The private sector is leading the way toward a cleaner energy future. Across the country, companies are setting internal carbon reduction goals, building more efficient factories, putting up wind and solar panels -- and asking their suppliers to do the same.
Waste is no longer an unavoidable liability, but a potential asset: power plants might sell their coal ash to the cement industry; pharmaceutical manufacturers might offer their slurry outflow as fertilizer to farms.
Enough of the cross-demonization of the public and private sectors. Each needs to do better in its own domain, and they need to do better together. Revitalizing domestically and competing globally will require nothing less.
Many friends and acquaintances have told me, "In the private sector, we don't get to roll over our sick days like teachers do." We tend to aim for the lowest common denominator in what we consider proper working conditions.
I implore all readers out there who begrudge teachers of what they earn to quit their dead-end private sector jobs and become a teacher. If you want information, I'm happy to provide it in the comments.
Collaboration between the public and private sectors has long served as the model for addressing major challenges faced by the U.S. But in today's political and economic environment, is it a thing of the past?
Ideology is being replaced by standards. Never-ending arguments about privatization, who should own the electricity company, have given way to public discussions about performance, who can avoid more black-outs.
We have developed an American myth about the magical efficiency of market forces and have deified entrepreneurs. We have developed a disdain for government as an obstacle to progress. Neither is entirely true or false.