Sunday, May 23, 2010
When Oversight Is Necessary
I have been reading and listening to opinions about the oil spill and I see what’s wrong with the country right now in my opinion. No one can have a reasonable conversation about anything. When something like this happens people want to make political statements for their side. There shouldn’t really be a side when something like this happens because everyone failed. I know we need to drill for oil since there’s no alternative at the moment. I accept that fact but the part that concerns me is that no one made sure there was any system in place in case an accident happened. After all, anything man made can go wrong so there was always a chance an oil rig could blow up. Some people think regulation on companies goes against our system of free enterprise. You can be for free enterprise and look out for the general public at the same time. You shouldn’t have to choose between the two. A business should make all the money they can make as long as they don’t destroy the lives of other people to do it.
If I and a friend decided to quit our jobs and open a strawberry farm in my back yard we should have the right to do that. If our crops became successful and we were making money to become the kings of produce, I don’t believe we should have to pay extra taxes or fees as a punishment for our success. I don’t believe the government should do that to people or companies who are trying to be successful. What the government should be doing is making sure that we are not spraying our crops with some pesticide that causes cancer or spraying them with a chemical that makes our product look better only to find out after years pass that it’s bad for people. That’s what you need government for because the average person can’t monitor these types of things for themselves. We can debate about the need for government in other things but this kind of oversight should be something we all agree on. Disasters don’t give a damn about political views.
With the way the system works now the government could ask us about the pesticides we’ve been spraying on our strawberries but if we had the right lobbyist and made the proper campaign contributions no one would make us change it until everyone was sick. It would be too late then because the damage is already done and that’s the same situation in the Gulf of Mexico right now. I don’t think anyone was trying to stop BP from making money. I would bet that most people didn’t know what companies were involved in what rigs out there. They could have pumped oil out of that site for the next ten years and I wouldn’t have thought about it one time. Now I have no choice but to worry about it because it’s clear they don’t really know how to stop this thing from leaking. In this instance business and government both failed. The business didn’t have a real plan and the government didn’t make sure they had one.