Monday, September 26, 2011

Conversations With Ritmo

Blogger will not allow me to post comments on my own blog as "chickenlittle and so I'm posting my response to Ritmo's question here. This is a huge pain and I don't like this, but I refuse to post as "anonymous." ]

Ritmo: Q. Should we not exercise the precautionary principle and, instead, take it on the "faith" of our industrial over-lords that this ignorance and exposure is a good thing?

Me: My gripe is a general one. Since the 1970's, the so-called environmental movement has had the upper hand in the public arena of debate. Company after company has lost the right (privilege) to manufacture in the US until, finally, at long last, industries have decided to move elsewhere.

Yes, the issue of dioxin was overblown. The rhetorical hand played was one of fear--fear of the unknown--and as it turns out, dioxin is not the the most toxic chemical known to man. Yet what was the lay person to think after being fed misinformation? How far do lay opinions go in determining things regarding chemical manufacture?
Watching Althouse gives me hope that anti-business leftists can be confronted and opposed. What's happening in Madison need to occur at other levels.  Instead of cursing and hating the wealth makers, we need to encourage them.


  1. have decided to move elsewhere...

    If elsewhere includes places like China, something tells me that even the reddest of red states couldn't muster a majority of people who would openly, knowingly agree to the sort of foul regulatory regime that offers no recourse to melamine in milk and far worse environmental atrocities.

    ...the most toxic chemical...

    This is the second instance where you use such a construction. Can you define what it means? Is toxicity just a straight gradient affecting all organ and tissue types equally? Is a not-so-carcinogenic material that causes birth defects "less toxic" or "more toxic"? I'm confused.

    ...anti-business leftists can be confronted and opposed...

    Since you frame environmental concerns and investment concerns as diametrically opposed to one another, what would you make of the many businesses that are consistently beating their competition by actually listening to consumer demands, and making products that are safer and accompanied by less environmental cost? Your construction assumes a favored winner in the marketplace based on the company that is willing to be dirtier, and that's just as anti-market as assuming that the more efficient companies should be environmentally friendly. Incidentally, they often are, but not because of the morality or rightness of their stance.

    Instead of cursing and hating the wealth makers, we need to encourage them.

    So precisely how much regulatory capture, lobbying power and self-written bills do we need to offer these job non-creators until all the capital that they are sitting on actually gets put to use for the benefit of the inferior, sneered at masses, as well as for everyone else? How much lower a tax rate do they need to feel "encouraged", exactly? The rate is already lower than it was during the much higher growth rates of the 1990s and, among investors, much less than that of their "parasitic" (to use the Randian construction likely favored by Paul Ryan) employees.

    These guys are like prom dates who get treated to every special perk and still feel too shy to offer so much as a kiss. Not encouraged enough? Methinks that in an economy stalled by low demand, sympathy for and action on behalf of the less privileged parties might go a longer way than enriching an existing entitlement.

    No one gives a damn about the capital that is hung up on the shelf in the form of "wealth". Nor should they. It's as useless to the economy as Buckingham Palace and the crown jewels.

    (BTW, let me know if this is getting too heated for you. I'm trying to attune my rhetoric to the level you seem to feel comfortable with).

  2. and as it turns out,

    Lucky that, eh? Why can't we just convince the public to take risks like that more often?

    fear of the unknown

    We should be fearless and willing to risk deadly disease, like Marie Curie did. Not for the sake of knowledge (as she was) but for the sake of the already wealthy and the non-job creators!!!