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Old Apr 7, 2012, 09:38 PM   #1
Sydde
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business, bureaucracy and bees

In the past few years, there has been a mystery surrounding the rapid decline of honeybees. At first, the cause was evident: they were besieged by a bee mite. But then, hives were simply failing, the bees were leaving them vacant. It was a perplexing mystery.

Or perhaps not.

Seems the chemical giant Bayer AG (the people who brought us Aspirin and Heroin) had this dandy little pesticide called Clothianidin that they wanted to sell in the US. It is a plant-systemic substance that acts as a neurotoxin on many nuisance insects. Testing was fast-tracked, to the extent that the chemical was approved by the EPA even before results were presented. This despite serious concerns of some of EPA's own scientists, despite the fact that Clothianidin is banned in Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia.

It appears that this pesticide gets into the nectar of plants, the diet of honeybees, and causes the bees to become disoriented, unable to find their way home before they die. A third of the hives in US failed last year, who knows how many more this year. Nuisance insects are a problem, but much of American agriculture relies on honeybees for production.

In this case, it looks like deregulation is not the problem, the regulatory agency just rolled over. This is the same as the net effect of the libertarian free market ethos.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 09:52 PM   #2
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So a democratic controlled executive agency is completely paid off and stream rolled by a company and its the same net effect of libertarian free market scenario. Ive never heard of anything more ridiculous. Liberals hear free market and just assume that you are allowed to do whatever you want, which would clearly not be the case.

Stop trying to excuse the failure of the EPA by attacking other's viewpoints. This clearly shows that regulations do not work when the regulators are corrupt and in bed with corporations and that is the only thing it shows.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 09:57 PM   #3
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
So a democratic controlled executive agency is completely paid off and stream rolled by a company and its the same net effect of libertarian free market scenario. Ive never heard of anything more ridiculous. Liberals hear free market and just assume that you are allowed to do whatever you want, which would clearly not be the case.

Stop trying to excuse the failure of the EPA by attacking other's viewpoints. This clearly shows that regulations do not work when the regulators are corrupt and in bed with corporations and that is the only thing it shows.
Bingo, all this proves is its not republicans, or libertarians, or whatever, its politician whores, which includes Democrats.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
So a democratic controlled executive agency is completely paid off and stream rolled by a company and its the same net effect of libertarian free market scenario. Ive never heard of anything more ridiculous. Liberals hear free market and just assume that you are allowed to do whatever you want, which would clearly not be the case.

Stop trying to excuse the failure of the EPA by attacking other's viewpoints. This clearly shows that regulations do not work when the regulators are corrupt and in bed with corporations and that is the only thing it shows.
Agreed. A free market is not a ticket to the Wild Wild West. Heck, a free market does not even mean no regulations. And democratic and republican politicians really aren't all that different given that corporations have their hands around both. If you look at financial donations of large corporations, they often donate large sums of money to both sides.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 10:44 PM   #6
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This is the same as the net effect of the libertarian free market ethos.
I thought it was a pretty solid OP/post until I saw this non sequitur.

Otherwise, pretty solid stuff. Bees (like sharks and other "vicious" animals) get a bad rap. But overall are really in trouble and really need some protection. They're vital to the ecosystem
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 10:56 PM   #7
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It's an argument for strong bureaucracy, driven by scientific evidence ... something that has been lacking of late. Republican presidential candidates have put targets on the EPA, threatening to weaken it even further, if not eliminate it entirely.

Where's the wisdom in that?

The government is the only entity responsible for stewarding the nation and it's resources for present and future generations. Corporations are only driven by the bottom line. It is up to the government to make sure that those profits aren't made at the expense of all the people.

This story illustrates how easily we can put our future in jeopardy, if we pay too much attention to profit, and not enough to science ... if we rush to make a buck, and don't exercise patience to make sure we're getting it done right.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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Another good Wired article over bees getting owned by pesticides.

Oh, and look who we have here, high fructose corn syrup.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 11:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
So a democratic controlled executive agency is completely paid off and stream rolled by a company and its the same net effect of libertarian free market scenario. Ive never heard of anything more ridiculous. Liberals hear free market and just assume that you are allowed to do whatever you want, which would clearly not be the case.

