Living in Dallas, it is hardly uncommon to open the newspaper and read about some oil or coal or automobile company lobbying the government for something or the other. Take this example of lobbying by companies who want to continue to build and run (poor or low efficiency and highly polluting) coal powered plants.
This story is repeated across America, with American car companies wanting subsidies and freebies to continue making lousy, inefficient cars, or oil or coal companies wanting to continue to build and operate higly polluting, inefficient plants.
The money they spend on lobbying comes to a few million dollars. Usually, after a few years, they end up spending many more millions either cleaning up the mess they caused, or being forced to rebuild from scratch (with more efficient technologies). Sometimes, the losses they post are staggering.
But still, they continue to lobby to make crap.
Now, wouldn't all this money that the spend on lobbying or cleaning up messes be better spent on researching new, better technologies that are more efficient, and likely to last longer with lower recurring costs? Clearly, the people running these companies must be smart. But this, even intuitively, seems to be a better long term solution. Are these companies incapable of seeing beyond the next quarter profits, or am I just plain stupid?