The Instigator
Kaneo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Pfalcon1318
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Freemarket capitalism is both unsustainable and environmentally unsound.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Pfalcon1318
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 988 times Debate No: 52776
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

Kaneo

Pro

The materials economy is comprised of the following steps

Extraction
Production
Distribution
Consumption
Disposal

Round 1
Define your terms.
Identify at least one causal factor (Why is it this way?)
Identify at least one intervention. (How can it be improved?)
Opening arguments

Feel free to challenge my definitions:

Free market capitalism-
an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit.

Sustainability-
Maintaining ecological balance: exploiting natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of an area

Why is it this way?
The current economic system is unsustainable because of industrialism, rampant consumerism, and too much freedom in the market.

How can it be improved?
Stop current capitalism, use green energy, force people to be sustainable and use sustainable business practices, get rid of big industry.

Need a good debater to challenge me.
Pfalcon1318

Con

I thank my opponent for instigating this debate, and gladly accept it.

I would like to begin by expanding upon PRO's definition of "free market capitalism". Upon a simple search on merriam-webster.com, the definition for "capitalism" follows along the same lines as the one provided by PRO, and it goes as follows:
"an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market"

Given this, I would like to present an explanation, of my own for the term "free-market capitalism". While i agree with my opponent's definition if it were to be applied to Capitalism, Free-Market Capitalism is an extremely different, and extremely abstract, concept. I will be giving a libertarian explanation of the term "Free-Market Capitalism", under a minarchist (or limited, but existing, government) interpretation. My reason for choosing a minarchist-libertarian interpretation is that the term "free-market capitalism" actually originates from within classical liberal thought, with the philosopher Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations [2]. The following shall include a crash course in libertarian thought, as this is my primary source of argumentation.

This will be a very long Round 1 response, however, I wish to avoid the squabble over semantics.

To begin, I will explain three Libertarian principles, as they relate to business, capitalism, and government: [3], [4]
  • The Non-Aggression Principle: "It is immoral to use force, threat of force or coercion, against any other person.'s life, liberty, or property. Taking a person's goods or money, without their permission, is theft. Taking a person's life without their permission is murder. Taking a person's liberty, without their permission, and not in response to immoral acts is enslavement."
  • Principle of Self-Ownership: "You own yourself, your actions, and all things that you are able to create, utilizing rightly-owned property."
  • Individualism: "All people are individuals, and the terms "society", "country", "family", "corporation", etc, are simply terms used to identify a group of people."

With these basic explanations, i will begin to address the term "Free-Market Capitalism".

Free-Market Capitalism, or a Free-Market Economy, would hold these characteristics:
  1. Government does not assist the business industry. (things such as bailouts, high-cost certifications, subsidies, or other such expeditures that prevent entry to the market, and forced exit from the market are disallowed.)
  2. Businesses are allowed to succeed, or fail, on their own.
  3. Government regulation is minimal. (I will explain this in greater detail later.)*
  4. Corporations do not hold an identity separate from it's owners. (Lawsuits are made directly against the owner's, rather than the company.)
  5. No industry is held entirely by government. (Schools/hospitals, etc are able to crop up within any county, provided they have the appropriate licensure)
  6. Consumers are not forced to purchase ANY goods or services (yes, this includes insurance)

These characteristics are based upon a minarchist Libertarian view, and selected specifically because the libertarian explanation of the free-market is an extremely in-depth analysis of free-market capitalism. This website [1] gives a much more concise idea of a free-market, but once again, the definition too simplistic for this debate. The above principles lead to a much deeper understanding of the free market. If you (PRO) would like to dispute any of these characteristics, or perhaps avoid the libertarian view of free-market capitalism, we can do this within the comment section, as I hoped the meat of this debate would begin in Round Two.

What is the problem?
Government regulation, laws, and intervention prevents efficient use of resources, and prohibits innovative actions that would lower the costs to society.

