The Instigator
Wallstreetatheist
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
LaissezFaire
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

ODT: Pollution--Rothbardian Property Rights vs. Mainstream Decreasing Negative Externalities

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
LaissezFaire
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,732 times Debate No: 24880
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (47)
Votes (5)

 

Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Rules
1. Debates must be 4 rounds. 1st round is acceptance, definitions, and clarifications.

2. 72 hour debate rounds
3. 8k character limits
4. 1 week voting period
5. All debates must be headed with ODT (Official DDO Tournament)
---Ex: ODT: Global Warming is Awesome
6. The first forfeit in any round of the debate, forfeits the entire debate for that debater.

Resolution: Better sollution to polution: Rothbardian Property Rights vs. Mainstream Decreasing of Negative Externalities.

Pro argues for RPR and Con argues for DNE.


Definition: Rothbardian Property Rights--Rothbard’s definition of ownership is control over resources, and legitimate ownership as control over resources that are either (a) inalienable, that is, inseparable from one’s person, such as one’s body and mind, or (b) homesteaded, that is, acquired from a state of nature and transformed by one’s own labor. Ownership of a thing thus acquired can only be transferred by a voluntary transfer of its property title from a previous to a later owner (the title-transfer theory of contracts). These deceptively simple deductions from the axiom of self-ownership make possible the systematic derivation of the “rights of man”; that is, the entire libertarian system of law and justice.

I'll allow Con to provide his own definition, and I wish him luck in this debate.
LaissezFaire

Con

In case it wasn't clear, Pro is defending the property rights side and I'm defending the externalities side.

Decreasing negative externalities- This approach would be to reduce pollution by offering incentives not to pollute (like taxes, for example), rather than the Rothbardian approach of attempting to stop pollution completely, as we would other violations of property rights (murder, theft, etc).
Debate Round No. 1
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

I thank Laissez-Faire for accepting debating this interesting topic with me.

Observation 1: By simply living, humans necessarily pollute. So, this debate should be focused on which system maintains the optimal amount of pollution, not which system totally eradicates pollution.


Self Ownership is Presupposed

By the mere act of engaging in debate, I am exercising my right of self-ownership via my physical body as well as my cognitive functioning. Through debating, my opponent and I both implicitly recognize our individual right to exclusively control our individual bodies. Consequently, we understand that the anti-coercion principle is surmised as well. Therefore, communication with individuals necessarily presumes self ownership and anti-coercion. Deviating from argumentation and self ownership to the extent of bringing the violent monopoly of the government to prohibit an expression of self ownership violates both of the principles previously established; it is therefore, immoral and illogical. [1]


Property Rights are Presupposed

Hans-Hermann Hoppe writes,
[Self-Ownership and the Non-Aggression Principle are presupposed] Furthermore, it would be equally impossible to engage in argumentation and rely on the propositional force of one's arguments, if one were not allowed to own (exclusively control) other scarce means (besides one's body and its standing room). For if one did not have such a right, then we would all immediately perish and the problem of justifying rules — as well as any other human problem — simply would not exist. Hence, by virtue of the fact of being alive, property rights to other things must be presupposed as valid, too. No one who is alive could possibly argue otherwise. [2]

What’s the source of environmentally detrimental pollution?

Gary D. Libecap writes,
In one way or another, all environmental and natural resource problems associated with overexploitation or under provision of public goods, arise from incompletely defined and enforced property rights. As a result private decision makers do not consider or internalize social benefits and costs in their production or investment actions. The gap between private and social net returns results in externalities – harmful effects on third parties: overfishing, excessive air pollution, unwarranted extraction or diversion of ground or surface water, extreme depletion of oil and gas reservoirs. These situations are all examples of the ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’. [3]

Murray Rothbard explains,
There is, first of all, this stark empirical fact: Government ownership, even socialism, has proved to be no solution to the problem of pollution. Even the most starry-eyed proponents of government planning concede that the poisoning of Lake Baikal in the Soviet Union is a monument to heedless industrial pollution of a valuable natural resource. But there is far more to the problem than that. Note, for example, the two crucial areas in which pollution has become an important problem: the air and the waterways, particularly the rivers. But these are precisely two of the vital areas in society in which private property has not been permitted to function. [4]

