Free riders

The current economic crisis and the piracy affair have one thing in common; they remind us of free riders.

Banks and industries never wanted much state involvement in their markets when the markets were fine and they themselves had money are calling now for state's aid.
Big corporations were often evading taxation with the help of lawyers and consultant (and by moving administrations to places like Ireland) - but want to get back from the society what they didn't give to it in the first place.

Shipping companies did the same - they evaded taxes and regulation by flying the colours of some unimportant Latin American countries like Panama.
It's strange to read that a "German" ship was now captured by pirates off Africa's coast. The crew is Filipino with a single Indonesian - no Germans anyway.

Why should such a ship be considered as a German ship? Why should the shipping company have the right to expect our state to bother about the affair?
Those shipping companies should call the navy of Panama, not ours!

The use of the military to protect our shipping is OK, its use to protect business interests leads only to shitty military actions and small wars - we should avoid that.

Such free rider phenomenons weaken and exploit states - and end up drawing us into crisis situations without justification. Much has been proclaimed about the decline of the state, allegedly powerless European governments and such.
It's about time to strike back, to protect the interests of our citizens and to show the cold shoulder to opportunistic companies.

The 'bad bank' discussion in Germany is a good opportunity; we should investigate the banks and learn which ones are about to fail without state assistance - and socialize them. Take away all shares from the shareholders who drove such greed and opportunistic behavior - a punishment as warning for future shareholders.
We can set up a re-privatization plan immediately afterward and withdraw all state influence in less than five years, when state-appointed small bank and savings bank managers have repaired the damage done by their incompetent idiot colleagues.

That won't work because our politicians aren't much better (they actually allow the idiot bankers to sit at the table when they discuss state help for banks), but it's allowed to have some political dreams ... maybe sometime in the future the useless conservatives won't be in the government.

We SHOULD nevertheless demonstrate state strength against free riders and force them to bear the appropriate responsibilities. Rights are the twins of responsibilities - we should grant no right without responsibility.

Sven Ortmann

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