... or go work for BigCorp.

 

 

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 06:10 | Link to Comment Paper CRUSHer
Paper CRUSHer's picture

Yes, its called the 'SOYLENT GREEN' ECONOMY.If any one has seen the 1973 film Soylent Green can concude its quite representative of our current situation.

At least its good to know that BP is now taking all the HEAT from all the Politicians,media and public as BlankFien-d's Goldman "Sucks"is out of the limelight as it takes a back seat ROW enjoying the SHOW and relishing the fact that B-ankrupt Petroleum has become the worlds most hated company.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 06:03 | Link to Comment zhandax
zhandax's picture

The comments in this thread are littered with the term 'democracy' used in the sense that this is the intended form of government of the US.  The founding fathers never intended for the US to be a democracy and certainly did not launch one.  Until you internalize this and can differentiate democracy and republic on a gut level, you are still part of the problem.  The founding fathers realized that the concept of democracy is a powerful tool in the hands of the kleptocrats to attain and retain power and it has been wielded well over the last 50 years to create the cluster fuck we exist in now.  I believe most you are sincere in your desire to 'do something' to get this nation back on its intended course and understand our frustration over where to start.  The one thing you can unquestionably do is to understand and internalize the difference in democracy and republic because there is where you can begin to find the next step to solutions.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 06:42 | Link to Comment macroroni
macroroni's picture

A corporation is a legal structure that allows people to do things they normally couldn't wouldn't as individuals. Rape and pillage, exploit and destroy, disregard and corrupt.

Corporations act in the same manner as insane people do, without regard for the lives, liberty, and property of others. Watch a documentary called "The Corporation"

I think my friend TI says it best:

I do without the fame and the rappers nowadays are comedy
The hootin' and the hollerin', back and forth with the arguing
Where you from, who you know, what you make and what kind of car you in
Seems as though you lost sight of whats important with the positive
And checks until your bank account, and you're about the poverty
Your values is a disarrayed, prioritizin horribly
Unhappy with the riches cause you piss poor morally
Ignoring all prior advice and forewarning
And we might be full of ourselves all of a sudden aren't we?

 

Sometimes I wonder, what corporation would Ghenghis Khan work for if he were here today?

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:06 | Link to Comment Thoreau
Thoreau's picture

You are being subjugated not by corporate anarchy, but by an Elitist Unionism composed of politicians, corporations - their lobbyists and their MSM, bankers and militarists. They have all the bases covered. The irony is that this same entity has convinced the masses that unionism is nothing more than a malignant tumor on the face of capitalism, and must be removed at all costs, at least when it applies to the "small people." (Except, of course, in times of war, when the EU calls upon the common man to unionize their wills for the so-called common welfare).

Societies change only when the masses form a collective union of self interests. If you think about it, this very site and forum is an effort to coalesce a common voice for change.

Unionized we stand...

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:06 | Link to Comment poorold
poorold's picture

terrible contribution and shallow to boot.

the rule is "he who has the gold (power) rules."  period.

classify into categories of good, bad or indifferent if you wish, but humanity has remained unchanged since inception.

only minor differences exist between all those labels one wishes to employ--capitalism, socialism, etc.

 

and those differences are based soley on WHO gets supported by "he who has the gold."

it's no more complicated than that and all your cranial efforts to self-justify are masturbatory in nature.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:12 | Link to Comment Nikki
Nikki's picture

After watching John Stewart's bit on 8 Presidents promising alternative energy and even..... Affordable Health care (Nixon 1974)... I am convinced that the system is as rotten as the leadership it produces.

We have laws against fraud and all other corporate crimes. Without enforcement, we really do have corporate anarchy in practice. I believe the term is "regulatory capture".

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:29 | Link to Comment poorold
poorold's picture

"I am convinced that the system is as rotten as the leadership it produces."

 

This is an idealistic, academic response.  utopia does not exist. it is a mass delusion. join with whom you think will win and, if they do, you will have a "softer life."

 

"We have laws against fraud and all other corporate crimes. Without enforcement, we really do have corporate anarchy in practice. I believe the term is "regulatory capture"."

 

tsk, tsk, tsk.  That's not how it works.  Enforcement of the "law" (written or otherwise) is based on "he who has the gold" or believes he has the gold...and if he really doesn't, he gets crushed depending upon how upset "he who really has the gold" is.  nothing more, nothing less.

all this academic analysis is just intellectual puffery in the ongoing scramble for the gold.

nothing more than sitting in a stadium watching the game and rooting for your team.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:22 | Link to Comment Instant Karma
Instant Karma's picture

Agree that hedge funds and investment banks and commercial banks did anything to make a quick buck during the real estate bubble.