Property Rights and Accountability with regard to Pollution

Richard L. Stroup, Ph.D. and Jane S. Shaw write,
When backed by effective liability laws, private property rights tend to work well. Because well-tended property increases its value, private owners generally take care not to despoil their land. This safeguard works even when owners care only for themselves, not for their heirs. For at the very first signs of poor stewardship--the first indications of land erosion, for instance--appraisers and potential buyers can project the results into the future, and the value of the property declines immediately. With an effective liability system, these pressures can also keep corporations from despoiling land or property that they do not own. Although disputes occur, the obligations of those who harm others' property are so widely accepted that many people do not even have to go to court when their cars are damaged: insurance companies generally handle such cases routinely. Unfortunately, environmental damage is often not as recognizable as a dented fender. Common law requires plaintiffs to prove damages and identify the responsible parties, and though the standard of proof is not as high as in criminal cases, it remains substantial. [5]

Historical Example

Rothbard writes,
It is important to realize that this failure has not been a question purely of ignorance, a simple time lag between recognizing a new technological problem and facing up to it. For if some of the modern pollutants have only recently become known, factory smoke and many of its bad effects have been known ever since the Industrial Revolution, known to the extent that the American courts, during the late — and as far back as the early 19th century made the deliberate decision to allow property rights to be violated by industrial smoke. To do so, the courts had to — and did — systematically change and weaken the defenses of property right embedded in Anglo-Saxon common law. Before the mid and late 19th century, any injurious air pollution was considered a tort, a nuisance against which the victim could sue for damages and against which he could take out an injunction to cease and desist from any further invasion of his property rights. But during the 19th century, the courts systematically altered the law of negligence and the law of nuisance to permit any air pollution which was not unusually greater than any similar manufacturing firm, one that was not more extensive than the customary practice of fellow polluters.
As factories began to arise and emit smoke, blighting the orchards of neighboring farmers, the farmers would take the manufacturers to court, asking for damages and injunctions against further invasion of their property. But the judges said, in effect, "Sorry. We know that industrial smoke (i.e., air pollution) invades and interferes with your property rights. But there is something more important than mere property rights: and that is public policy, the 'common good.' And the common good decrees that industry is a good thing, industrial progress is a good thing, and therefore your mere private property rights must be overridden on behalf of the general welfare." And now all of us are paying the bitter price for this overriding of private property, in the form of lung disease and countless other ailments. And all for the "common good"!



Conclusion

Murray Rothbard writes,
Thus, when we peel away the confusions and the unsound philosophy of the modern ecologists, we find an important bedrock case against the existing system; but the case turns out to be not against capitalism, private property, growth, or technology per se. It is a case against the failure of government to allow and to defend the rights of private property against invasion. If property rights were to be defended fully, against private and governmental invasion alike, we would find here, as in other areas of our economy and society, that private enterprise and modern technology would come to mankind not as a curse but as its salvation. [6]




Thanks for reading and debating! Good luck in the next round! :D


[1] http://mises.org...
[2] http://www.lewrockwell.com...
[3] http://www.perc.org...
[4] http://mises.org...
[5] http://www.perc.org...
[6] Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 1973


LaissezFaire

Con

Property rights:
Pro's case for property rights makes an unjustified leap in logic. He goes from 'Doing X is logically contradictory' to 'Doing X is immoral.' To quote Hans-Hermann Hoppe, on his own argument, “What I offer is an entirely value-free system of ethics. I remain exclusively in the realm of is statements and nowhere try to drive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is.’. . . In strict analogy to this, I ‘only’ claim to prove that whatever Rawls or other socialists say is false and can be understood as such by all intellectually competent and honest men.” [1] Hoppe’s argument doesn’t claim to prove that property rights exist—only that any ethical system contradicting the property rights ethic is wrong. This still leaves open the possibility of there being no correct ethical system.

The resolution says ‘better’—there is no ‘should’ or ‘ought’—so no ethical system is needed to prove either side of the resolution. I offer ‘better for the vast majority of people’ as a definition—but Pro can continue to argue for a ethical ‘better’ if he likes, the voters can decide for themselves which definition should be used.