What can be done to improve?
Government regulations, and laws, can be minimized, with government intervention completely removed from the business world; property laws can be created which allow companies to "own" land, water, etc, and internalize social costs.

I look forward to PRO's opening arguments. If you (PRO) would like to address any of the above before continuing this debate, i will look for your concerns within the comment section.

My thanks to my opponent for instigating a topic which is sure to a fun and engaging debate; and my thanks to the audience for reading. I am looking forward to a great debate!


[1] http://www.libertarianism.org...;
[2] http://www.biography.com...;
[3] https://www.youtube.com...;*
[4] https://www.youtube.com...;*
*If inaccessible, search "The Philosophy of Liberty", sources [4] and [3] are the first and second videos, respectively.

Debate Round No. 1
Kaneo

Pro

I thank my opponent for a well rounded introduction!

First I would like to explain why I think unrestricted capitalism, especially the way CON defines it, is inherently unsustainable. The underlying problem with capitalism is that it requires infinite resources in order to support increasing population and human's infinite desires and it's primary concern as an economic system is profit. Unsustainable uses of resources is , more often than not, more profitable than sustainable uses. But the main problem is that the endless cycle of consumption, desire, and profit cannot be supported by a finite earth.
I would like to posit that sustainability is only possible if economic consumption is scaled down drastically where everyone only consumes the same amount they produce. For this to happen, the current power structure must be taken down and industry must end and be put in the hands of some sort of local government or other organization. I do not know how this would be possible without violating CON's NAP and this may sound extreme, but since people in economic power want to continue the system at all cost, force will be needed to change it.
I am excited to see CON's arguments and rebuttals. Am I correct CON posits regulation and laws (from government) are the problem and removing government intervention would improve it? If so, I am also interested as to how having the business world unrestricted and separated from the state will prevent overexploitation and high carbon footprint that we see with globalization or deforestation in Africa and South America for example, or does CON not think this a problem? Is a free market even possible without descending into uncontrollable anarchy, corporate monopolies and cartels?

I would like to thank my opponent and am eager to see their response.
Pfalcon1318

Con

I thank PRO for a thoughtful response. I shall save my rebuttals for the 3rd Round, out of fairness to my opponent.

Unfortunately i am running short on time, so this shall be a breif opening statement.

There are some government policies that lead to more eco-friendly business practices. The cap-and-trade system, which is ran by the government-sponsored EPA, is one such practice. Under this system, manufacturers are able to purchase tickets which allow them to pollute, within a pre-determined limit. This is one way to force companies to internalize costs. The Tragedy of the Commons, which is mentioned by author J. Brennan in the book Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, explains the results of allowing companies to externalize costs. I propose taking this one step further and allowing companies to purchase the land on which they pollute, with a yearly renewable of the caps, whereby a company must purchase enough caps to contain the emissions measured on their property currently, as well as what will come in the future. Eventually, this will become an extremely high cost. Let's take a very small scale, representative example:

This terminology, and the prices, are unrealistic, but will display the possible results of my proposed system.

Caps cost $15 to emit 100 pollution units.

XYZ Co purchases 10 caps (Total of $150) for Year 1, and uses all of them to emit 1000 pollution units.

In Year 2, XYZ Co must purchase those 10 caps, PLUS an additional sum, let's say 5. Total: $200.

And so it goes, until the costs become high enough that the company faces two choices: shut down, or cut down on pollution units.

This may seem like an unrealistic, and somewhat futile solution, however, it is better than the simple cap-and-trade system that is currently in place. Under the current system, companies can purchase, and sell, the caps, but do not have any internalize costs beyond this.

This proposal also takes into account abuse, and overexploitation of resources. If a company must own the land that they forest, as was once the case in New Zealand, said company has an incentive to ensure that their use of that resource does not deplete it. For example, when J. Brennan mentions the Tragedy of the Commons, he mentions a solution proposed by another libertarian, known as a catch-share system, to the problem of over-fishing. Under this system, companies have a set percent of fish that they can catch within any given area. Companies then have an incentive to ensure that the lake, pond, ocean has as many fish as possible, as this will increase the amount of fish the company brings in.

