Thinking About Tomorrow

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Sunday, November 20, 2005


One of the things that bugs me at every election is inane comments from 'business commentators' to the effect that 'the markets don't like instability, and eagerly await a conclusive result from this election.' Note the way in which markets are given human personalities. While amusing in a stomach-churning kind of way, there is a far more serious undertone: the markets don't like elections. Or at the very least they don't like the 'instability' associated with them, and with representative democracy more generally. They would, presumably, have preferred Ruth Richardson to be installed as Supreme Commander for Life circa 1992. The notion that government should be run not by elected representatives, but by technocrats whose ideologies have no public mandate, has resurfaced recently.

But let us suppose that markets really don't like 'instability' - by which I assume those commentators mean 'uncertain outcomes.' Why aren't they, then, speaking out about the climatic instability associated with global warming? Where are business' talking heads on this year's strange hurricane season, for example? I may have missed them, but I suspect not: business might not like democracy, but its distaste for instability doesn't seem to extend to any serious questioning of the effects its goods and services have on the climate.


  • At 6:20 PM, Blogger Alexei said…

    You have an excellent point dc_red. If big business managed to lift their heads long enough to actually assess what the real dangers are to their businesses in the (not so very) long term, climate change would have to come into the equation - big time. I reckon the problem is, that with business, like 3-year-term politics, the mandate is not there to think long term. There must be some way to get people thinking further ahead then the end of their current job (which nowadays is measured in a small number of years). Despite this, there are some companies starting to make these kinds of noises and even asking government to create legislation to help them. I just wish that idiots like Roger Kerr would stop discounting the basic science as if global warming is not a problem. They are misleading the public in the worst possible way.

  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Terence said…

    yes and if markets don't like uncertainty, how on earth do they cope with the uncertainty that is unherant in markets?????

    perhaps our business commentators could ponder that for a while

  • At 8:12 PM, Blogger Terence said…

    sigh - inherant not unherant...


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