Archives for posts with tag: fertilizer

300,000 people in West Virginia can’t use their tap water for anything but flushing their crap down the dumper because an unregulated toxic chemical facility just upstream from Charleston’s water supply sprang a leak: it’s so bad, people in 6 counties can’t bathe, wash their clothes, cook, clean, and such. Sensible people asked for some regulations, but the Libertarians blocked them, because the “free market” would magically make the tank farm’s operator do everything necessary to make the place safe and squeaky-clean. Of course, that turned out not to be the case.

Last year, a town in Texas suffered a devastating and deadly explosion because a barely-regulated fertilizer plant blew up. This being Texas, only a few sensible people argued for regulations, and the Libertarians blocked them too, because the “free market” is a peachy and perfect way to ensure safety and cleanliness in industry. In fact, the libertarians are STILL blocking new regulations even after that blast, so that town (or another) could blow up again at any moment.

Time after time, this silly-arsed idea that businesses are somehow innately good and will always do the right thing when left to their own devices has been proven false. And yet its adherents still insist that it is true, that we just need to get rid of even more government and then it’ll work, honest, really, pinky-swear. That’s like a compulsive gambler telling you that if he just had more money to bet, he’d be on Easy Street.

This ideology does not work in real life. Smart people who live in the real world and have read Adam Smith know that a regulated free market is what works best. But because a czarist Russian exile had an understandably huge hate-on for Commies and wrote a few novels, somehow a lot of otherwise sane and intelligent individuals decided that a whole philosophy should be based on those novels; and indeed, a new economic theory be created out of the whole cloth and immediately declared valid, based largely on those novels. Fiction, to libertarians, is reality.

And that, friends, pretty well sums up Libertarianism: it is a theory, based on fiction, that has no basis in reality. People have been trying for decades to make it real, to make it work, to take it from marionette status and turn into a real boy. All that has been realized from their efforts is that Libertarians have grown a very large set of donkey ears as their Ayn Rand-based Pleasure Island has gone morally, intellectually, and financially bankrupt.

Libertarianism has failed. It is dead. Stop trying to make the corpse move; bury it and try something based in the real world next time.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

On Edit – more than one cranky reader has pointed out that the band Rush is no longer espousing libertarianism in their more recent lyrics. Apologies to Rush, and anyone else offended by the reference, which I have removed. Thanks to those who pointed out the error.

Obama stepped up to take care of West, Texas, because none of the responsible officials would do the jobs they were elected to do. And why, we hear you ask, did they not do their jobs? Answer: they are being bribed not to.

“Legislative fixes have failed in recent years, in part, because of business lobbying efforts. The chemical and manufacturing industry doubled its total lobbying spending to $55million during the decade ending in 2012, according to an analysis by the nonprofit group OpenSecrets.org. The agricultural services sector, which includes fertilizer makers and retailers, increased lobbying spending by about 50 percent over the same period to $35million last year.”

Since Obama isn’t beholden to these industries, he is free to act: first, he told the regulatory agencies to, well, regulate for a frickin’ change; and he also put the smack on FEMA, making them give West disaster relief.

So, yay for the Prexy and all that. He has done good work here. The real question is: why won’t the “Republican public servants” that Texas keeps electing do that good work themselves?

And since Repubs don’t take care of Texas, why do Texans keep electing Repubs?

Mr. Blunt and Cranky