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Enlist the Market, but Only When Desperate

This is a new entry I posed on another of my blogs. I hope you like it. Pete

In the August 19, 2016 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Brian Deese, a senior advisor to President Obama, and Jeff Zients, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, suggest that “this is the moment to accelerate efforts to understand, measure and standardize disclosure of climate risk and put that understanding to use.” The title of their essay is “Enlist the Market in the Climate-Change Fight.”

While I take issue with pretty much everything written in their article, I really take issue with the title. I’m not sure if it was written by the authors or an editor at WSJ, but either way the catchy title could not have been written by a conservative.

Imagine for a moment we are talking about a government-run basketball team. We would have players with names like Crony, Diversity, Graft, Stupidity, Paid-but-Not-Showing-Up, and Too-Busy-to-Practice. The coach would have a name like Regulator. The players would always play at a slow, comfortable pace, and their coach would shout things like, “don’t offend anyone,” “don’t forget to rest,” and “be careful not to break a sweat.” If and when this team fell behind in the game, the players and their coach wouldn’t worry too much. Their contracts and pensions are guaranteed, and they can still have a wild party and congratulate themselves after a loss.

But if they were to become really desperate and if they really felt like they needed to win, the coach could send in the seldom-used player called The Market. Trying as hard as he or she could, and heaving around shackles and burdens required by the Regulator to make things fair for all the other players, the government team would, of course, lose.

Why would the team lose? That should be obvious. The Market is to blame. With just a few more rules and higher paychecks for the pampered players Crony and Graft, the horrible loss would have been turned into a win. Even after a season with 82 losses and 0 wins, the answer for next season would be less of the Market and more of the Crony.

If you believe one more regulation will make the market fair for all, you are NOT a conservative.