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James Wilsons argues that economic regulations have their foundation on politics. He adds that even if a state develops and uses political power that is independent of economic power, independence can never be applied to the commercial regulations (Wilson 357). Therefore, the situation compels the government to do what the economic giants in its jurisdiction want. He also adds that the government cannot control an industry in a manner that harms it business interests and that the behavior of an individual has the foundation of self-interests (James 358). This essay seeks to analyze the U.S. politics on the various issues, and the major theme is majoritarian versus client politics. The discussion focuses on the cap-and-trade scheme and carbon tax, the future of the U.S. Climate Change Mitigation regarding its failure in 2010, and the possibility of the cap-and-trade program working better or worse in the USA as compared to the European Union.
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In respect to the means of production, the cap-and-trade scheme is worse than the carbon tax plan in the eyes of the industrialists. In 2008, Markey and Waxman drafted a bill aimed at regulating the emission of the greenhouse gasses. The bill went easily through Congress, but it failed in the Senate. The reason for the failure was that the corporate firms had to defend their economic interests, which implied the maximization of sales in disregard of the environment. Consequently, the class of industrialists influenced the decision made by the policy makers, and thus, the bill had no chance of surviving. In this regad, the carbon tax scheme appears as a form of client politics as it provides concentrated benefits to the bourgeoisie. Therefore, the group can afford to pay for the permits to produce, using any means they want without considering the environmental implication that affects everyone in society. On the contrary, the cap-and-trade scheme is the form of majoritarian politics that seeks to minimize the environmental damage caused by the irresponsible production of goods. However, the majoritarian politics have no chances of prevailing, as the entrepreneurs use their economic power to further their individualistic interests.
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The U.S. Climate Change mitigation initiative backfired in 2010 after Markey and Waxman's bill had failed in the Senate. In the modern time, corporate firms seek to have a competitive edge not only at the local level but also at the regional and global scales. Therefore, firms strive to use their financial resources to gain political influence that enables s them to overcome policies that seek to regulate their means of production. In this regard, the presence of the client politics will remain as the norm in 2017 and the years to come. The reason behind this trend is that the increased competition for financial muscle as well as fame is a driving force and it will continue to bring monetary gains before the environmental matters. On the other hand, the majoritarian politics of regulating business to curb global warming will have no suitable grounds for thriving, as the economic influence of the political power will help the entrepreneurs to further their selfish intereests.
The European Union has a cap-and-trade program to check on the emission of the greenhouse gasses. If the United States had such a law, it would not have performed better than in the EU. The reason is that the political power in the USA heavily relies on the economic power; therefore, the client politics would hamper the enforcement of the law as the capitalists would seek to frustrate it all the time. In addition, the income disparities in the USA are very broad. Consequently, the highest class would smother the law to maintain the status quo.
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In conclusion, Wilson argues that political power has its foundation in politics and adds that even if there were a separation between the two, it would not apply to economic regulations. Regarding the choice of environmental policies, the majoritarian politics manifests itself through the proposed cap-and-trade scheme, while the client politics appears through the carbon tax plan that industrialists embrace as a way of securing permits to use whatever means of production they desire, disregarding the environment. Concerning the failed U.S. Climate Change Mitigation effort, there is no hope that the majoritarian politics will overshadow the client politics, as the bourgeoisie will continue to further their selfish interests in 2017 and further. Regarding the performance of the cap-and-trade program, the initiative would not work well in the USA as compared to the European Union due to the widened income and class disparities as well as the heavy reliance of political power on the economic strength.
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