: : Hank: Have you ever seen a strip mine?
: Hank: Have you ever heard of Union Carbide in India?
: Hank: By your logic, we should just turn over the oceans to private corporations and that would solve the over-fishing problem.
: Dave: No, what I am saying is that in a world in which we have corporations fishing, it is better have the waters that they fish in owned by them rather than held in trust. My reasoning for this is that if a company owns the region it will make sure that there is enough fish left to reproduce and insure a continuing business for the following year. A responsible company looking for longterm growth and stability will do this and not overfish one year in order to have phenomenal profits.
Okay, let's say that we have amazon.com North Pacific sea near Seattle, and they've pledged not to overfish. Then, we can give the Atlantic to those darlings of "socially responsible capitalism", Ben and Jerry, the entire eastern seaboard. Everything will be cool because our bourgeoisie will have pony-tails.
What will be the definition of overfishing be? They could be overfishing, but they won't think so. Overfishing isn't like a dirty parking lot or out-of-style wallpaper--it's not immediately verifiable.
What happens when the responsible capitalists sell out to irresponsible capitalists? What about other uses of the land?
The profit motive knows no responsibility nor does it have a social conscience. The only thing it has is Milton Friedman's assertion that people maximizing their self-interest will work out for the greater good. (Don't trot out your Adam Smith here, Dave. He'll disappoint you, that Scottish commie.)
When Union Carbide's the chemical plant exploded in Bhopal, India killing thousands and injuring hundreds of thousands, the first thing its CEO did was make an announcement to the effect of that he and his company were going to do a thorough investigation into the causes. then he promised full compensation for the victims.
A week later he made an announcement that he had "over-reacted." What happened? Obviously, in his first speech he reacted as a person, and in his second he reacted as a capitalist.
The Exxon oil spill happened because:
1) Exxon shouln't be up there drilling. We should be putting all our available resources to develop alternative energy sources, such as solar.
2) Exxon didn't invest in the ship design which could have prevented or mitigated the damage
3) The captain was drunk and irresponsible.
The tragedy of Prince William Sound continues because, once the tv cameras were turned off, Exxon left. They have lived up neither to their promises to clean up their mess nor their financial obligations to the fishermen of the area.
If they owned the area, the public would have ZERO legal recourse. With public ownership, we have SOME rights, however truncated and illusory.