This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before joining the Finance Corps.
Dutch farmers are out of power as a new pollution policy is expected to cause one in three cattle ranchers in the country to lose their business. While I think we can all agree that less pollution is better, the proposed solution doesn’t even fix the problem, it just moves pollution elsewhere. It seems that the Netherlands is actually reducing household food security at the expense of its farmers.
Fiat society creates Fiat mentality; Fiat Mindsets gave birth to Fiat Solutions. If we can’t see the problem now, it must have been fixed, right?
You Can’t Solve Low Time-Priority Problems With High Time-Priority Thinking
The government wants farmers to reduce pollution caused by animal waste. An Admiral target — a low time-priority target. I don’t think anyone would disagree with this policy in principle. However, the unfair timeline appears to be a coercive measure to put these farmers out of business.
Will Dutch animal product consumption be reduced based on this law?
What will happen to emissions now that animal products will likely have to travel further to reach markets?
What does the government think about animal waste in the places the Netherlands now has to import its goods?
It’s not hard to think that such decisions weren’t really thought over the long time horizon. Fiat currencies have drawbacks, in the absence of which the idea of trade-offs is obscured. In a scarcity-free system, people are tricked into thinking they can and do eat their own beef; If I can’t see stool, it’s no longer a problem.
Incentives are stronger than coercion
The animal waste approach is flawed. As mentioned, this doesn’t even fix the problem, it just exports it.
Beyond domestic food security and the second largest agricultural export in the world, what if the Netherlands were also exporting a potentially valuable and renewable energy source?
In 2021, the BBC ran a story about a farmer using an anaerobic digester to produce methane, and in turn, using that methane to generate electricity and mining cryptocurrencies.
It is an inventive system that can actually allow environmental goals to be achieved. Under the present regime, waste products are nothing but an inconvenient and costly cost of business.
By turning their waste into an asset and potentially diversifying sources of income, farmers are encouraged to be better stewards of animal waste. Not properly collecting every ounce of poo can mean a leak in your energy system; A system that may be less efficient than this. With the war in Ukraine forcing Germany to back its coal power plants, why would anyone want to waste a valuable and renewable energy resource?
Stop Choosing Fiat Solutions
I am not going to try to calculate the elasticity of Dutch demand for meat, assuming that the need for imports will cause prices to rise at least slightly. However, a rocket scientist need not see that this decision makes pollution worse, not better. If demand is also close to the position before the decision, emissions are added to the system through import supply chains.
Just like using a money printer to paper over mistakes, this decision puts the problem out of sight and out of mind.
It is only through the adoption of an incentive system rather than a coercive system that long-term problems can really be solved.
Only through the adoption of a single bitcoin standard, can governments and individuals change their mindset to a truly long-term perspective. The trade-off can only be understood in a system with scarcity and free market signals. Fix the money, fix the world. Now let’s monetize some poop.
This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.