Causes of environmental damage:
Pro argues that the causes of environmental damage are generally government ownership and poorly defined property rights. I agree—but this isn’t what the debate is about. My proposal includes private property rights—the disagreement is about what to do when someone’s private property is damaged by pollution. The Rothbardian position is that such pollution should be stopped outright, like any other form of aggression—“Air pollution, after all, is just as much aggression as committing arson against another's property or injuring him physically. Air pollution that injures others is aggression pure and simple.” [2] My position is that completely eliminating harmful pollution should not be the goal (not just that eliminating pollution isn’t possible, as Pro points out at the beginning of his round—but that it isn’t even a desirable goal). Rather, pollution should simply be disincentivized with some sort of tax or fee.

My Proposal:
Imagine that a production process that costs $1,000 to the company producing the product, but also creates pollution that causes $100 in damage to 3rd parties. One solution is to ban this production completely, because it is “just as much aggression as committing arson.” Another solution is to tax the pollution to reduce it and compensate those damaged by it. For example, a tax of $1 per $1 of pollution could be levied, to make the producer’s cost include the social cost of his production. The production process might then be altered to reduce pollution. If the producer could make the same product with a $1025 direct cost and $50 in pollution, they would change to that instead because the lower taxes would make up for the higher direct costs. If the process couldn’t be altered, then at least the victims of the pollution would be compensated.

This solution is ‘better’ because it is a pareto improvement compared to trying to ban pollution completely—that is, it makes at least some people better off while making no people worse off. There are 3 groups involved—the producers of pollution, the people who consume the products made by pollution, and the victims of pollution. The first two groups are obviously better off. The 3rd is at least not worse off, because they are compensated to make up for the damage pollution causes them. But the people in the 3rd group are almost certainly also in one or both of the first two groups—in a modern economy, so much of production produces some sort of pollution that nearly everyone consumes products that were made by emitting pollution. So we can be reasonably sure that everyone is better off under my plan than under Pro’s.

The alternative:
The alternative is that any production processes that emits pollution must either be changed so that it doesn’t emit any, or if it can’t, be shut down.

The quote about the smoke emitted during the Industrial Revolution just proves my point. Even with pollution, surely Pro would agree that the Industrial Revolution was a good thing. We’re much better off because of it—and so were the people alive at the time. Should economic progress have been stopped completely because of the pollution it causes?

Conclusion:
Following Pro’s example, I will also conclude with a quote: “A pollution-free society is unattainable, both physically and economically. To think otherwise is not to think.” –Alan Blinder [3]


[1] https://mises.org... p401
[2] http://mises.org... p319
[3] Hard Heads, Soft Hearts: Tough-minded Economics For A Just Society
Debate Round No. 2
Wallstreetatheist

Pro


Analysis

My opponent and I essentially agree that strong, well-defined private property rights are important in combating pollution and that government ownership and poorly defined property rights are the main sources of pollution. However, my opponent does have a few errors in his reasoning.

The fundamental flaws in my opponent’s case:
1) It involves a state regulating and taxing industry, which is likely to generate more negative externalities than it attempts to “solve”
2) His rebuttal to my case is built on the fault premise that Rothbardian Property Rights advocate banning pollution completely. This is rhetorical nonsense.

RE: My proposal

My opponent’s plan involves taxing the polluters, which would be found ostensibly through regulation (i.e. an environmental bureaucracy). He hasn’t elaborated much on the true mechanism of this tax plan, so until he does we will assume, for the sake of argument, that a governmental bureaucracy administers this process. Bureaucracies are inefficient political institutions that do not solve problems, as that would decrease the size of the institution. Instead they prolong the problems and even expand them to grow the size and power of the bureaucracy. Furthermore, they are ineffective regulators that have political incentives to become corrupt with industry. His plan will not be a pareto improvement, but will lead to more negative externalities. His plan also involves taxing, which is a violation of private property, a logical contradiction in his case.


Rothbardian Property Rights

Rothbardian property rights do not advocate banning pollution altogether, but allowing the market to function with strict property rights and private law that oversees damages cases in pollution. The market acts as a disincentive itself. No regulator is necessary.
LaissezFaire

Con

My Proposal:
Pro wrongly assumes that my proposal needs taxation and government bureaucracy to work. This is not the case—I argue that "pollution should simply be disincentivized with some sort of tax or fee." A tax is an example of a disincentive, but not the only way it could be done. Obviously, I don’t support any sort of taxation—like Pro, I am an anarchist. I used the example of taxation because we currently live under a state, so that’s how it would have to work in today’s society, and it’s simpler than discussing how an anarcho-capitalist legal order would accomplish the same thing.