Under both of these systems, the company internalizes costs. The reason i suggest LESS government laws and regulation, in regards to business, is that it makes more sense to treat corporations as individuals, who are held to the same standard as any other individual. It is unrealistic to suggest that a company not pollute, as any manufacturing, by anyone, will contain at least some pollution. If we take littering as a small scale form of pollution, we will notice that littering carries a certain number of fines. If one person's pollution extends outside of their personal property, they face a fine. Even if litter is confined to their property, there are still places wherein littering still brings about fines. The end result is that some people, perhaps a control agency, will come in and request that the homeowner clean their land. Under the system i proposed, this request is always in place.

Under any circumstance, the only way to reduce the abuse of resources is to force the user to own whatever resource they are depleting. This is similar to the oil mining industry; the oil deposits found can be easily depleted, or even disupted, if extra care is not taken. It is thus most beneficial to check such an issue at the door, and simply ask the same of companies that which is expected of individuals, as there is no such entity as a "corporation" in a truly free-market system.

One other thing i would like to mention is the costs of innovation within such an industry. My opponent states that non-eco-friendly methods are more cost-effective than eco-friendly methods. I shall concede this point. However, under the system that i propose, this issue would be remedied over the long-run, on top of that, companies would face much more risk if they should disrupt the ecosystem, and be sued by a group of individuals. Rather than a people vs corporation case, it would become a people vs people case. This means that, after a certain number of law suits, a company could lose such a large amount of customer satisfaction that their revenue decreases, and they lose even more money. All of this is speculative, however, i see this as reason enough to believe that the sustainability of the ecosystem is based less upon the lack of desire of companies to be eco-friendly, and more to do with government trying to differentiate corporations from their owners, and imposing regulations and laws that could be implemented differently, or not at all, that would change the amount of pollution experienced in the ecosystem.
Debate Round No. 2
Kaneo

Pro

I thank CON for a good round, I will now address some of their points.

CON, "There are some government policies that lead to more eco-friendly business practices. The cap-and-trade system, which is ran by the government-sponsored EPA, is one such practice. Under this system, manufacturers are able to purchase tickets which allow them to pollute, within a pre-determined limit. This is one way to force companies to internalize costs. The Tragedy of the Commons, which is mentioned by author J. Brennan in the book Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, explains the results of allowing companies to externalize costs. I propose taking this one step further and allowing companies to purchase the land on which they pollute, with a yearly renewable of the caps, whereby a company must purchase enough caps to contain the emissions measured on their property currently, as well as what will come in the future. Eventually, this will become an extremely high cost."

This sounds fine and dandy at first, but how is it a free market if the government is setting the market through the allotment of emissions quotas? And it wouldn't seem the government would be minimal because inevitably more government organisations would be needed to evaluate emissions and ensure there is no fraud and cheating. Also what would stop companies from going to a part of the world without cap and trade or importing from places without it? It also seems this would just give advantages to big business and ultimately it would seem this would raise the cost to producers and consumers without really helping the environment. And if it's forcing companies to internalize cost, does that not violate the NAP which basis is, "It is immoral to use force, threat of force or coercion, against any other person.'s life, liberty, or property."?

CON, "Under both of these systems, the company internalizes costs. The reason i suggest LESS government laws and regulation, in regards to business, is that it makes more sense to treat corporations as individuals, who are held to the same standard as any other individual. It is unrealistic to suggest that a company not pollute, as any manufacturing, by anyone, will contain at least some pollution. If we take littering as a small scale form of pollution, we will notice that littering carries a certain number of fines. If one person's pollution extends outside of their personal property, they face a fine. Even if litter is confined to their property, there are still places wherein littering still brings about fines. The end result is that some people, perhaps a control agency, will come in and request that the homeowner clean their land. Under the system i proposed, this request is always in place.

