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Finders keepers . . . - Persephone Yavanna the Entwife

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May 12th, 2004


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12:44 am - Finders keepers . . .
One of the issues to be decided by my dominion's parliament has to do with the nationalization of resources discovered by private citizens.

The Issue

Divers from a local scuba club have discovered an enormous underwater gold deposit that could be worth billions of poplars in one of TheEntwife's lakes. It has also caused a huge debate over who should be allowed to plunder the goods.

The Debate

1. Anne-Marie Washington, a cabinet member, would like the government to seize the deposit. "This is an excellent time to boost TheEntwife's economy and increase our foreign trade with other countries! Who cares about the people that discovered the deposit? They've done their country a great favor and should let us have the money!"

2. Johan Spirit, a civil rights activist, vehemently disagrees. "The deposit was found by private citizens and it should be their choice of what to do with the gold. If the government goes around stealing what is rightfully ours, then I shudder to think I live in such a corrupt country. These people discovered the gold, it's now their time to get rich! Nevermind the fact they were diving in a lake on government property!"

3. "We should do what now?" Environmentalist Beth du Pont exclaims. "Do you have any idea how damaging it would be to the environment to mine the gold under that lake? Think of all the aquatic life that would be disrupted or destroyed! Think of how an otherwise pristine lake view would be ruined! Forget the gold and keep those money-grubbing pigs away from nature!"

The way the issue choices are written seems to be trying to force things into neat little boxes. The divers either get everything or nothing -- nothing in-between. The big thing muddying the philosophical waters (so to speak) is the contention in the second choice that the lake in question is government property.

My position is actually a combination of all of the choices, to a greater or lesser extent. I think a low-environmental impact extraction of natural resources is the best long-term solution. I would also have a significantly-sized finder's fee for the members of the diving club mentioned -- perhaps a percentage of the value of the deposit. The finder's fee is only because of the deposit being found on government property, since that would make the deposit itself be government property pretty much automaticly, no debate necessary as far as I'm concerned. I do feel that the divers should receive something & not be shut out altogether, as in the first choice.

As the least distateful of the choices, I've decided to choose option 2 -- essentially Finders Keepers -- using the American Gold Rush as historical precedent. Once the resources have been extracted, the wealth they create will eventually trickle down throughout the economy, although in the short term there may be wide disparities in how this wealth is distributed. This is a problem seemingly endemic in capitalist societies -- ah well, can't have everything it seems . . .
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "Penny in the Well" by Emerald Rose

(Eat a pomegranate)


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