“This BP oil spill is typical” of what happens when private industry is allowed to draw revenue on what should be a public good, Stone said.
“We shouldn’t make this kind of profit on oil or on health or on war or on prisons. All these industries should be public industries.”
Raphael G. Slatter, Huffington Post
I share Oliver Stone’s general sentiment. He’s right that, “We shouldn’t make this kind of profit on oil or on health or on war or on prisons. All these industries should be public industries.” In fact, the general rule should be that all non-discretionary industries are held publicly.
The free market does work, but its central thesis is based on the balance of supply and demand. And this “natural” balance is obviously lost when consumers have no real choice. Industries that are required for life in the modern age are ripe for abuse on the supply side, because demand is essentially fixed. Energy, healthcare, defense, and law enforcement all fit this paradigm, as does education.
Though it may sound corny, whenever I contemplate this situation, one of the Governator’s movies comes to mind — Total Recall. In that movie, business operatives run a colony on Mars, where they’ve constructed domed cities and they control the supply of air. It begs the question: what would be the market price for the oxygen we breathe?
Of course, Stone’s idea to nationalize oil is about far fetched as my Mars example (maybe more so). But there is another path that might actually be doable: don’t try to nationalize oil — make it obsolete. This could be accomplished through massive public investment in alternative energy. And oddly enough, it’s the right path for The People and the planet — imagine that!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost