The profit motive is the best. The profit motive is the worst. Hear me out. It's a simple argument. And it's important.
The profit motive is the best incentive to giving people what they want. Television quickly turned into the boob tube. And eventually into Fox News. The Internet quickly turned into porn. Even before it turned into Facebook, which can be almost as much a cesspool as is porn. And the American oil and gas industry turned into a pipeline to deliver enough cheap fossil fuel to warm the planet beyond its tipping point. Because it's what people want.
The profit motive is the worst at giving Americans what they need. They
need a solution to global warming.
"Last summer was the hottest on record for Europe...The past eight years were
the eight warmest on record for planet." But there's more money to be made
selling oil and gas than solving global warming, so that's what the free
market provides. And it buys advertising pushing its own
propaganda surveys to convince the market that it's giving
them what they want.
But what do we need? Fusion power, for one.
Very recently, scientists (finally) created more energy from a fusion reaction than it took to create it. Despite that exciting news, when will fusion energy be cost-effective? That's still a decade away. It's been a decade away for decades. Why? It's because we're not serious about investing in it. The US invests $700 million/year on fusion research. Sounds like a lot. But compare that to the current $4.1 billion cost of a single SLS/Orion moon rocket launch. Then tell me which investment we're serious about. Fusion energy is considered to be a money pit. For now, it's all investment, no profit. And so we don't invest in it. The profit motive is a lousy way to deliver to society what society needs.