The following was written in response to the question: How do we get BP to stop cutting corners? Thought you might like to read this.
Paul: Jail can work wonders in changing behavior. Much underrated just as regulation is, for me, overrated. Even huge escrow accounts would work. Or: simply ban offshore drilling. It is really that simple. Why doesn't it happen? For two reasons that George mentions: (1) Capitalism and our desire to produce wealth endlessly. "Wealth is good and more wealth is better," we think, despite all the evidence to the contrary. (2) We think we can go on living as we do now - with regard to "energy" - and the government will "save" us. [The Progressive delusions: government can regulate "things" in a way that what George calls "the [necessary] turmoil in the economy" can be controlled as well as thinking that genuine popular rule can be preserved in the face of huge concentrations of wealth.] The way we are living might be untenable [I think it is]. And I agree with George that we think too often: "what can the government give you." But I think this of Republicans and Democrats. If the Republicans were really against government, it would be smaller and, e.g., corporations would not be considered "individuals" with the protections afforded to human beings [and more in fact] as individuals. I also agree with George that this won't happen. For me this is because of greed and the desire to live in a great nation, to be #1 as it is so often put. [And by-the-by, this was all argued about in 1787 and 1788 and greatness and greed won out over goodness and non-greed. Both choices have their "limitations," and we are living with our choice such as it is.]