Disagree that an oil well blow out in the Gulf is indicative of "anarchy" by oil companies. BP probably cut a few corners, but, shit happens. Wells blow out due to the enormous pressures involved.

I'm more concerned with Government anarchy. Not only does the Federal Government under dictator Obama not do much of anything well, they're tampling all over the constitution to do it. States have no rights, and the Feds can and do do anything they want. The whole point of the Consitution was to prevent an imperial presidency and set up checks and balances between the three branches.

But, when the three branches are all composed of socialist activists, there's nothing to stop them. Certainly not some old piece of paper written by some dead white guys.

Next stop, Great Brittain. Sky high taxes, national health service (you've lived long enough, die already), a camera every 20 feet, no growth, an all consuming government.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 09:39 | Link to Comment jailnotbail
jailnotbail's picture

Agree that hedge funds and investment banks and commercial banks did anything to make a quick buck during the real estate bubble.

Disagree that an oil well blow out in the Gulf is indicative of "anarchy" by oil companies. BP probably cut a few corners, but, shit happens. Wells blow out due to the enormous pressures involved.

I'm more concerned with Government anarchy. Not only does the Federal Government under dictator Obama not do much of anything well, they're tampling all over the constitution to do it. States have no rights, and the Feds can and do do anything they want. The whole point of the Consitution was to prevent an imperial presidency and set up checks and balances between the three branches.

But, when the three branches are all composed of socialist activists, there's nothing to stop them. Certainly not some old piece of paper written by some dead white guys.

Next stop, Great Brittain. Sky high taxes, national health service (you've lived long enough, die already), a camera every 20 feet, no growth, an all consuming government.

 

One has to have worked for the government to really understand how  fully corporations control it. 

I was one of those lazy, worthless, unproductive government workers for a number of years. I finally quit when I realized there was no longer even a chance that I could do my job, which involved supervising contractors who performed construction on federally funded projects.

My role had been reduced to that of scapegoat, set up to be knocked down if anything should go wrong, in much the same way that the BP drilling project has gone wrong.

I could no longer enforce even the most basic of regulations to insure quality or safety.  The companies controlled everything because they'd paid off the politicians who held sway over my agency with political contributions.  They did what they wanted to, and if I tried to stop them I got a call that let me know exactly where I stood, and how insignificant and disposable I was if I wanted to try and get in their way.

That's how most government operates nowadays. You've got a bunch of government employees, most of whom have families and mortgages and can't afford to resist, with their faces shoved to the ground, to lick the boots of the corporate masters they are supposed to be regulating.

So they cave in.  And if you want to say that this proves that government doesn't work, that's it's worthless and useless and a drain on resources, and that we need to get out of the way with our regulations and let business have it's way, why, I suppose you have a case of sorts.

And I think we're going to get a chance to try out your solution.  I should say I live in dread of the fact that we are going to get a chance to try your solution, and it will be 'the final solution', to borrow a phrase.

 

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:50 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

End of an age, end of an era. All the words and their archaic and an-archaic definitions are so the Age Of Pisces.

A new age is dawning and it is terribly difficult to acknowledge in the midst of the old age.

The collapse of structures, the collapse of institutions, the collapse of cultures, such obvious signs of a climax.

The only ones who arell make it through the eye of the proverbial needle is the ones with eyes wide shut. Comfortable with paradox, engines of their own being. Aware, detached, neither numb nor dumb, comfortably otherwise.

We are all surfing in shark infested waters and there are no lifeguards and the shore is a mirage, now near, now far.

Mother cultures blinders are on till they are off. Once off, they can never slip back on again. But the rip is painful, the glare blinding.

Few have the courage to do it and will continue to take baby steps in a time when you have to be ready to leap like giants.

ORI
http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 07:58 | Link to Comment Zina
Zina's picture

Corporations should be totally free to do whatever it want.

And I favour privatization of police, Judiciary and all the urban streets.

Police for free? No! Private security corporations should give protection only for those who can pay for it.

Judiciary for free??? No, no, no! We need a private company providing judiciary services, just charging "some" fees.

And all urban streets should be privatized, and who want to pass through them with a car must pay a toll to the private company wich manages the street.

Down with the government! Long live free unregulated markets! Long live free corporations!

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 08:27 | Link to Comment oulous
oulous's picture

Great post.

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 10:14 | Link to Comment grunion
grunion's picture

When the dust settles and the waters clear, a goodly portion of humanity will be damned glad they WERE in the USA.

Hide and watch!

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