Under any circumstance, the only way to reduce the abuse of resources is to force the user to own whatever resource they are depleting. This is similar to the oil mining industry; the oil deposits found can be easily depleted, or even disupted, if extra care is not taken. It is thus most beneficial to check such an issue at the door, and simply ask the same of companies that which is expected of individuals, as there is no such entity as a "corporation" in a truly free-market system. "

The largest pollution production is government, commercial, and industrial. This may reduce the damage caused, but how would it give back? They are still depleting and going to release waste just at a slow rate perhaps.
For the system I propose, people who damage and take from the environment are obligated to repair and give back, just as one must pay for things they take from a store or must compensate for destroying other peoples property. For example, if you were to invade an ecosystem and oil drill in the ocean and disrupt the ecology, you must ensure that 1. the ecosystem can recover and is not disturbed after you damaged it 2. you restore it and remove the pollution you entered into the environment. I don't see how this is possible in a freemarket capitalist system where stealing from the planet is necessary and you "own" the environment you are damaging and feel entitled to do whatever you want to it.
Pfalcon1318

Con

i would like to thank PRO for a thoughful response.

I shal save my defense and closing remarks for Round 4. I shall use this round to rebut a few of PRO's points from Round TWO, as well as ask a few questions of my opponent, as this has been PRO's preferred form of argumentation. Free-Market Capitalism shall be abbreviated as F.M.C., in order to save character space.

Rebuttals to Round TWO.

I will be addressing most of PRO's arguments against F.M.C.. In order to save character space, I will not write the entire sentence, but will be addressing the entire sentence within my rebuttal.

Point #1
"The underlying problem with capitalism is that it requires infinite resources...and it's primary concern as an economic system is profit."

I will agree that there exists the concept of scarcity in the real world. "Scarcity" is a concept which describes the unlimited wants and needs of humankind, and the limited resources available to fulfill these wants. This is a fact of the world, regardless of any economic system. All economies face scarcity, and it is the job of the economic system to decide upon how to engage with scarcity in an attempt to meet as many wants and needs as possible, with the limited resources available. The thing with this is that it is true of any economic system, not only F.M.C. [1] PRO attempts to place this at the feet of F.M.C., which is

The focus of Capitalism is profit. I do not understand how this is problematic, and would like PRO to explain this to the audience and myself. Profit is based upon the number of customers willing to pay a given price, minus the costs of producing whatever good or service is being sold. So, it is true that profit is a, perhaps the, driving force of Capitalism, however, i see this as more supportive of my position than my opponents. There is reason to believe that increasing the costs to a business will give rise to less pollution, by necessity. If a company's primary objective is earning profit, and there exist extreme costs to over-exploitation and pollution, business owners would find ways to decrease their costs. Pollution and exploitation relate directly to the topic of this debate, and it makes sense to place a cost on these two to

Point #2

"...sustainability is only possible if economic consumption is scaled down drastically.."

I am under the impression that consumption in this instance refers to the use of natural resources by businesses. I agree with PRO. However, i have two questions: What does this have to do with FMC? What would a government-run business do differently from a business in FMC? As i mentioned in point #1, profit is the prime mover of capitalism, whether this is large scale manufacturing companies like GM or Coca-Cola, or smale scale mom-and-pop nick-nack shops. Capitalism includes both of these things, and profit will decide whether or not such a business can stay open. This is not to say that profit is the only thing that matters. There is a large number of people who love to do what they do, and are fine with compensation that covers costs, but perhaps does not allow much more than that. However, at such a point that costs become to high, with individuals or businesses, reassessment must take place, and businesses and individuals will likely change something to cut costs.

