The idea of corporations seems to be mostly a way for people to avoid personal responsibility for their actions, or the actions they pay for somebody else to carry out. So without a chance in hell of losing their charter or any money over their investment, people—mostly middle- and upper-class, I suppose—can bankroll whatever they think will make them even more money, and they pretty much know what that might be, like drilling for offshore oil. Still, I can imagine a scenario wherein there would be no question as to who would pay for British Petroleum’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Shoddy federal oversight probably contributed, but that’s no reason for taxes to pay for removing it. I suppose there are good reasons to expect BP to pay for it somehow, transferring assets or something else electronic. BP apparently has a long history of cutting corners and lying and paying the fine and doing it again. That’s good business, but only because of what’s been called the corporate veil, a benefit of an imaginary person that relieves shareholders of their legal responsibility for its actions.
I can imagine moral responsibility being unaffected by the law and shareholders paying for whatever the business couldn’t cover. Or we could apportion the cleanup cost according to our petroleum consumption—gas and oil, plastics, natural gas, everything. That seems fair to me. I wonder what I would owe?
I recently read an Associated Press article by Martha Mendoza online that recounts the history of the drug war and concludes that it was a failure in every way. I suspect that anything we call a war is doomed to failure because it implies intolerance, and nothing in nature is entirely one thing. We’ve grown so used to accepting half-truths and outright lies that our fearful leaders can fiddle around forfuckingever even after the truth becomes general knowledge before anything actually happens, which is what’s going on with the drug war.
Everybody you know understands that the war on drugs has done nothing useful, but it’s taking years to undo the hundreds of tangled statutes that our chickenshit lawmakers and their funders have dreamed up over the years. The responsibilities lie with the politicians, bureaucrats, and goons who took part in a bogus war, all of the ones who actually persecuted and prosecuted and killed the millions of people who suffered from a drug’s illegality, and especially people who are still at it.
I can imagine a United States where all those people who executed the orders from the hierarchy and arrested and beat and shot and judged and sentenced and degraded the victims of the drug war make restitution to atone for their part, and we release drug prisoners and restore their right to vote before November. That’ll be some election.