The free market vs. government (and regulation)

The default narrative since the Ronald Reagan days has been that the government is in the way and the freemarket functions better than the government. It is the opinion of LSW that arguments for the efficacy of the freemarket are in general fobbed off on the rest of society as a way to disguise legal theft.

This opinion is seemingly verified by, for example, the financial crisis of 2007-08 of which it is often said that the ideology of the freemarket led authorities to remove regulation of the financial industry, believing that market would take care of itself and that no regulation was needed, all of which supposedly led to the events that brought the global economy to the brink.

LSW thinks that those professing the glories of the free market were raking in billions by the hook or the crook that a lack of legislation allowed them.

We see the same effects of the lack of regulation in the oil rig explosion in the Gulf. Democracy Now has a consise overview of the BP Gulf oil dusaster, along with an
interview
with Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. Among other things, she says

Well, when a federal government is going to approve a project, it has to go through an environmental review. But for projects that have very, very little impact like building an outhouse or a hiking trail, they can use something called a categorical exclusion and say there’s no impact here at all so we don’t need to spend energy or time doing a review. Well, we looked at the oil drilling permits being issued by the Minerals Management Service in the Gulf, and we were shocked to find out that they were approving hundreds of massive oil drilling permits using this categorical exclusion instead of doing a full environmental impact study. And then, we found out that BP’s drilling permit—the very one that exploded—was done under this loophole and so it was never reviewed by the federal government at all. It was just rubber-stamped. “

Note that the exemption from the need to secure environmental review for BP drilling projects was issued by MMS under Secretary Salazar/President Obama. Why would the Obama administration allow drilling for oil in the Gulf exempting oil companies from the need to secure enrironmental reviews? The cynic in me says that a look at campaign donations from the oil industry and oil industry lobbying efforts directed towards the Obama administration would reveal a tight relationship. Is this corruption.

The Minerals Mangement Service, at The Center for Public Integrity writes

“An eye-opening series of reports in fall 2008 by the Department of the Interior’s inspector general disclosed a stunning level of corruption at the Minerals Management Service (MMS), and a coziness with industry officials that included a “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” at the agency.”

“The inspector general concluded that officials in the MMS Royalty-in-Kind program “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.”

Right up W’s alley one would presume. And a monument to the the former VP’s flair at destroying the fundement of the U.S. society. Questions which give rise to yet another: why does the Obama administration persist in following this dark legacy of deregulation?

Media and corporations vs. the government
Jan. 2011 New LSW page on U.S. media is unavoidably bound up in the free market vs government theme, given that the relatively meagre electronic offers available in the U.S. is a result of corporate influence on the FCC and media legislation.