I am not sure i appreciate, or support, my oppenent's attempts to poision the well with remarks such as, "Am I correct CON posits regulation and laws (from government) are the problem... Is a free market even possible without descending into uncontrollable anarchy, corporate monopolies and cartels?". Such a statement uses language that is generally disagreeable, and while I am sure that audience members will be aware of the fallacious nature of such comments, i believe it deserves a mention. "Anarchy" has multiple definitions, one of which is "absence of government", which i do not believe would be a problematic occurance. Government does not create laws, people create laws. Suggesting that government is required to produce laws is akin to suggesting that government is required to produce education. Government is beneficial to produce these things, but not necessary. The phrasing "descending into uncontrollable anarchy" creates a negative image prior to my presentation of an argument. I shall end my issues with this here, and begin addressing a few of my opponent's statements from this round.

I did state earlier that i shall leave Defense for the next round. However, in the previous round i stated that this round shall be for rebuttals. There are not many points for me to address from PRO's last round, so it will appear that i am quote mining. I will attempt to keep my responses as much in-context as possible, and apologize in advance if i fail to do this. I ask that PRO, and any audience members, address this in whatever manner they see fit, with PRO (preferably) addressing this in Round 4, and audience members (preferably) addressing this in the comment section.

Rebuttals to Round 3

One argument presented by PRO can be summarized as follows: Government policy being involved in the market-place prevents it from being a Free-Market economy. Government policy is a violation of the Non-Agression Principle.

I shall first direct my opponent and the audience to another important principle, which i shall shorten and paraphrase here: You own yourself, and your actions.

What this principle means is that we may, and should, hold all individuals responsible for their actions. Authors are to be given credit for their books, inventors are to be given credit for their inventions, murderers are to be given credit for their murders, and, most importantly for this debate, businesses are to be given credit for their pollution. The Non-Aggression Principle can be used to create a list of "rights", in a positive and negative sense. "Positive Rights" are those things that people can do, and have a right to be allowed to do. Positive rights are born of negative rights, and negative rights impose duties upon others.. The "right to live" is one such right; this can be written in a negative sense as well. People have the "negative right" against others to not be murdered; others have a duty to not murder.

I mention thisas an analogy for my next point. People possess the negative right against others to not have their land, water, and air, polluted. Pollutants are harmful to the human body, as well as the environment. Over-exploitation of land leads to harmful conditions as well. If business are made up of individuals who own themselves, and their actions, and who have moral duty, dictated by a negative right, to not pollute, they must bear as much of the costs of said action as possible. Who else but government would be able to hold businesses accountable? Government allows the existence of corporate entities, so we must then move to consider a corporation as a person, given the fact that there are several reasons why corporations having a distinct identity is beneficial, not the least of which is the ability to recieve loans, and buy property. If corporations were not separate entities, the process would be easier, however, this is not the case, and i have no alternative to offer. I shall simply move forward as though corporations are persons of their own. Just as there exists a force, or group, that holds normal citizens responsible (including the various police departments, court systems, and neighborhood services), there should be a force, or group, that holds corporate citizens responsible. It falls to government, as it does on an individual scale, to do this. I have already stated that i have no alternative to offer to current system, only modifications, and this is what i am presenting. So, to summarize, this is not a violation of the NAP, rather, it is a culmination of all three principles, resulting in a recognition of the NAP.

I shall save further points for Round 4. I shall take my remaining number of characters to request a few things from PRO:

1. What is the system that you propose? What are the implications, and how is this better?
2. Why is FMC unsustainable and environmentally unsound? What evidence do you have for this?
3. Do you have evidence to support the position that government-owned resources and production would be better?
4. As I have expressed it here, is FMC still unsustaiable and environmentally unsound?

I hope PRO addresses these questions within Round 4.

To the audience members, i have noticed that this debate has veered away from the originally intended resolution of, "Freemarket capitalism is unsustainable and environmentally unsound." I have attempted to redirect it. I think perhaps my clarification in round 1 lead to a distorted reosolution. PRO has not made any statements that this is an unwelcomed change, and i hope it is not. I have made my arguments in such a way that they defend a minarchist-libertarian conception of FMC, as well as posited ideas as to how it could be sustainable and environmentally sound. As True FMC is not the current state of things, this becomes a debate about abstracts and theory, as well as about the eco-friendliness of socialist economic structure vs capitalist economic structure. Hopefully this is not too far from the original purpose.

