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#61

No, the Hooker case doesn’t have to do with dumping chemicals into the river and spreading that way. But in such cases, states can and do sue offending states and get it heard in court for such. I believe Belgium or Netherlands sued France for contaminating the water underground or such.

Economics often play a role, when a state is economically backwards, environmental issues take a backseat, which may happen much in New York or New Jersey, despite their much-touted Democrat concern for the environment. Which is another good argument for state supervision, you live in the bed you make for yourself.

The real moral is that if you care deeply about the environment, then you should care about economics more, that is, good economics. When more capital is available in a country (or state), more people are free to divert their energies and finances into secondary hobbies, interests, and improving the environment becomes much more important than when funds are lacking.


#62

Which is why the idea of supranational courts is so – wait, is this a pro-localist or anti-localist argument? :ponder: :confused: :idunno:


#63

You seem to think ‘the environment’ is some sort of passive bauble that either does nothing useful, or is just a sinkhole for cash.

Economies fail because the source of economic success IS the environment. People need food, water, air, and ecosystem services to process human waste. Without those things, people die. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Environmental pollution usually indicates an inefficiency: the tricycle example I gave above is a classic example. The equipment is not just noisy and stinky, it’s expensive to buy and expensive to operate. It spreads poverty wherever it goes. It has absolutely no redeeming features compared to the ‘green’ alternative.


#64

Government oversight is often a problem. Instead of actually addressing climate issues, the amount of waste spent in travelling to events and publishing glossy brochures with goals that will never be achieved is a taxpayers` nightmare. Or, as with setting up initiatives such as cap and trade or Climate Action Secretariats, you hire a bunch of beancounters and bureaucrats to set goals and justifications for big money being spent. Again, a huge waste of taxpayer dollars with very little shown in tangible results other than feeling good (but that is important to liberals big time :grin:) . I have often fought such initiatives tooth and nail from within government when I worked in government. Not because I am necessarily anti-making-the-world-a-cleaner-place, but because I see it as being ideologically fanatical and a huge, huge waste of money.


#65

The environment is certainly useful for earning money, growing crops, mining, etc., but without capital, there’s no impetus or wherewithal to own and develop or mold the environment to make it useful, or clean.

Your green alternative to the expensive tricycle is such because someone invented it and probably with a view towards entrepreneurship, and somewhere, somehow, capital was supplied to make that idea possible and export it to Phillipines or whereever. If that capital isn’t readily available the idea doesn’t come into being and people’s lives are not amerliorated, they have to deal with klutzy, inefficient, expensive (relatively speaking) equipment, which is just yesterday’s capital.


#66

I think the situation in West Virginia exposes the political side of government oversight. It seems magnanimous of Obama to want cleaner air, but he uses the government oversight function to act as tryant while seeming to look like a philanthropist. He personally doesn’t like coal, so he uses government regulation and oversight to force his beliefs that hurt other people who depend on it.

This is a very good reason why localizing environmental issues are important. West Virginians aren’t concerned about dirty air or environment because they balance it with their livelihood. For Washington to force its political values that are properly New York values on West Virginia has doomed that state.


#67

Ha, that’s true, it’s not like states suing other states, but then again, Europe wants to see itself as another United States of America, but it’s a really, really bad idea, different languages, cultures, races, etc.

Even so, without a “supranational” court, countries can take other measures against other countries. But in the Mekong Delta, none of those countries are gonna be economically vital enough that many people will be free from financial burdens to be able to worry about it.


#68

Ah yes, measures. In a might makes right system, localism works as long as you’re the mightiest. Most people/states aren’t the mightiest.

Um, it’s because they’re not free from financial burdens that they have to worry about it, no? Upstream pollution damages the livelihood of people who live off the land/water, no?

If they had money to burn, they could buy imported food or just emigrate. :sunglasses: :desert_island:


#69

I mean worry about it in a way that inspires them to take the bull by its horns. There’s a lot of passivity and despair that goes hand-in-hand with poverty, experienced on a national level as well as individual. If Vietnam were an economic powerhouse, they personal standards of cleanliness would upgrade, they would be offended and taking on those other countries that were polluting their own country.


#70

In other words, if Vietnam had more might, it could intimidate or blackmail the other five countries (including China), and this should be the model for local jurisdictions around the world dealing with problems that extend beyond their borders.

If you say so. :idunno:


#71

What you call “capital” can be magicked out of thin air. It is a product of legal inventions, such as the legal right of banks to print money on behalf of the government.

Those rustbuckets cost $3500 apiece. That money must have come from somewhere (where it comes from, in reality, is pooled cash from several family members). Now, that cash can be spent either on a rustbucket, or on a much better piece of equipment that does a much better job for less money.

The dirty option basically amounts to using that money with the specific intent of polluting the environment. The operator ends up in permanent grinding poverty, and the ‘investors’ (if you want to call them that) rarely get any profit back; more often than not they don’t even get their loan back.