But since I don’t need much time to rebut my opponent’s case, and have some extra space, I’ll explain why an anarchist legal order would probably follow my plan. As David Friedman argues [1], law in an anarchist society wouldn't necessarily be perfectly libertarian, it would just be efficient. Imagine that there is a generally agreed upon private law code in an anarchist society that the private defense agencies follow. It includes a ban on harmful pollution, listing it with other acts of aggression like arson. For simplicity’s sake, assume that there are only 2 agencies, A and B. When disputes arise between their customers, they settle them according to the generally agreed upon code mentioned above. Some customers of Agency A pollute the land of customers of Agency B, causing pollution worth $100 to Agency B’s customers. The production is stopped, causing the polluters a $1,000 loss. The agencies see this, and decide to get together and make a deal. Instead of stopping the pollution, they let it continue in exchange for Agency A giving $150 to Agency B. Agency A charges its polluting customer more for making this deal for them—but the polluter is happy to pay, because the extra fee is still less than they’d lose with a pollution ban. Agency B lowers its rates to the victims of pollution to keep them happy. And nearly everyone is better off. It’s likely that there are a few radical environmentalists who wouldn’t be happy with the deal, since pollution usually affects a lot of people at once, but they don’t have as much money as all of the people who benefit, so the agencies ignore them. Their property rights are violated in this scenario, but that price seems worth it. Under Pro’s plan, such a deal would be impossible—if a single environmentalist disagreed, they’d have the right to stop the pollution, because it was violating their property rights.

Rothbardian Property Rights:
Pro argues that the Rothbardian property rights solution is not to try banning pollution completely, but fails to explain what exactly it is instead. From Rothbard’s writings, and Pro’s own case, it’s hard to see what exactly the property rights solution would be, if not trying to ban pollution completely. Rothbard writes, “Air pollution, after all, is just as much aggression as committing arson against another's property or injuring him physically. Air pollution that injures others is aggression pure and simple.” [2] In Pro’s own R2, he advances Hoppe’s argumentation ethics—an ethical system of absolute property rights. Surely, if your solution to pollution is enforcing property rights, and pollution is a violation of someone’s property rights, then the solution is to stop that violation. Pro says he wants “the market to function with strict property rights”—but what could that mean other than stopping pollution? The “strict property rights” solution to arson and other rights violations is to stop them and punish the aggressor.

[1] http://www.daviddfriedman.com...
[2] http://mises.org... p319
Debate Round No. 3
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

My Opponent's Case

"Pro wrongly assumes that my proposal needs taxation and government bureaucracy to work. This is not the case—I argue that 'pollution should simply be disincentivized with some sort of tax or fee.' A tax is anexample of a disincentive, but not the only way it could be done."

Tax: A compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions. [1]


The ambiguous language of my opponent's proposal is a strong reason it would not be effective. "Some sort of tax or fee," this is not the language of a proposal that would have positive effects. Futhermore, his proposal doesn't attack the root of the problem of pollution, which I stated in round 2: "In one way or another, all environmental and natural resource problems associated with overexploitation or under provision of public goods, arise from incompletely defined and enforced property rights." Not addressing the root of the problem leads to a sort of war on drugs approach: create the environment where polluting or overexploitation is incentivized through state-ownership of land (particularly out west), ocean, air, or rivers, anti-technological innovations, and season restrictions, while simultaneously placing "some sort of tax or fee" on the behavior. This is a non-sollution; it does not reduce pollution to the optimal amount. Furthermore, my opponent does not mention a mechansim for finding the polluters, taxing them, or verifying the pollution.


