Friday, June 4, 2010

Daddy, have you fixed the hole yet?

We've become such a nation of cry-babies, looking to the government to fix all of our boo-boos. The federal government should be the last resort, not the first. As any good (private sector) manager knows, you "push responsibility down" and you escalate only as needed. A hundred years ago, the feds were turned away as usurpers by local and state workers who wanted to handle things themselves after droughts, hurricanes and the like.

I just re-read the Constitution -- it's a short document -- I checked the enumerated powers for the President, and no, fixing an oil leak isn't one of them. Ditto for congress. The 10th amendment suggests that maybe the states, or maybe We the People are responsible. Let's man up, and fix it our damn selves! I don't know about anyone else, but if I caused the leak, I would step up and take responsibility for fixing it. Anyone else who wants to volunteer, or do it for profit is in play here too. If the government swoops in and takes responsibility every time one of my risky ventures goes bad, what incentive do I have to take sensible precautions, and maybe not even take the risk in the first place? Gee ... that sounds familiar (bail-out).

That BP seems to be ill-equipped to stop the leak is a bit surprising to me, but the government isn't any more qualified, nor should they be. Oil exploration is a risky business, and sometimes things happen that nobody is prepared to handle. If it wasn't for oppressive government regulations, BP wouldn't have been drilling in mile-deep water in the first place.

Public opinion (via the first amendment), lawsuits and bankruptcy are the tools to "teach BP (and the oil industry) a lesson", if a lesson needs to be taught. Do you think the politicians responsible for creating the situation by forcing oil companies further and further out to sea will take responsibility for their mistakes, and learn their lesson? Not bloody likely.

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