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Definition ~ Government: The time wasted between scientific discovery and positive results.
Kidding! When we look at the time delay from 'discovery to recovery' we see that our Government is critical in acting on important information in a timely and successful way. Dysfunctional government produces little benefit and sometimes creates harmful results. Functional government enables a prosperous future with positive results. How government manages new information impacts how well it can protect its citizens.
A government that can intelligently plan for issues typically will spend the least to accomplish said challenge. A government that can avoid issues altogether, using a smart strategy can end up spending the money to clean up the mess. Reviewing past performance we see that a proactive strategy is absent, a reactionary court model counts up the millions and billions in damages.
An informed government can protect citizens. Sadly, some failures in government are captured in history as toxic pollution — our ignorant fingerprint. A Government that ignores our toxic reality doesn't mean the reality stops existing. The toxic legacy of Grassy Narrows and the ~9000kg. of mercury pollution still lingers — a fingerprint left in the brains of children.
The recent government announcement that microplastic cleansers are toxic reveals a system that could benefit from a proactive model for safety in Canada. As more scientific studies real the complex results of microplastic in our ecosystems, we see that it is a pollutant that also lingers. Microplastic is consumed by animals, absorbed by plants, in our food chain, both direct and indirectly. Why should companies be allowed to sell untested products that cause such damage to our environment? Seems we need scientists to check for safety before it's sold on the Canadian market.
From the time a risky product 'hits the shelves' to when courts can take any meaningful action, there are measurable and irreversible damages done to our environment. Damages that $20,000,000,000 fines simply can't strike from the record of reality — like using toxic COREXIT to "clean" a gulf oil spills, a poorly thought out strategy, or spending $7,200,000,000 on making oil trains safer when results demonstrate they are less safe than before the safety upgrades. Seems the free market is delivering bad returns on investment, taxpayers clean up the results and our environment "pays" the real price. Private regulation seems more likely to fail than succeed.
A proactive strategy is a requirement when it comes to delivering smart security. Pretending there are no issues or surprises rarely delivers optimized results. Have a system in place to manage risk would add value to our system as a whole. Avoiding downstream costs would improve our 'return on our tax dollars'.
When we look at US-style litigation, as it is practically applied to the 'free market', we can identify corporations that game* the justice system. The 'if I can cheat just one more day' type of 'mentality' is dangerous. US courts have muzzled victims of fracking, yet that same practices continue, and growing in Canada. Fighting evidence in court, testing new legal arguments, discrediting findings by building doubt of scientific methods, or twisting past precedents to suit the status quo is a huge, huge, I mean huge, business. It's huge, let me tell you.
I have met a couple of these legal-gamer folks. The most talented lawyer I've met had a PhD. in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD. in Mathematics, I won't mention their name out of fear of getting sued for incorrectly identifying them as 'talented' not 'super talented'.
Finding 'wiggle room' and exploiting the justice system is considered gaming the system. When 'corporate zombies' talk about game theory, they are talking about risk, more likely they are saying they are really good at not getting caught, but if you do catch them, it will take 30 years and nothing will ever really happen. When multi-billion dollar legal cases enter the courtroom, it's going to be a show, a huge, huge, huge show. Huge.
The true tragedy is that a proactive safety mechanism in government would spare our justice system all of these downstream wasted resources — watching how our system works is like watching a moose get run over 40,000 kilometers from now. You know it's going to happen, be patient, then it happens.
Adding up all these extra costs that government process creates means we need to do a smarter job of ensuring the sale of safe products in Canada — it pays to be smart, it costs to be dumb — let's decide.