Stop trying to excuse the failure of the EPA by attacking other's viewpoints. This clearly shows that regulations do not work when the regulators are corrupt and in bed with corporations and that is the only thing it shows.
I am surely not trying to excuse the failure of the EPA, or any other federal agency. Clearly there is a serious money problem throughout Washington. But all I hear from the libertarians is that we should just get rid of the regulatory agencies. All they offer as an alternative is civil action. That sounds like pretty weak sauce to me. Nihilism. Break everything, toss the wreckage in a landfill, then effect regulation after the fact.

Call me a "liberal" if it makes you feel better, I just cannot see the effective difference between bad regulation and no regulation in this case, other than the fact that at least we had someone to tell us about it (because the EPA exists).
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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I am surely not trying to excuse the failure of the EPA, or any other federal agency. Clearly there is a serious money problem throughout Washington. But all I hear from the libertarians is that we should just get rid of the regulatory agencies.
I honestly don't see what the purpose of even bringing in libertarian (or any political philosophy) into the discussion was.

It's like:

"Oh man we have this huge problem..."

"oh, by the way communists suck!!"


It just doesn't serve any purpose. And now, instead of focusing on the problem and discussing it amongst ourselves, the focus is on the libertarian comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydde View Post
Call me a "liberal" if it makes you feel better, I just cannot see the effective difference between bad regulation and no regulation in this case, other than the fact that at least we had someone to tell us about it (because the EPA exists).
Well, from your own link the EPA didn't tell us. A memo within the EPA was leaked, and in turn we all found out about this. Although studies were being done (by universities, not the government) before this. There is even a documentary on Netflix about it.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 12:13 AM   #11
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Well, from your own link the EPA didn't tell us. A memo within the EPA was leaked, and in turn we all found out about this. Although studies were being done (by universities, not the government) before this. There is even a documentary on Netflix about it.
Does it make a difference that the studies weren't actually performed by the government?

The EPA is a regulatory agency, not a research lab.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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I am surely not trying to excuse the failure of the EPA, or any other federal agency. Clearly there is a serious money problem throughout Washington. But all I hear from the libertarians is that we should just get rid of the regulatory agencies. All they offer as an alternative is civil action. That sounds like pretty weak sauce to me. Nihilism. Break everything, toss the wreckage in a landfill, then effect regulation after the fact.

...

The EPA is always a favorite budget-cutting target... The under-funding that results is one of chief causes of the ineffectiveness of the EP. The agency often has to resort to relying on data submitted-by/funded-by the manufacturers, because it can't afford to do an in-house study.

We've been keenly aware of the impact that humans have on the planet for 40+ years, but we have yet to take the matter seriously... Future historians will not be kind.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 12:30 AM   #13
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Does it make a difference that the studies weren't actually performed by the government?

The EPA is a regulatory agency, not a research lab.
Well it makes a difference when somebody is attempting to convey that exact sentiment, and/or saying that the EPA was the one wo told us, when in fact this has been a known problem that universities have been researching for some time now.

And the EPA didn't tell us. It was kept from the public until that memo was leaked. That is the main issue. When you have a regulatory agency that is supposed to be looking out for the interests of the citizens, and overall well being of the country, but instead is being controlled by those who it's supposed to regulate, there is a huge issue.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 12:30 AM   #14
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...Ive never heard of anything more ridiculous. Liberals hear free market and just assume that you are allowed to do whatever you want, which would clearly not be the case...
In a strict free-market scenario, there wouldn't be a regulatory agency so individuals would be required to use the legal system to ensure the safety of products like Clothianidin.

Though I can see how the OP seemed like a non sequitur, I can see his point. The libertarian scenario never really deals effectively with how the free-market can solve a problem environmental (or social problems for that matter) like Clothianidin's use and its affect on honeybees.

The short answer is, we'd have the same problem but we wouldn't have a regulatory agency capable of reacting with laissez faire capitalism.

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Does it make a difference that the studies weren't actually performed by the government?

The EPA is a regulatory agency, not a research lab.
The EPA studied the chemical, but as the article notes the study was poorly designed and sloppy.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 12:52 AM   #15
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0405224653.htm

And if you aren't already worried about this issue, keep in mind that it's estimated that bees pollinate 1/3 rd of crops in the US.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 01:29 AM   #16
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0405224653.htm

And if you aren't already worried about this issue, keep in mind that it's estimated that bees pollinate 1/3 rd of crops in the US.
FWIW, change.org has a petition
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 09:15 AM   #17
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In a strict free-market scenario, there wouldn't be a regulatory agency so individuals would be required to use the legal system to ensure the safety of products like Clothianidin.

