The Truth about Big Bidness 6/27/10

The lack of any new Truths out here has been bothering me for the last couple of weeks. But my problem hasn’t been finding a topic—it’s been choosing a topic. There are just so many morons out in the world doin’ stupid shit, it’s hard to decide on just one.

Should I pick on British Petroleum? I’m not sure why I would do that. For one, Bill Maher seems to have that pretty much covered. For two, where does the criticism end? Sure, BP did the actual damage, but I don’t believe for a second that they’re the only ones running their operations with limited oversight. After all, the Bush Administration gave them license to operate those deep sea drilling operations in a manner that lead up to our current situation. Do you think for a second that the other oil companies are changing the way they do things? Until the playing field is leveled with tighter regulations, how can they afford to?

Let’s look at an example. Oil Company A (not BP) runs as sloppy an operation as they’re permitted. They’re one kitchen fire away from doing some terrible things to some pretty decent people. Oil Company B is doing the exact same thing—because that makes the whole thing more profitable, you understand.

Now, Oil Company A is run by regular folks. None of them graduated from college and said to themselves, “All righty then! Let’s get out there and do some harm!” And maybe out in the real world, they give to charity and they’re nice to animals and it’s all good. But they can’t afford to inspect their oil platforms often enough to make them safe. Wanna know why? Because Oil Company B isn’t doing it.  Is Company A going to charge an extra $10 for a barrel of oil to do the right thing? If they did, who’d buy their oil?

The answer is regulation. Big Business—no big business—is going to do the right thing just because it’s the right thing. Ever. Ever. They need to be regulated into doing the right thing. The companies who are run by decent people want to be told to do the right thing—because they want their competition to be told to do the right thing so everyone is on the same page. It’s as true of oil companies as it is of car companies (Toyota, anyone?) and insurance companies (take your fuckin’ pick).

We need to control these people with regulation, and we need to regard with suspicion anyone who thinks less regulation is a solution, because they are likely liars and thieves.

Which brings me to the Tea Party. But that’s a topic for another day.

For now, I need to figure out what I’m going to write this Truth about.