I would like to thank PRO for this debate once more, and the audience members for reading and voting.

[1] http://www.whatiseconomics.org...
[2] http://faculty.winthrop.edu...;


Debate Round No. 3
Kaneo

Pro

I would likt to thank CON for the impressive rebuttals!

"The focus of Capitalism is profit. I do not understand how this is problematic, and would like PRO to explain this to the audience and myself."

Why I say it is problematic is because there will be more profit with more consumption.

"What does this have to do with FMC? What would a government-run business do differently from a business in FMC?"

A FMC economy is driven by economic growth, usually with high consumption and production rates. A government run business probably just as bad if not even WORSE.


"What this principle means is that we may, and should, hold all individuals responsible for their actions. Authors are to be given credit for their books, inventors are to be given credit for their inventions, murderers are to be given credit for their murders, and, most importantly for this debate, businesses are to be given credit for their pollution."
"I mention thisas an analogy for my next point. People possess the negative right against others to not have their land, water, and air, polluted. Pollutants are harmful to the human body, as well as the environment. Over-exploitation of land leads to harmful conditions as well."

So would you for example consider polluting the ocean and causing food shortages for aquatic life through the destruction of their habitat and primary food source a violation of the NAP even though it doesn't directly harm the every day person?

"1. What is the system that you propose? What are the implications, and how is this better?"
I propose stopping the current industrial economy and having a steady state economy where consumption of resources does not go pass the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. The implications are the environment of the planet is not destroyed, overexploited, and pollution is negligable, lower population, but quality of life would most likely be lower because of fewer luxuries (unless it could somehow be managed). It would be better because the environment (we all live in) would be balanced, cleaner, and allowed to be restored to a healthy rate and be able to flourish again.

"2. Why is FMC unsustainable and environmentally unsound? What evidence do you have for this?"
The reason I think FMC is unsustainable is because it is unrestricted with no way to limit consumption enough to maintain ecological balance.

"3. Do you have evidence to support the position that government-owned resources and production would be better?"

No, but I am not necessarily proposing government owned resources just not corporate ownership. It could be a post-capitalist, like a participatory economy, socialism through common ownership or something entirely different.

"4. As I have expressed it here, is FMC still unsustaiable and environmentally unsound?"

If, and only if it maintains ecological balance, but I don't see how it could possible be limited since it is not really restricted, even the way you expressed here.

I thank CON for being willing to have this great debate with me!

Pfalcon1318

Con

I would like to thank PRO for his response.

My goal for this debate was to disprove, or refute, the resolution. This means i was to show how, and why, Free-Market Capitalism (FMC) is not unsustainable and environmentally unsound.
I have presented PRO, and the audience, with an explanation of what FMC actually is, and a way in which it is not inherently unsustainable.

The explaanation I gave followed a minarchist-libertarian philosophy, and contained Three Principles, the combination of which gave rise to Five Characteristics of FMC. PRO did not dispute any of the principles, nor did PRO dispute any of the characteristics.

I theen began to explain how the Three principles i brought up lead to a certain economy, founded upon FMC, and the characteristics that such an economy would have. The purpose of me mentioning these things was to establish the counter-argument against PRO's assetrtion that FMC is inherently unsustainable and environmentally unsound.

Per the Self-Ownership Principle, companies would be held responsible for their actions, which includes pollution and over-exploitation of natural resources. Companies would own the resources that they are using, and thus have an incentive to preserve said resources. This promotes environmental preservation, as companies now have an incentive to do what they can to promote the growth, and preservation, of those natural resources that they own, which can be regrown.

PRO's goal for this debate was to affirm the resolution, meaning PRO was to show how, and why, FMC is unsustainable and environmentally unsound.

PRO's preferred form of argumentation thus far has been to present me with "Well what about X?" questions, rather than providing arguments that illustrates the unsustaiability and environmental unsoundness of FMC.