Though I can see how the OP seemed like a non sequitur, I can see his point. The libertarian scenario never really deals effectively with how the free-market can solve a problem environmental (or social problems for that matter) like Clothianidin's use and its affect on honeybees.

The short answer is, we'd have the same problem but we wouldn't have a regulatory agency capable of reacting with laissez faire capitalism.



The EPA studied the chemical, but as the article notes the study was poorly designed and sloppy.
Under a libertarian scenario the corporations would be required to pay back for their misdoings, in this scenario the government gave them the green light because the company likely wined and dined the politicians until they were too drunk in luxury to see straight. Focusing all of the power into a small amount of people that are corruptable is the problem. These companies wouldn't be doing stuff like this without thorough testing if they knew they would be accountable for billions in damages.

These same companies are using up our resources and land and tossing it to the wayside when they are done, community resources we will never get back and they don't even properly pay for them. A great example is water, a community resource, but the government allows them to move into an area and just suck the water table dry and then sell it back to us for a huge profit. Its like me coming into your house, raiding the fridge and offering to sell you back your food.

Please don't confuse libertarians with republicans, its apples and oranges.

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Old Apr 8, 2012, 09:56 AM   #18
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I honestly don't see what the purpose of even bringing in libertarian (or any political philosophy) into the discussion was.
That, dear lad, was the commercial.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 10:15 AM   #19
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That, dear lad, was the commercial.
Where is my cut, then?
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 10:17 AM   #20
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Where is my cut, then?
You can fight Arn for that.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 10:54 AM   #21
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You can fight Arn for that.
Sorry, not into Arn-wrestling.
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 12:29 AM   #22
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Under a libertarian scenario the corporations would be required to pay back for their misdoings...
By what mechanism?
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 01:01 AM   #23
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By what mechanism?
Lawsuits I assume.

Too bad conservatives are trying to limit that avenue of recourse.

I wonder what libertarians think about that.
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 07:46 AM   #24
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Lawsuits I assume.

Too bad conservatives are trying to limit that avenue of recourse.

I wonder what libertarians think about that.
Probably the same thing as the wars both sides seem content on perpetuating, including the war on drugs. How about the constant eroding of freedoms both sides enjoy with terrorism as their cause, fun.

This is about as good as the SEC getting the Madoff case sent to them in entirety a decade before the sham was uncovered and then sitting on it with their heads up their ass. Any repercussions for the people in charge? Oh noes we let them resign.

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It's an argument for strong bureaucracy, driven by scientific evidence ... something that has been lacking of late. Republican presidential candidates have put targets on the EPA, threatening to weaken it even further, if not eliminate it entirely.

Where's the wisdom in that?

The government is the only entity responsible for stewarding the nation and it's resources for present and future generations. Corporations are only driven by the bottom line. It is up to the government to make sure that those profits aren't made at the expense of all the people.

This story illustrates how easily we can put our future in jeopardy, if we pay too much attention to profit, and not enough to science ... if we rush to make a buck, and don't exercise patience to make sure we're getting it done right.
We should all be stewards of our national resources, because the government has made it perfectly clear they are inept and unable to protect us, provide us with baseline health, or protect our resources. You are reliant on a government that is so busy sticking their grubby hands in every other sovereign nation's soil that they can't even see the corporations taking advantage of their positions, and that's the bright outlook, sometimes they are entirely complacent with corporations ****ing you over because they are on the payroll, or are already offered a job in the industry. Stewards my ass.
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 08:55 AM   #25
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Probably the same thing as the wars both sides seem content on perpetuating, including the war on drugs. How about the constant eroding of freedoms both sides enjoy with terrorism as their cause, fun.

This is about as good as the SEC getting the Madoff case sent to them in entirety a decade before the sham was uncovered and then sitting on it with their heads up their ass. Any repercussions for the people in charge? Oh noes we let them resign.
Nice rant.

But you didn't answer the question: what do libertarians think about the conservative strategy of limiting lawsuits?

Or, what other other avenues of recourse you see to keep corporations "in line" when it comes to protecting our resources?
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