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05.31.2010 0

Reich’s Bad Idea

  • On: 06/01/2010 23:42:58
  • In: Hard Left
  • By Adam Bitely

    A terrible idea is being put forth by Robert Reich in regards to the Obama administration putting BP into temporary receivership in order to better control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This move would only be a recipe for disaster.

    Reich offers five flimsy reasons why such a move would be necessary, but in doing so, forgets the obvious.

    For instance, Reich states that “BP continues to be responsible primarily to its shareholders, not to the American public”. Reich is correct. BP is responsible to its shareholders. And right now, those shareholders want BP to plug that gushing oil well as much as anyone else. It is with each passing day that BP stock loses value as the gusher continues to pollute the water. The stockholders have an interest themselves to make sure that BP is doing whatever is necessary to fix the problem.

    Reich also fails to recognize that even with government in control of the situation, albeit through controlling BP’s North American operations, that government officials will be as likely to solve this as the experts at BP currently. Reich makes an argument against a temporary receivership situation with his own admission that government officials lack the expertise to fix the gushing while noting that BP does have better minds in this field.

    Keeping in mind the above, Reich argues that the government should have the authority to force BP to adopt a different strategy. But how could the government possibly know a better strategy when they openly admit they are void of the expertise in this field? The government, and Reich included, openly admit that BP is better suited to handle the fixes necessary to shut off the well.

    This is a bad situation already and advocating for government receivership of BP will only make the situation worse. BP is responsible for shutting off the gushing well. Putting government bureaucrats in charge of BP will only lead to further accidents and will spread responsibility — and the inevitable failures of government — on the backs of the taxpayers.

    Adam Bitely is the Executive Editor of the Liberty Features Syndicate for Americans for Limited Government.

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