Wednesday, June 16, 2010

As They Should

President Obama has vowed to make BP pay for the gulf oil spill, and three cheers for that. Given that ample evidence is accumulating that the company cut numerous corners in regards to safety while drilling the Deep Water Horizon well, they need to pay dearly for their recklessness. Furthermore, if the libertarian argument that the force of the free market will drive companies to consider safety and environmental impact in their activities is to hold true, the real cost of failing to do so when engaging in a risky activity like deep-sea offshore drilling must be reflected in the marketplace. BP deserves no mercy whatsoever, even if this crisis bankrupts it. Let it off the hook, and the next company that's running late and over budget on a potentially environmentally risky project might decide saving time and money is worth the risk of a major catastrophe.

I hope my liberal friends will remember this the next time they're tempted to accuse us libertarians of being nothing but shills for the interests of big business.

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