PRO has made assertions without support or evidence. For example: " Why I say it is problematic is because there will be more profit with more consumption." and "A FMC economy is driven by economic growth, usually with high consumption and production rates." How do we know this is the case? In the first example sentence, i am unsure how "consumption" is meant. This could refer to the companies, where the "consumption" refers to natural resources that are used. This is untrue however. Basic economic principles of Supply and Demand dictate that the higher the supply of any given good, the higher companies will wish the price to be. Customers, however, have an inverse relationsship between purchases and price; higher prices will mean less purchasing. There exists a concept known as equilibrium, where consumers and suppliers "meet in the middle" and determine a price for any given good. However, when supply increases price must decrease, all else equal. If the equilibrium price of a good is $5, and the equilibrium quantity is 100, that will result in REVENUE of $500. However, if this good costs $3 to make, the company shall only recieve $200 in profit. For this same good, if supply is increase such that the equilibrium quantity is 200, and the equilibrium price is $2, the company shall lose $100, as the cost of the good to the company does not change unless the company makes adjustments. I say this to say that, given the nature of the FMC system that i have espoused here, consumption that continues to increase shall lead to less profit, not more. Given the property rights system, mixed with the cap-and-trade system, continuous consumption will begin to cost more than the good that is produce makes for the company. The ONLY option the company has is to cut costs, which means they must go back and re-assess their output of pollution, and consumption of resources. On this point, PRO fails to affirm the resolution, as has been the case throughout this debate. This is just one example.

In response to my Question #4, PRO responds: "If, and only if it maintains ecological balance, but I don't see how it could possible be limited since it is not really restricted, even the way you expressed here." (emphasis mine)

I have presented arguments that hold corporations to the same standards that any individual is , generally, held to, which means that pollution, and over-exploitation of goods carries internalized consequences. PRO seems to be conceding that, despite the policies i have presented, the system i have espoused here is still unrestricted. I have explained the policies that would be in place within a FMC economy, and shown how they promote eco-friendly business operations. As such, i believe i have upheld my Burden of Proof, which was to show how FMC is not unsustainable and environmentally unsound.

I shall begin to refute some of PRO's points, in order to further solidify my case.

Refutations

In response to my Question #2, PRO responds, "The reason I think FMC is unsustainable is because it is unrestricted with no way to limit consumption enough to maintain ecological balance."

PRO provides no support, or evidence, for this assertion, and only answers half of the question (...I think FMC is unsustainable because..., when the question also asks about environmental soundness) I could simply respond "No it doesn't" and that statement would be of the same argumentative value. However, i shall respond with a more elaborate explanation.

As i mentioned above, profit, and supply and demand, are key drivers of FMC economies. To increase price, supply must be limited, or, alternatively, customers must be willing to pay a higher price. Either of these is possible. However, profit is not determined by supply and demand alone. Costs are also involved, and if the costs of consumption of any given resource becomes higher than the revenue from the good(s) produced from that resoource, consumption will inevitably stop. Otherwise, the company would be losing money, have no way to sustain itself, and thus have to shut down. This is true of any business, as well as individuals. When expenses are higher than revenue (also considered income), something must change, either income must rise, or expenses must decline. I have explained to you how increases in consumption will not necessarily lead to increases in profit, and how the likely result of consumption, given the high probability of production, is actually a decrease in revenue. This is a natural limiting factor, which pre-exists within capitalist economic structuring.

In PRO's round THREE response, he states "[Forcing companies to internalize costs] may reduce the damaged caused, but how would it give back?...and feel entitled to do whatever you want with it."