The ‘green’ option is an actual investment, because it produces real returns.


#72

But, but, if 3rd world countries are allowed to develop without massive pollution, it’s just not fair to all the other countries that went through a classical industrial revolution! :sob: :sob: :sob:


#73

yeah, it amazes me that some people think there is one and only one way for humanity to progress, and it’s the way The West did it 200 years ago. The weird part is that the Third World is the most vehement defender of this view, and look upon any attempt to push them in more efficient directions as imperialist arrogance.


#74

Yip—many 3rd world countries would rather wallow in their own shit and play the blame game than make any reforms, which is much, much harder. There has definitely been a failure of leadership in post-colonialism.


#75

If you have a leader smart enough to understand economics and cooperate with it, he/she should be smart enough to deal with other sticky issues involving other nations and identifying root causes and innovative solutions.

Economics is a good litmus test. Leaders who are dumb about economics, only see things on the surface and don’t truly understand, and will tend to be that way about any issue. Democrat leadership is a good example.


#76

Oh no no no, that is so Keynesian. You can’t magic capital out of thin air by printing money. We all know what inflation is, prices are not actually rising, but rather the value of the money decreases. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but many short-sighted government leaders attempt to do just that by printing money. It only works for 2 or 3 months before destructive forces begin biting back and catapult the country back with the same amount of ferocity it tried to advance in this way. And what it amounts to is destruction of capital, because capital is denoted by the currency, which has been compromised.

I really don’t know the specifics of your illustration, if I studied it more, I could answer to that, I’m just guessing these inventions aren’t readily available there? Maybe you could shed more light why people don’t buy a cheaper more efficient product.


#77

Developing countries have an advantage that they can avail themselves of hundreds of years of Western accumulated capital under capitalism. But having taken a shortcut, the people’s thinking still hasn’t evolved to understand, become, act with economic liberty in all areas of their business and lives. They still act like they did hundreds of years ago.

We see this particularly in Taiwan, where they have access to all Western inventions, but still see each other and treat others according to where they belong in the caste system, and in business tends to vitiate what capitalism they structurally have on the surface.

They really do need a classical industrial revolution, before society really becomes free in the Western sense. Then they learn how to solve problems on their own and not rely on
Western inventions for perpetuity. Because of this, The East must float or sink according to the West.


#78

aiyo, I wasn’t talking about printing money. Even if I was, I think you’re being deliberately obtuse. Banks make loans by printing money. The entire system of capitalism is predicated on printing money. You know this. Of course there must be some real economic activity going on to support the printing, but that’s a different issue. They don’t even bother with the printing these days - most money is just numbers on a computer.

Anyway, there are many ways to obtain what you call ‘capital’ and what I’d call ‘leverage’. In my view, capital is stuff that sticks around - stuff that can be used again and again to generate wealth. The environment, for example. What you’re talking about is something that is, or need only be, of transient value.

All that’s needed here, specifically, is cash, and then only until you get a return on investment. And that cash is already available, as I said. It doesn’t need to be printed or borrowed from the bank. Not only that, the green alternative is cheaper to buy than the dirty one.

I already explained why people don’t buy the cheaper, more efficient product: they’re simply not allowed to. Any product that absorbs the entirety of the operator’s income - as opposed to just a part of it - is obviously more efficient at making rich people richer. It helps if the operator is unable to calculate this in advance, so in the Philippines they take pains to ensure nobody is able to do basic math. Education is a wonderful thing!


#79

You seem to be saying the reason why Vietnam doesn’t have China cowering in fear is that its leaders are stupid.

All I really wanted was to talk about the effect of perceptions of masculinity on economic policy. But this feels like a repeat of the labor reform thread, and I don’t have enough capital to build all the brick walls I would need to smash my head into, so I will wish you a pleasant day.

:bowing: :wall:

Don’t be so sure.


#80

As for money, it has no value of its own because it has not practical use. It must be backed up by something, gold, silver, etc, which have practical use other than as a vehicle of currency. So when you print money irresponsibly so that it becomes less and less backed up by real value, that fake value will go down in real value. Numbers on computers is the same thing as money, its beginning to take is place, but it can never take the place of the fact that it must be backed up by real value. You can’t just generate fake value.

The environment can’t just simply be called capital. Capital must be combined with labor to create something of value. A pristine forest that isn’t generating wealth is not capital. The less real capital a nation has, the more the environment becomes a wilderness as less work and development is being done on property.

Also, a company or individual invests capital, which means foregoing present consumption with an eye to future prosperity. Capital isn’t consumption, it needs to be saved, and bubbles discourages savings, which is capital accumulation. You’re right that capital sticks around, old machinery, but they wear out, and with the running of time, depreciation tends to diminish capital. It really is transient.