The Economic Faith of Risk

The economic crisis is now an ongoing example of the outcome of miscalculations by investors and bankers of how the market functions without regulation. As a whole,the country voted for this deregulation and any warnings were ignored and discounted. The housing market still boomed. Those subprime mortgages were bundled into securities. Those securities got triple-A ratings from credit agencies. At that point,we made the decision that the inherent and obvious risk in subprime market was ignored. Now we can all see the effects of this miscalculation,and we pay the price for our mistake in foreclosures,unemployment, executive suicide…

Now apply this dismissal of risk and its mistake to something like EPA,FDA,and Monsanto. We ignore and discount warnings,vote deregulation into office and justify corporate control into conflict of interest positions as free market sainthood. What if that mistake comes around? What will that look like? Instead of foreclosures and unemployment,maybe we can watch people die off in droves.

Quayle removed regulation from FDA control and brought in Monsanto to run policy,a policy that continues today. GMOs in corn syrup.

There’s a religious faith towards deregulation,that the corporate will is unquestionably just. This is the religious argument against science: that faith trumps knowledge,that science can be disregarded if there’s a dissenting opinion; "the jury is still out." The fundamental problem with this argument is that it destroys science: if you can pick and choose your scientist to suite your desired outcome, you can no longer follow the scientific process for gaining knowledge. You are left as a consumer of hand-picked knowledge,limiting the complex diversity of the world around us to a narrow scope that fits nicely and securely into your own worldview.

And you can hide that inherent risk.

Global warming,peak oil,geneticly modified food… the jury is still out. The problem is that when the outcome finally arrives,it may not be the one you expect. It might start looking more like your apocolypse rather than the safe conservative utopia that must be the outcome of human endeavor. If there was a scientist that said doing some action will kill your children,and another says that it won’t,and the cost of believing either is free, how is it rational to ignore the risk?

The risk is still there, whether you believe the outcome or not. To ignore it is to accept its consequences.

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