Examined Under Anarchism

Our methods essentially agree under anarchy, so there's not much to discuss here. Con asserts, "Under Pro’s plan, such a deal would be impossible—if a single environmentalist disagreed, they’d have the right to stop the pollution, because it was violating their property rights." Con has stated that his plan incorporates private property rights, making his plan as receptive to this unwarranted assertion as mine. Under Rothbardian Property Rights, damages to the individual environmentalist would have to be proven in a court to be payed reparations. Notice the flaw in my opponent's central attack against my case: he thinks that Rothbardian Property Rights advocate eliminating pollution altogether; however, the reality is that courts would adjudicate disputes between the polluter and the person harmed by the pollution and payment would follow naturally. There is no need for the state here. This adjudication mechanism, combined with the reputation of the company, keeps pollution at the optimal level: low, not nonexistant, as Con and I both agreed is an impossibility of human civilization at this point. The only difference is that my "plan" would eradicate the primary source of pollution: public ownership of land, air, and sea, while maintaining optimal pollution in those remaining privately owned firms on private land.



Upholding My Case

Rothbardian Property Rights

Rothbardian Property Rights are exactly that: property rights. The flaws of government ownership were discussed in round 2, which progressed into a discussion about a historical example of the check on pollution: "Before the mid and late 19th century, any injurious air pollution was considered a tort, a nuisance against which the victim could sue for damages and against which he could take out an injunction to cease and desist from any further invasion of his property rights." A cease and desist is an order or request to halt an activity (cease) and not to take it up again later (desist) or else face legal action. The legal action in this case would be the payment of damages through the adjudicator to the party, which received the damage. [2]

Con states, "Surely, if your solution to pollution is enforcing property rights, and pollution is a violation of someone’s property rights, then the solution is to stop that violation." This is another exhibition of Con's flawed perception of absolute property rights. The mechanism I described in the previous paragraph deal with this assertion. The solution is not completely stopping the pollution altogether, it is to find the optimal pollution level through private property rights. The more people who take out torts against polluting companies, the more reparations that company will have to pay out. As a result, the company is incentivized to innovate in a more eco-friendly manner because of these injunctions and because he owns his property and is concerned about future earnings. Rothbardian Property Rights just make sense in this regard.


I urge you to Vote Pro! :)



[1] http://tinyurl.com...;
[2] http://mises.org...;
LaissezFaire

Con

My Case:
Pro tries to change the subject by talking about public ownership of land. But this has nothing to do with the resolution. Neither of us are suggesting government owned land—it’s completely irrelevant.

“Furthermore, my opponent does not mention a mechansim for finding the polluters, taxing them, or verifying the pollution.”
Neither does Pro, so I guess we’re even.

Pro says that since I say I support property rights, my plan is just as vulnerable to the ‘if a single environmentalist disagrees, he can shut down the polluting factory’ argument. But this is nonsense. I said I supported private property, rather than government ownership of land and resources. But not absolute private property rights. Pro’s plan, however, does support absolute private property.

Property rights:
In a legal system that supports absolute property rights, what is the solution to arson or other property damage? It is to punish the aggressor and compensate the victim. Some sort of settlement could be worked out where the arsonist is forced to make restitution to the victim. But what if the arsonist came back and started the victim's property on fire again and again? We wouldn't just keep forcing him to pay restitution--the victim would have the right to use force to stop the arsonist from damaging his property. What would Pro suggest happen if the victim of pollution hired some men to forcibly shut down a factory polluting his land, if the factory owner didn't stop polluting after paying the settlement and getting a cease and desist order? According to the non-aggression principle, the victim has every right to do this--and an attempt to stop him would be a further violation of his private property rights.

If pollution is a violation of property rights, then protecting property rights must mean that the victims of pollution have the right to forcibly stop the pollution. Pro admits this himself! He quotes Rothbard saying, "Before the mid and late 19th century, any injurious air pollution was considered a tort, a nuisance against which the victim could sue for damages and against which he could take out an injunction to cease and desist from any further invasion of his property rights." In the next paragraph, Pro states, "The solution is not completely stopping the pollution altogether, it is to find the optimal pollution level through private property rights."--but this is nonsense. What does he think 'an injunction to cease and desist from any further invasion of his property rights' means? It doesn't mean just "finding the optimum pollution level," it means stopping the pollution completely. Pro tries to say that a 'cease and desist' order would basically just be a fine—the firm can keep polluting if they face legal action in the form of paying damages. But you don’t just get to keep paying a fine if you continuously violate a cease and desist order—you can be forced to stop doing what you’re doing.

