Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Skim, Baby, Skim!

Hey, I'm no community organizer, but this oil slick is sure crying out for one.  Wouldn't it be great if someone figured out a way to organize the entire world so it would quickly mobilize and clean-up that oil for us?  Interestingly, there is an organizing technique called a "market" and when harnessed through incentives, it is the most powerful tool in any organizer's quiver.   If a decent community organizer was in charge today, he'd surely turn the market loose by paying a huge BOUNTY for any recovered oil. 

Imagine what a bounty of 10 times the going price for a barrel of oil would do:  Do you suppose an idle Saudi tanker or two, half-way across the world, might make a bee line to the Gulf of Mexico to skim millions of barrels of oil and make a huge profit?  Heck yeah!  Might you lease a monster boat and head for the Gulf if you were an unemployed sailor with some equally idle mates?  Would some Somali pirates turn their talents to skimming oil instead of ransom?  Might Turkish ships turn to skimming black gold instead of running Gaza blockades? You betcha! You betcha! And you betcha.  

But alas, community organizers who understand markets and incentives are in extremely short supply, so instead of a solution, we get threats of an "ass kicking".  Now who wouldn't want to sail around the globe and skim, baby, skim, for a good ole' ass kickin'?           

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