So I was reading a couple of articles on the legislation in the United States that was stopped before it began on the possible drilling of off-shore locations for an increase in the domestic oil production of the US. The bill was designed to allow lands, that were previously off limits, to be accessed for use in drilling to increase the domestic supply of oil in the US and help brunt some of the increase in costs on the amount per barrel. Many politicians saw this as a way to help the consumer absorb some of the cost that they were paying at the pump, while others saw this as a “big oil” or “anti-environmental” movement aimed at furthering the destruction of the planet. Continue reading
Category Archives: EU
In the market oriented world, trade subsidies are supposed to be an advantageous means to protect a country’s ability to produce a good and have a chance to be marketable on the global market. Thus when one country produces a product at a lower cost and begins exporting it globally, another country has the ability to place an export duty or a trade subsidy on it so that their product meets the price of the same or similar product in that nations market. Thus, if an African country can produce, say wheat, at a lower cost and ship it worldwide, then Europe would subsidize their farmers and pay them the difference in the market value so that the European farmers could sell their wheat at the same price as the African country. Thus, the African country loses the battle because their product is no longer as competitive as it was when it was shipped from their ports. Continue reading
Looking back over the history of not only the United States, but the history of most of the now modern world, the Great Depression was a defining moment in many people’s lives. This was a time when the world economy came to a grinding halt for some, or slowed down so significantly that the people were desperate for any means possible to get out of their economic depression. The evils of capitalism would not and could not allow for the economies of the world to rebound as fast as the people wanted or needed and thus drastic measures were required. At least that is how the political figures in-charge defined their arguments for such “New Deal” policy and legislation. Continue reading
In a world that is ever changing and in a time where providing for your nation is tantamount to the survival of your people and society, we need to have a better understanding of the governmental regimes that are at play in our world. From dictatorships to monarchies, democracies to socialist regimes, countries around the world are creating a future for themselves in which government has an important role and place in their society. Some societies feel that government should be the “be all and end all” of their world and provide for it, everything they need to live the best life possible. Others believe that the people should decide how they live their lives and that government should be there to provide stabilization and a governing force to protect their basic needs and tenants. Continue reading
“History, in brief, is an analysis of the past in order that we may understand the present and guide our conduct into the future,” stated former University of Chicago professor Sidney E. Mead. To understand and guide our conduct for the twenty-first century, one must examine the past. The German Union leaders and other prominent German politicians are calling for a minimum wage to be enacted. One labor leader is calling for a price floor of 7.50 euros an hour. Is this policy effective in establishing equality and limiting unemployment? If one wants to understand the future of the German nation, one must look at the history regarding minimum wage.
Wrestling with global financial meltdown for top news spot, climate change is never far from the headlines. So it is no surprise that EU President Jose Manuel Barroso has grabbed the limelight with yet another drastic plan to deliver us from our collective environmental sins.
When it comes to climate change there is a scene in the film Men In Black that for me neatly summarises the debate. A wizened Tommy Lee Jones turns to a newly recruited Will Smith declaring that “1500 years ago everybody knew that the earth was the centre of the universe, 500 years ago everybody knew that the earth was flat and 15 minutes ago you knew that people were alone on this planet…think what you will know tomorrow”
No mater what the natives of Kreuzberg or the Rainbow Warrior would have you believe, science does not work in ‘facts’. During the later half of the 19th Century and well into the twentieth the ‘science’ of phrenology predicted with factual certitude that racial groups and their physical characteristics determined people’s cognitive potential. Currently there are several competing theories about the exact reason for how airline wings work, no scientist can explain why hot water freezes faster than cold or indeed how the supposedly un-aerodynamic bumblebee flies. Science is constantly evolving in a non-linear fashion, progressing faster and further in some areas and clearly lagging behind in others. It is not for me, or indeed you, to sit and declare categorically one side of the climate debate or the other.
Now I know what you are thinking, ‘oh no here we go again’ another free-marketeer denying that the climate is changing or at the very least that humanity has anything to do with a natural process. You would be wrong however. Refuting climate change and/or anthropomorphic explanations outright is equally as facile as proclaiming its scientific certitude.
My point is this; the bandwagoning Bonos of this world may well be right. Those who deny everything to do with climate change may well turn out to be right. However, to extend the agenda setting remit of governments and international organisations on the basis of this scientific ‘knowledge gap’ is definitely wrong.
For arguments sake, if climate change is man made and if it is reversible then surely the last institution one wants taking the lead are international bodies that fail to resolve more meagre international issues and governments that consistently struggle to educate your children, supply adequate police forces and provide effective healthcare solutions. Governments and international bodies, no matter their motives, are in their very nature consistently the worst providers of efficient services and innovative solutions. Daily they struggle with the complexity of modern society; who on earth would want to trust them with saving the planet?
There are alternatives. I direct the open minded reader to the following alternative solutions on the issue. The soon to be published Civil Society Report on Climate Change and The Commons blog offer introductions and explanations as to why a free market solution provides a logical and tested route to solving climate change and other pressing global issues.