Thread: The latest LEM
View Single Post

Default 

May 22nd, 2012, 12:58
Likewise, to blame President Obama for current high unemployment and recession when those conditions were created by policies created well before his election, and when the U.S. also has to absorb economic fall-out from all across the world, is politically easy, but factually inaccurate,
Yes. We have a proverb here : "to make the (goat-, hare-)buck to the gardener".
dict-leo.org gives as a possible translation "to put the fox in charge of the henhouse".

It's too easy for political "enemies" to blame someone of - let's say recession - that he or she wasn't responsible for, because the ground of the recession (in my example) has been laid down long before

Here, we have a similar case : People now see that the economy-oriented policy of the current parties ruling the parliament (CDU, FDP) has become ort of "anti-social", but in fact people too easily forget that the grounds of this were laid down by the parties which are nowadays in the opposition (namely the SPD). I'm talking of the "Hartz IV" laws here.

Most Americans seem to have forgotten that before the enactment of the Clean Water Act, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland actually caught fire, or that the Potomac River was actually toxic.
Until the 60s, the river Rhine was toxic, too. It stank. Chemical plants of firms were allowed to let everything into the river Rhine. And I mean EVERYTHING.

Within the early 60s activists formed a movement - really tiny at first, only a few people - to get the river Rhine get better water again.

I saw a documentary on TV last year which was looking at the Rhine as a source of fish. During the industrialization, rivers became so polluted that everything life practically died out in them. The river Wupper was coloured. Source were clothing plants. The river Emscher is even oday nicknamed "Die Kloake des Ruhrgebietes".

These activists were there long, long, long before the environmental issues came into the minds of the public. the "Green Party" formed within the early 80s, out of a movement against pollution & against nuclear energy.

But in the 60s, they were only few, they were threatened by chemical plants workers fearing loss of their jobs (if their companies weren't allowed to pour their waste and whatnot into the Rhine, that is) - and often by foreworkers who of course were working for the companies.

Through this documentary I learned ONE huge lesson : Hoping that companies would save nature based on free will does not work. If they had let them doing as they wanted to, the river Rhine would still be polluted. Because it's so easy. Why bother with polluting the rivers if this is actually allowed ? Why bother about thousands of fishermen losing their jobs because the fish were toxic, too ? Why bother about/with water quality ? If you hope they'll do it based on free will, you'll be screwed, I learned through this documentary. At least with huge companies. You have to squeeze them, you have to force them, and that's what they finally did, because otherwise they would happily pollute the river Rhine even today. Because keeping and cleaning their waste (and in the end cleaning water, too) = costs, and no sane company chief allows his company to hve additional costs that reduce the profits.

Here, in my own own, a scandal came to light when the chemistry company openly admitted that it was of more importance to them to get their wastes into a big heap of waste than to take care of the people (often their workers !) living in houses close to that waste-hill. It didn't matter to the company's chiefs that they might become polluted by the toxic waste, too. All what mattered to them was to get their toxic wastes away, no matter where to.

This made me believe that a liberal market just doesn't work. In a liberal market, companies only do hat THEY want. And NOT what the public wants. If they believe that getting their wastes out into rivers - they'll do so. If the actual law allows them o do so - the better ! And if they get enough lobbyists into the law-making groups or at least influence the politicians in their own ways so that the laws can become extremely industry-friendly - even better !

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; May 22nd, 2012 at 13:21.
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR

#2

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 16,024