True sustainability vs. the free market

An editorial in today’s Tampa Tribune talks about how governmental regulation shouldn’t stand in the way of corporate free market enterprise.

I love what Patel is doing for the environment, but let’s not ascribe altruism as an innate characteristic of all corporations.

slaughter houseBy definition, for-profit corporations exist for the sole purpose of earning the maximum return on investment for the owners. Otherwise, they would be non-profit corporations, operated for a common good. Let’s also not forget that “government” regulation is regulation by “We the People”.

Just as individual rights stop short of your fist hitting my nose, so to do corporate property rights stop just short of taking away our ability to enjoy public lands, clean air and water.

Governance by the people is hardly a leftist agenda, as laid out in our United State Constitution.

Free market forces, if left unchecked, would return us to the good old days when a rendering plant could be built next to an elementary school.

Yes, sustainability “should be about the freedom to find the solutions that work best for a community.” But when corporate interests conflict with that public good, the public must be able to say “no”.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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