PRO brings up an example of underwater oil drilling. I am not sure how anyone in any sytem would be able to replenish oil, but i believe i understand the point PRO is attempting to make. If foresters were to own any given area of a forest, what incentive would they have to limit their consumption, and replenish the resources present? Since business owners have capital already invested within the forest, they then have every incentive to "milk the land for all it is worth". Similar to gardeners, who will plant, harvest, and re-plant, in all likelihood, business owners would utilize a given section of the land area they own, harvest the tree, re-plant, and give the land time to regrow, while moving on to a different section. This is only one example. For polluting industries, per the continuous cap-and-trade system, they will have to purchase more and more caps for all the additional units of pollution they produce, plus the past units of pollution. If Profit is a key driver, and this is a highly variable, ever-increasing cost, companies will have the incentive to find a way to lower the cost. This might mean investing in expensive-in-the-short-run, cheap-in-the-long-run purification equipment.

PRO attempts to suggest that a free-market has no government interference, whether it be regulation of intervention. Per characteristic 3, Government has the "right" to regulate, but not the right to intervene. This means that government, more specifically the EPA, can act as a police force in order to ensure industry is indeed taking responsibility for it's actions. This is no different from having policemen, and detectives, active to prevent murderers, theives, and rapists from avoiding punishment. In each case, the actor (person who does) is held responsible for their actions (the something they did). This does not violate any of the principles i have stated, nor the characteristics i stated.

PRO's arguments seem to be based on presuppositions that neither I, nor the audience, have been made aware of. PRO does not offer support, evidence, or justification for any of the assertions that have been made. As such, PRO fails to uphold his Burden of Proof, as well as affirm the resolution.

I have presented (what i subjectively consider) rational arguments for the environmental soundness and sustainability of a Free-Market Capitalist economy, as i explained it in Round 1. PRO did not dispute any of the characteristics i proposed, and i did my best to show how the theoretical FMC-economy is not, in any way, inherently unsustainable and environmentally unsound.

I would like to give my thanks to PRO once again. I appreciated the opportunity to debate such an interesting topic!

My thanks to the audience for reading this, and happy voting!

http://www.investopedia.com...;
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Kaneo 3 years ago
Kaneo
Somebody vote Con please.
Posted by Kaneo 3 years ago
Kaneo
Sorry something wrong with debate.org? I keep getting error messages and can't see everything you wrote.
Sorry If I missed a question.
Posted by Pfalcon1318 3 years ago
Pfalcon1318
*Edit to point #1*

"PRO attempts to place this at the feet of FMC, which is not appropriate, given the nature of scarcity."
Posted by Kaneo 3 years ago
Kaneo
@L.D

Sorry if there are problems with the way the debate is formulated. Con is free to challenge anything in the debate even the way the debate is formulated.
Thanks for feedback

@wizza_x

Sorry if you really wanted the opportunity to debate but didn't meet the criteria. I just wanted an experienced debater to challenge my position.
Thanks for feedback
Posted by L.D 3 years ago
L.D
I would accept your challenge, however, I think the question or topic should have been formulated differently, as thus far, every economic system used has proven to be unsustainable (in that it fails to maintain itself for an infinite period of time), although, capitalism is the one that has "sustained" longer than any other economic system. If your debate is solely focusing on environmental sustainability, I agree, however, there is a problem in your logic, as it is not the economic's system "fault" for this, but the rapidly growing population that needs food, services and manufactured goods. At this rate the world is undernourished, and you are suggesting green energy and cutting down big industries, which means more costly and less products, hence the world starving even more.
It is a difficult question and a very interesting one, and the only solution I can see is to improve technology, so we are more effective in our product and more environmentally friendly while maintaing the right cost of the products.
Posted by wizza_x 3 years ago
wizza_x
You cannot accept this challenge because you do not match the Instigator's age, rank or number of debates completed criteria.
Posted by Chimera 3 years ago
Chimera
Hard to argue against facts
Posted by Hematite12 3 years ago
Hematite12
I agree.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
KaneoPfalcon1318Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con provided theoretical justification for FMC to be not both unsustainable and environmentally unsound (Blech on double negatives, but whatcha gonna do). Pro might have done better to get into practical examples to prove Con's case unworkable, if possible, but just by showing that Pro's statements weren't necessarily true, and by Pro's failure to make a concrete practicality rebuttal, Con gets arguments. All other categories seemed equal enough. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.