Pro’s own source contradicts his interpretation. “Thus, only private property rights will insure an end to pollution — invasion of resources.” “The remedy is simply for the courts to return to their function of defending person and property rights against invasion, and therefore to enjoin anyone from injecting pollutants into the air.” Rothbard clearly does not think we should find the “optimum” amount of pollution. Rather, he argues that the costs of banning pollution aren’t relevant, because pollution is an immoral violation of property rights: “The argument that such an injunctive prohibition against pollution would add to the costs of industrial production is as reprehensible as the pre-Civil War argument that the abolition of slavery would add to the costs of growing cotton, and that therefore abolition, however morally correct, was ‘impractical.’” [1] But Pro dropped his morality argument after the first round.

Pro realized the position he had to defend was ridiculous and tried to change his mind—but it’s too late now. He should have changed the resolution before the debate if he didn’t really agree with the Rothbardian position. Or he could have actually put some effort into defending his side of the resolution—there are plenty of arguments that he could have used. He could have argued that absolute private property rights do, in fact, maximize human welfare, and invasions of private property cannot be pareto improvements, as Rothbard does. [2] Or he could have argued that a complete ban on pollution would be feasible, as Rothbard does (in the very article Pro uses as a source!). [1] But instead, he pretends that his proposal would be essentially the same as mine. He concedes that trying to stop pollution completely would destroy civilization, and that instead we should use fines to disincentivize pollution to the optimal amount. But that’s my side of the resolution, not his, so he’s conceded the debate.

[1] http://mises.org...
[2] http://mises.org...
Debate Round No. 4
47 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
After lots of prodding and questioning, and yes I've looked very closely at the explicit text, Rothbardian property rights are absolute as I recently said.

WSA's source includes this text regarding Rothbarian property rights, which provides good insight about with Rothbard actually meant:

"But in the case of air pollution we are dealing not so much with private property in the air as with protecting private property in one's lungs, fields, and orchards. The vital fact about air pollution is that the polluter sends unwanted and unbidden pollutants — from smoke to nuclear radiation to sulfur oxides — through the air and into the lungs of innocent victims, as well as onto their material property. All such emanations which injure person or property constitute aggression against the private property of the victims. Air pollution, after all, is just as much aggression as committing arson against another's property or injuring him physically. Air pollution that injures others is aggression pure and simple. The major function of government — of courts and police — is to stop aggression; instead, the government has failed in this task and has failed grievously to exercise its defense function against air pollution."

Thus, we can conclude that yes, property rights must be absolute. Just paying a tort payment would be a violation of the absolute property rights, as Pro's source shows. It points out that a cease and desist be forwarded to rectify the harm done and hold property rights absolute.

Thus, Pro's case wasn't aligned to the resolution on his side, and Con's side was. Thus Con has better arguments as his refer to his case. And Pro dropped the moral argument, but that wasn't the crucial decision here.
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
Conduct tied.
Spelling and grammar tied.
Pro presented a system of property rights as a method of solving pollution. Those property rights initiated a mechanism of financial penalties on a company's actions, which gave them an incentive to become more eco-friendly; the other mechanism was that property owners take care not to ruin their land or nearby environment because the value of the property would decline. I found these two mechanisms described in rounds 2 and 4 to be very strong. Con's case incorporated private property rights in it, so it basically agreed with the Pro case in that respect; the only major disagreement Con had with Pro's case was based on a misunderstanding of Rothbard's stance on pollution of absolute prohibition, which is false. RoyLatham pointed this out in his RFD as well. Con's plan involved a vague proposition of taxes or fees, and he dropped the objections Pro raised in the 3rd and 4th rounds about a tax being a "A compulsory contribution to state revenue" and the fact that Con's plan seeks to create artificial incentives against pollution that would exist without his plan.
Pro used more sources and more diverse sources than Con. Canceling out the Mises sources, Pro used the Property and Environmental Research Center (PERC), which is a high quality and appropriate source to use in a relatively free-market environmental debate. Furthermore, despite Con's misrepresentation, I felt the sources better complemented Pro's case for strong property rights.
Posted by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
Rothbardian property rights do seem as I've looked at Pro's source to have a cease on desist on pollution to stop private property rights. Ugh.
Posted by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
LaissezFaire has sufficiently proved his case that pro's position was flawed. And if he didn't, then this is a point for con. WSA's case ends up collapsing. WSA's plan is inefficient at best, impossible at worst. LaissezFaire's plan is more efficient, and he proved that.
Posted by baggins 4 years ago
baggins
@ WSA
If you did not present a plan and Con presented a plan, then it is advantage for Con.

