Friday, August 29, 2008

Shocking Choice by John McCain

WASHINGTON-- Senator John McCain just announced his choice for running mate: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. To follow is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

“Senator McCain’s choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies.

“Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.

“This is Senator McCain’s first significant choice in building his executive team and it’s a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain’s commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil.”

This blog entry courtesy of Rodger Schlickeisen and the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Modest Proposal

Whenever the government deems a large corporation too important to the national interest to be allowed to fail, it invariably rides to the rescue on truckloads of taxpayer’s money. It’s the government’s way of rewarding corporate ineptitude, malfeasance and greed.

But a government-assisted bailout for private businesses is bad policy, and government should not engage in providing financial support or assistance to corporations that suffer from inept management or the malfeasance of highly positioned corporate insiders. Government’s proper role is to provide regulatory and oversight functions, to enforce corporate compliance with established rules and regulations, and to protect the citizens it governs from corporate irresponsibility and excess.

Instead of allowing corporations that privatize profits to get a free ride at public expense when calculated risk goes awry, government should intervene on behalf of the public. If a business is truly crucial to national interests, at the first signs of financial collapse government should step in—quickly and decisively—and nationalize the business.

Were this policy put into widespread practice, I think we’d see many fewer incidences of corporate shenanigans and much more corporate responsibility. The threat of nationalization would almost certainly cause most—if not all—corporate leaders to clean up their act.