In order for people to see real improvements in safety standards, the current hybrid system (comprising the government and corporations) will have to be dismantled. The two plausible options are ‘full government management’ or ‘full market management’. But full government control looks pessimistic from the outset, for this is where the currents problems started. Under private ownership, efficiency will certainly improve and the profit-motive might improve safety indirectly. But eventually if the profit-imperative so dictates, corporations would not hesitate to pollute the waters under their charge. In other words, bolstering the quarterly reports would be given priority over protecting marine eco systems. Hence, private corporations cannot be trusted with this responsibility even.
In this scenario, only two viable options remain: the first is to incentives align economic activity with the public good and the other where this synchronization is absent. In the latter, “personnel risk no capital, faces no prospects of bankruptcy, and procures their revenue by force (taxation) after flattering members of special-interest-serving congressmen”. (Richman, 2010, p.2) In the former, “capital has to be raised from wary investors in a competitive environment, insurance is priced according to risk, products have to be sold to buyers who are free to say no, and full and strict liability haunts every decision, with bankruptcy always looming and no government bailout even implied? When you come down to it, the choice is really rather easy.” (Richman, 2010, p.2) Identifying this much is the easy part. The real challenge would be bringing about this change, whereby, the general public has a say in activities that have profound consequences for their health and wellbeing. Along with creating awareness, mobilizing people at the grassroots level (as the Niger Delta example shows) is very important. It is only social solidarity of this sort that can save our planet from approaching destruction.
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