Hacking the Free Market
March 26, 2011 5:28 PM Subscribe
Engineer-turn-blogger Scott Whitlock offers some insight
into the limitation of free markets.
"It seems pretty certain that if we fail to leave the future generations more value than we’re taking from them, they’ll make us pay. They’ll turn on the companies and families that profited at their expense, and they’ll either sue for damages, or drag the bodies of the CEO’s through the streets behind camels, depending on which area of the world they live in.
"The problem is that if there really is a future cost to our actions, the market isn’t factoring that into the price. Even though companies are accruing the risk of a large future liability, they don’t have to account for this risk in their balance sheet. That’s because while future generations have a stake in this situation, they don’t have a voice now. Nobody’s appointed to represent their interests. That’s why the free market continues to be hacked, at their expense.
"I’m afraid the solution lies in the hands of politicians, and that makes me sad. We need a global body that can manage natural resources, including the atmosphere. At this point, a political solution seems just as impossible.