Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why Nationalizing BP Won't Work

Just when you think the Gulf Coast oil spill couldn't get any more surreal, Rosie O'Donnell had to weigh in. On her radio program, she said that President Obama should use his authority and seize BP's assets as a means of getting them to clean up the oil spill. And her sentiment is echoed by any number of Leftists.

Which should be the biggest red flag that it's a horrible idea.

Let's set aside the logistical nightmare that comes with an American President trying to take over a British company and just look at the reasoning behind the notion that nationalizing BP would somehow make the oil spill get cleaned up faster. As great as Leftists think government is, most of the time government intervention winds up being less effective and more complicated. Just ask the car dealers who participated in Cash for Clunkers how government intervention in a business worked.

The reason government intervention in business doesn't turn out so well is because it strips the good parts of business out of the equation and replaces it with bureaucracy. Under the influence of a bureaucracy, even the simplest tasks require near-Herculean efforts to complete. If you doubt me, spend a day at the DMV. And here's the twist: there are no real benchmarks to hit. When you're in government, your standards are set low enough that you could be dead and still excel. Try underachieving in the private sector, and more often than not you'll find yourself unemployed. Then, you can get a job in the Obama Administration and everything will be fine.

Plus, there's a noticeable lack of innovation in government. BP has chemicals that they've used to clean up other oil spills, but what has the government done to match that? That's right, kids. Nothing. Not even a bad idea of using a giant sieve. Just creative ways to blame others for their own incompetence. (By the way, the EPA has already told BP not to use the chemicals they would normally use. Brilliant!)

And here's the real twist. We've seen government intervention in the Gulf right now, and for the most part, it's been ineffective. Seriously, sending the Attorney General to an oil spill? That's one of the dumbest things I've seen government do, and given the current crop of Congress-critters, that's saying a lot. What was he supposed to do? Sue the oil?

Throw blame at BP all you want, but having the federal government take it over isn't the answer. Let me advance a radical hypothesis for you Leftists reading this.

Get out of the damn way and let BP clean it up.

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