Sunday, August 19, 2007

Free from responsibility

The Randle Reef is located in Hamilton Harbour off of Lake Ontario. It is considered and Area of Concern as identified in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada as part of the International Joint Commission.

A new funding announcement was made to aid in cleaning up the area as part of a remedial action plan.

Sounds like good news. I feel that the industry that polluted the area, specifically the steel industry, should be paying for the entire cleanup cost. I'm getting a little tired of "free market" meaning free from risk, free from responsibility for your actions and free to only make a profit. When the steel companies are in financial trouble because of market forces or their own mismanagement everyone is looking for the government bailout. When it comes to cleaning up the mess I don't see them lining up. I understand that the law makes it nearly impossible to hold one entity accountable and even harder to collect from them if they were found liable to pay. In my opinion, we would all be better off, (business, consumers, the environment, society etc.) if the free market economy were truly free and people could enforce claims against others for environmental destruction like this. The way the law and the economy have developed nobody is accountable for anything from contaminated toothpaste, nuclear power plant leaks, or dumping toxic waste. Yet we have an abundance of regulations, regulatory agencies and lawyers who are all powerless to stop anything. It is time an informed citizenry become more active and responsible for the welfare of themselves and their communities.

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