Monday, February 13, 2006

Why two Blogs? & "Deferment Dick Goes Quail Hunter"

I’ve never been quail hunting – but it cannot be as chaotic as the fire zones during the Vietnam War. If Cheney is this careless with a rifle, would you have wanted to serve next to him?

The above quote is from Angry Bear that is a group of 3 PhDs in Economics, and as their tag line says they are left of center, but not slightly IMHO. The above is a perfect example why I want to have this blog as an economics blog and my other on more of the politics at RDRutherford is for politics.

So the first jab is "Deferment Dick", what? And like Clinton ran down to the local recruiter and joined up? And if PGL does not have any knowledge of hunting then why is he commenting? While I may have not done this type of hunting, is it possible for a VietCong to fly over or run around your post in 1 to 2 seconds? Since shotgun pellets have little range it is possible that he aimed up and his victim merely got rained on.

Be sure to check out the comments. No economics discussion and just left sided criticism. You would think a fairly intelligent blog on economics would not resort to political mudslinging. Not to say they are balanced anyway.

But I really wanted to point out a blog post from Globalization Institute about Delivering shareholder value and improving the environment.
The article talks about how Jared Diamond is praising business for being environmentally friendly. Although I think Dr. Diamond has no understanding of economics and comes to conclusions without proof, he does have a point. But this point is what environmental economicists have been saying for a long time.

Free markets can protect the environment as well as government regulation or in most times better. But I still see that Diamond wants government regulation:
More and more, businesses have been drawn into collaboration with governments and the green movement on key environmental issues, whereas before they were the subject of attacks.

Two things markets need to come out with optimal decisions:
1. Well defined property rights and a framework that can allow parties to negotiate.
2. Information. Lack of information on a country wide, business wide or even environmentalist movement creates distortions in the markets.

Let me use one small example. In Santa Barbara, a local company was dumping their wastes in a holding pit as the cheapest way to dispose of the waste. Environmentalist tresspassed and threatened and protested and even sued. In the end the company changed techniques and is recycling the waste slowly, thus lowering the possible damages to the environment.

Sounds good, but what if environmentalist had done the job of gathering the information and showing the company on how their prior decisions did not make sense in today's economy. And showed how money can be saved in the production process or recovered waste costs. And thus sat down and negotiated compromisesif needed. Lack of information nearly always creates less than optimal decisions.


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