The worst instances of pollution the world has ever seen have been in highly managed and regulated economies. The Soviet Union, East Germany, India, China. (Not that the West hasn’t had plenty of disasters.) Yet many environmentalists (and we consider ourselves environmentalists) insist that if things were just regulated more a green utopia would emerge. Problem is that in a centrally planned economy the cronies are in charge and get to cheat whenever they want. There is no feedback mechanism because the state won’t allow it.
On Wednesday evening we noted that China, in what looks like an attempt to discourage investigative reports into Communist Party culpability for the explosion at Tianjin which killed more than a hundred people and injured more than 700 last week, revealed the previously unnamed majority shareholders of Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics.
The two men – a Mr. Yu and a Mr. Dong – have Party ties and admitted to using their political connections to skirt restrictions on the storage and handling of hazardous chemicals like sodium cyanide.