>"The toxic memo"

>In 1992 a memo signed by Larry Summers (President Barrack Obama’s top economic adviser) signed a memo saying that “The economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable.” The memo said that there would be mutual benefits: one country would get rid of its waste and the other would be paid.

What do you think?


  • >I promised myself I wouldn't debate but…It is probably fair to say most people would have almost intuitive problems with this, almost without having to think about it (because most people prefer not having to think-ignorance really is bliss for those people blessed with less than 5 brain cells). In a perfect world where people care about people they havn't met, money would be invested in 'waste-free' energy, and the poorer country spared. However in reality and in the short term, keeping people in work (people in energy plants etc) and taking advantage of poorer areas of the world is easier and more efficient. It also means that the people who have the power to vote for you are happier, whilst the people who don't have that power get to have children who glow in the dark. The moto is, as always 'life is unfair' because people are selfish idiots – I speak of the people who have to have children of their own when there are orphans on the streets, the people who can't deal with their own mortality and so kid themselves they will live forever in some shape or form. This is Robin 'omniscience' Clarke signing off.ps hope your enjoying life on the continent.

  • >WOW! Cynical! Thanks for contributing though. I agree that most people would indeed have problems with this. Is it intuitive to disagree? Yes I think so. But that is because there are subconscious reasons that you do not even have to be educated to know i.e. you wouldn't want it on your doorstep so why should other people have to take it just because they're poorer? Indeed it's more than likely that the disagreeing person contributed to the waste indrectly themselves.There are reasons for the suggestion of course. As the memo suggests, it would be economically beneficial for the poorer country. There are also vast amounts of space nowhere near human settlements where it could be stored. But the thing is that these places exist in rich countries too. The reason we want rid of toxic waste is that it needs 100 years to become safe. Who knows what could happen and who might need that land in 100 years? It is for this reason that we must not only avoid exporting our waste but also treat nuclear power only as a supplementary source of energy helping with technological research and our shift toward renewable energy.P.S. Life on the continent is great thanks. You should come visit.

  • >Well, i'm merely a social realist (perhaps this is syniclism in itself?). And nicely put by the way. I think I can agree with those things. But I can't see how any other view of the world is realistic. In my perfect athiestic world, we would all be similar to Jesus, without the 'life after death in heaven' nonsense. Having said that perhpas I am too judgemental – we are after all, only human with finite lives. What annoys me, is that if I thought I had the chance to live forever (as most people do) I would be kind, give pretty much all i had to charity etc. But for these people its still not enough – they still have to be selfish in this world as well, and manage to delude themselves doubly so, by believing that they will get into Heaven or Valhaller or whatever. Thus ignorance = bliss/happiness. Is it right for people to be happy if they are wrong? All I can say is, I wish I was ignorant and happy. Happiness is, after all, a persons soul goal in life. Disagree.ps. And yes, I have completely changed the subject. New category perhaps?

  • >I've started a new topic for you. However I wasn't exactly clear on what question you really wanted to discuss for you talked about a fair bit. Hope you're happy with it.

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