The Freedom to go Bankrupt?

The Freedom to go Bankrupt?

Freedom Industries, its title apparently a hymn to free market fundamentalism, has decided to cash it all in. It’s a wonderful story of the free market in action. According to free market fundamentalists when a company does “bad” things, its customers will punish it by not buying its product and it will go out of business. This will be far more efficient and effective than government regulation; so, we shouldn’t have any. Just let the free market do its wonderful magic.

Well, this situations is just wonderful! It’s a perfect example. We can actually watch the free market in action, and see how much more effective than silly government regulation it is.

Freedom Industries does some seriously messed up stuff to 300,000 people and is held to account by its customers. Well, actually no, it declared bankruptcy and unless you think that is penalty enough (and I don’t) I’d have to say the free market isn’t doing much for us here. Because under free market fundamentalism, that is the maximum penalty.

Under free market fundamentalism, the company could have killed those three hundred thousand people, razed their homes to their ground and poured toxic wastes on their collective graves, and the company’s demise through bankruptcy would be the punishment.

Does that sound fair to you?

Right now, a poll shows a divided opinion on whether or not we should have more regulation. I don’t get it. What kind of example do you need before you get the idea that if you don’t regulate you get just this situation or worse? Hundreds of thousands of people turned on their faucets and out came toxic waste. Are they of no importance compared to the need of industry to make profit?

Do you know what the name of the company should have been?  – Freedom to Dodge Responsibility, Inc. Now, we, Americans, have to decide if that is where the story ends. Are we going to do more regulation or are we going to close our eyes, and hope the free market fixes things.

How’s the free market solved the problem so far?

James Pilant

Freedom Industries, Company Behind West Virginia Chemical Spill, Files For Bankruptcy

The company behind the massive chemical spill that made tap water unsafe for more than 300,000 West Virginians has filed for bankruptcy, according to documents obtained by The Huffington Post.According to bankruptcy filings, Freedom Industries, wholly owned by Chemstream Holdings Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. Freedom Industries owns the storage facility responsible for leaking up to 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol a coal-cleaning chemical also known as crude MCHM into West Virginias Elk River. Hundreds of thousands of people in nine counties were given orders not to use water for bathing or drinking for days as the company scrambled to clean up, exposing disturbing vulnerabilities in the water supply and a lack of data about hazardous chemicals and where theyre stored. A second site owned by the company was also cited for safety violations shortly after the spill.

via Freedom Industries, Company Behind West Virginia Chemical Spill, Files For Bankruptcy.

One thought on “The Freedom to go Bankrupt?

  1. This definitely isn’t something for the market to “punish”! Many of these corporations just re-start their business under another name after bankruptcy and everything’s okey dokey with them in a short while. But I’m not sure more regulations are needed either. Other than a political will to enforce regulations already on the books. I understand the federal agency overseeing this storage of dangerous chemicals hadn’t made an inspection at this site in 30-40 years. Why? Was corporate donations protecting them? How? Was the agency just derelict? How? Or is the agency so constantly understaffed it doesn’t even attempt, say, more than a third of its dutifully charged inspections? And if so, who’s the blame there? Republican lawmakers who continually attempt to reduce the ranks of federal workers? I agree punishment needs to be meted out here, but first I’d like to see a special investigation narrow down the list of possible culprits. And you’re right. No way is “the Market” going to do that!

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