In R1, you supported tort action against industries. Later also you have supported courts.

I know that bureaucracy is inefficient. All the red tape is frustrating for industrialists. However delays and cost in all the paper work can be estimated. Courts lead to unpredictable costs, which cannot be predicted.

I don't have a clue about relative inefficiencies of US companies. I don't even know what is UPS.
Posted by LaissezFaire 4 years ago
LaissezFaire
For the 4th or so time (main question in caps):

Imagine A pollute's B's property. B sues, and gets a settlement for the damages, and a cease and desist order against A's pollution. A doesn't follow the cease and desist order and keeps polluting B's property. So B attempts to forcibly shut down A's polluting. WOULD IT BE PERMISSIBLE FOR A TO USE FORCE TO STOP B FROM PROTECTING HIS PROPERTY FROM POLLUTION? Clearly it would not--property rights implies the right to self defense. If someone is damaging your person or property, you have the right to use force to stop them from damaging you--them simply being forced to pay a settlement isn't enough.

As I said in the debate, to use Rothbard's own analogy, what if the property damage was arson rather than pollution? Would the victim have the right to use force to stop the arsonist, or would the arsonist simply have to pay a tort and then continue lighting the victim's property on fire? Property rights, if they mean anything at all, must imply that the victim has the right to use force to stop someone from damaging his property.

But then WSA's whole case collapses--either he abandons property rights, and says that victims of pollution do not have the right to self-defense--the right to stop the pollution--or he must agree his proposal implies the right to stop pollution completely.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
lol, I didn't present a plan. I had a system of property rights with two mechanisms that have proved to work.

"Alternatively some kind of agreement negotiated by an agency to compensate the victims of pollution may be feasible."
Derp. That's what private property rights do via the mechanisms I described. You should think about reading the debate when you have time, bro.

"Is bureaucracy less efficient than judiciary?"
Yes, because I described a private system. The adjudicators of disputes of this nature would have the comparative efficiency of UPS vs. US Postal Service (bureaucracy).
Posted by baggins 4 years ago
baggins
RFD

As pointed out by LaissezFaire, WSA's plan is unrealistic. Taking each case of environment damage to court as a violation of property rights would make industrial activities impossible. Judicial cost of any industrial activity would be unpredictable and would be major disincentive to industrial investment.

Both the alternatives presented by Con appear to be more pragmatic. Beaurocracy may be inefficient, but taxation is a well established and predictable system. (Is bureaucracy less efficient than judiciary?). Alternatively some kind of agreement negotiated by an agency to compensate the victims of pollution may be feasible.
Posted by LaissezFaire 4 years ago
LaissezFaire
The cease and desist one? That wasn't a real quote--I was using it as an example to make a point, that the 2nd sentence was implied and didn't really need to be there.

The original mentions of 'cease and desist' I'm referring to are, " If a private firm owned Lake Erie, for example, then anyone dumping garbage in the lake would be promptly sued in the courts for their aggression against private property and would be forced by the courts to pay damages and to cease and desist from any further aggression." " Before the mid and late 19th century, any injurious air pollution was considered a tort, a nuisance against which the victim could sue for damages and against which he could take out an injunction to cease and desist from any further invasion of his property rights." from WSA's source [4] ( http://mises.org... )

My point was that orders to 'cease and desist from further aggression' imply that you have to stop the aggression unless you explicitly say otherwise.
Posted by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
Which source had the quote LaissezFaire?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
WallstreetatheistLaissezFaireTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD final time after yet again re-analyzing the facts.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate is difficult to judge becau both sides are so far into abstract theory it's difficult to relate the arguments to the real world. Both seem to envision a system of massive lawsuits where courts end up effectively making laws. Okay, I'm going to give Pro the better of it on the grounds that Con lost the argument that RPR implies absolute prohibition of pollution. Pro argued successfully that penalties might be assessed proportionately.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by baggins 4 years ago
baggins
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments