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Market failure/government failure?

Caramel
Posts: 855
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12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Jerry Taylor of the Cato institute says "It is not 'market failure' that leads to pollution, but government failure to recognize property rights and hold polluters fully liable for their activities..."

I hear a lot of this vague BS on DDO and I wanted to nip it in the bud. Pollution is an externality of capitalism. Since we compete to get an edge over others, we have to be artificially incentivized not to cut corners (i.e., pollute) in order to try and capture the side-effects of keeping only yourself in mind. Pollution is thus unavoidable, at least without large amounts of gov't interference, which makes conservatives/libertarians even more senseless because they are the ones pushing the gov't out of the way.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, why exactly is it the government's job to determine who has polluted? "Recognizing property rights" sounds straight-forward enough, because the gov't obviously is the authority on property, but when it comes to pollution this is just absolutely ridiculous. There are hundreds of millions of people in this country alone, each one polluting in his or her own way. One person litters here, one company dumps there, a farmer's nutrients run-off into a stream there... It's impossible to expect that the government is going to be able to keep up with an absolutely chaotic system of chemicals that are traveling around in ways we don't even fully understand. And, again, how exactly are we going to keep shrinking gov't and getting it out of the way while we are demanding that they become more complex and get involved in this impossible task of property recognition?
no comment
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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12/22/2010 3:59:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Jerry Taylor of the Cato institute says "It is not 'market failure' that leads to pollution, but government failure to recognize property rights and hold polluters fully liable for their activities..."

Walter Block is frowning at you right now >.<
Caramel
Posts: 855
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12/22/2010 4:08:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Here's some lovely factors to consider while you are formulating your response as to how exactly the gov't can possibly be held accountable for managing the planet through property rights.

- Multiple sources of an externality: who done it? It's often very ambiguous.
- Multiple victims - this complicates dispute resolution.
- incomplete information - regarding the true costs of the externality.
- strategic behavior - we ARE talking about capitalists here. While they are protecting their own a5ses, they will be doing everything they can to disrupt the process.
- time lags: many externalities take years to be realized. 10,000 years from now, it's gonna be kind of hard to sue anyone over our spent nuclear rods, for example.
- Asymmetric information - if those creating the externality know all about it but those affected are not privvy, we have a problem.
- transaction costs - of litigation/lawyers, as well as how much the gov't would need to spend to keep track of all the pollution.
- social mores - it's not always socially acceptable to stand up for the environment or to be going around suing people/companies.
no comment
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 9:00:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 4:08:48 AM, Caramel wrote:
Here's some lovely factors to consider while you are formulating your response as to how exactly the gov't can possibly be held accountable for managing the planet through property rights.

- Multiple sources of an externality: who done it? It's often very ambiguous.
- Multiple victims - this complicates dispute resolution.
- incomplete information - regarding the true costs of the externality.
- strategic behavior - we ARE talking about capitalists here. While they are protecting their own a5ses, they will be doing everything they can to disrupt the process.
- time lags: many externalities take years to be realized. 10,000 years from now, it's gonna be kind of hard to sue anyone over our spent nuclear rods, for example.
- Asymmetric information - if those creating the externality know all about it but those affected are not privvy, we have a problem.
- transaction costs - of litigation/lawyers, as well as how much the gov't would need to spend to keep track of all the pollution.
- social mores - it's not always socially acceptable to stand up for the environment or to be going around suing people/companies.

I see your points . . . that's why I say space travel . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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12/22/2010 9:21:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 4:08:48 AM, Caramel wrote:

- Multiple sources of an externality: who done it? It's often very ambiguous.
Again, if a thousand people take a bite out of someone, and he dies, they are all responsible even though no individual bite did very much harm. At the very least biting must be outlawed. Same with pollution.

- Multiple victims - this complicates dispute resolution.
Solved by intermediaries who represent large groups of people. Example, health insurance cares about reducing lung cancer.

- incomplete information - regarding the true costs of the externality.
Irrelevant. We don't have to estimate the "true cost" of rape to make it illegal.

- strategic behavior - we ARE talking about capitalists here. While they are protecting their own a5ses, they will be doing everything they can to disrupt the process.
Much easier with a government monopoly on dispute resolution.

- time lags: many externalities take years to be realized. 10,000 years from now, it's gonna be kind of hard to sue anyone over our spent nuclear rods, for example.
Same as your "full extent point"

- Asymmetric information - if those creating the externality know all about it but those affected are not privvy, we have a problem.
Even if we don't realize someone's harms for 20 years, we can still crackdown on them. The anticipation of the future crackdown disincentivizes present crime.

- transaction costs - of litigation/lawyers, as well as how much the gov't would need to spend to keep track of all the pollution.
Well, government is silly. And the lawyer cost would be very low compared to the benefits... as far as keeping track? What's to keep track of. Pollution is illegal.

- social mores - it's not always socially acceptable to stand up for the environment or to be going around suing people/companies.
Applies to any system at any time forever and ever. Capitalism is the best weapon against irrational culture because there are monetary rewards for acting prudently.
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 10:05:11 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 9:21:37 AM, Sieben wrote:
At 12/22/2010 4:08:48 AM, Caramel wrote:

- Multiple sources of an externality: who done it? It's often very ambiguous.
Again, if a thousand people take a bite out of someone, and he dies, they are all responsible even though no individual bite did very much harm. At the very least biting must be outlawed. Same with pollution.

- Multiple victims - this complicates dispute resolution.
Solved by intermediaries who represent large groups of people. Example, health insurance cares about reducing lung cancer.

- incomplete information - regarding the true costs of the externality.
Irrelevant. We don't have to estimate the "true cost" of rape to make it illegal.

- strategic behavior - we ARE talking about capitalists here. While they are protecting their own a5ses, they will be doing everything they can to disrupt the process.
Much easier with a government monopoly on dispute resolution.

- time lags: many externalities take years to be realized. 10,000 years from now, it's gonna be kind of hard to sue anyone over our spent nuclear rods, for example.
Same as your "full extent point"

- Asymmetric information - if those creating the externality know all about it but those affected are not privvy, we have a problem.
Even if we don't realize someone's harms for 20 years, we can still crackdown on them. The anticipation of the future crackdown disincentivizes present crime.

- transaction costs - of litigation/lawyers, as well as how much the gov't would need to spend to keep track of all the pollution.
Well, government is silly. And the lawyer cost would be very low compared to the benefits... as far as keeping track? What's to keep track of. Pollution is illegal.

- social mores - it's not always socially acceptable to stand up for the environment or to be going around suing people/companies.
Applies to any system at any time forever and ever. Capitalism is the best weapon against irrational culture because there are monetary rewards for acting prudently.

Hmmm . . . and didn't that lead to Mercantilism http://en.wikipedia.org... which lead to Colonialism http://en.wikipedia.org... which lead to Imperialism http://en.wikipedia.org... which lead to the impoverishment of 3rd world countries, slavery, and the rise of communism http://en.wikipedia.org... http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_Only_Superpower http://en.wikipedia.org... http://en.wikipedia.org... http://en.wikipedia.org... http://en.wikipedia.org... and consequential impounding of my V-22 Osprey http://en.wikipedia.org... ?
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 10:51:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 10:46:37 AM, Sieben wrote:
Negative rights do not lead to totalitarianism :I

http://orlyowl.tripod.com...
http://i5.tinypic.com...
http://fc06.deviantart.net...

Hmmm . . . tell that to WWII: Germany, Russia, and Italy, also tell that to Apartheid Africa, and Colonial Africa and America . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 11:33:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 11:24:40 AM, Sieben wrote:
U trollin

No I posed a perfectly logical assertion on this thread . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
wamba
Posts: 688
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12/22/2010 11:58:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Jerry Taylor of the Cato institute says "It is not 'market failure' that leads to pollution, but government failure to recognize property rights and hold polluters fully liable for their activities..."

I hear a lot of this vague BS on DDO and I wanted to nip it in the bud. Pollution is an externality of capitalism. Since we compete to get an edge over others, we have to be artificially incentivized not to cut corners (i.e., pollute) in order to try and capture the side-effects of keeping only yourself in mind. Pollution is thus unavoidable, at least without large amounts of gov't interference, which makes conservatives/libertarians even more senseless because they are the ones pushing the gov't out of the way.

Clearly you are uneducated on fundamental economics. Allow me to educate you.

There are things called "externalities" There are positive externalities, and their are negative externalities. It is the governments role to subsidize positive externalities while taxing negative externalties. For example if a town would show a fireworks display and charged an admission price to sit near the launching point. Many people would sit on a nearby hill to watch the display and not pay. These people are known as free-riders. To solve the free-rider problem the city taxes the free-riders of the town and subsidizes the fireworks display.

Similarly, imagine a company is dumping garbage into the ocean. The government estimates the cost of cleaning up that garbage at 10cents per pound. The government then taxes all businesses dumping garbage into the ocean at 10 cents per pound and ups the tax until pollution is at a minimum. It then subsidizes the cleanup efforts.


Also, and perhaps more importantly, why exactly is it the government's job to determine who has polluted? "Recognizing property rights" sounds straight-forward enough, because the gov't obviously is the authority on property, but when it comes to pollution this is just absolutely ridiculous.

It is not ridiculous as when someone pollutes they are causing harm to someone else's property. Think about it. If you had a nice clean house and then a coal plant was set up next door. The coal plant made your house incredibly smoky and you all developed cancer. How is the government not the authority?

There are hundreds of millions of people in this country alone, each one polluting in his or her own way. One person litters here, one company dumps there, a farmer's nutrients run-off into a stream there... It's impossible to expect that the government is going to be able to keep up with an absolutely chaotic system of chemicals that are traveling around in ways we don't even fully understand.

We do understand them and have regulators for all industries and fines on those who pollute.

And, again, how exactly are we going to keep shrinking gov't and getting it out of the way while we are demanding that they become more complex and get involved in this impossible task of property recognition?

Laissez faire demand that government vanish. Keynesians just want government to stop subsidizing things that are not positive externalities and quit taxing things that are not negative externalities.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 12:00:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 11:47:02 AM, Sieben wrote:
Not sure if serious...

What are you talking about . . . ? Don't judge what I posted simply by those images actually read what I wrote, those pictures were simply for emphasis upon my argument . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 12:07:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 11:58:37 AM, wamba wrote:
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Jerry Taylor of the Cato institute says "It is not 'market failure' that leads to pollution, but government failure to recognize property rights and hold polluters fully liable for their activities..."

I hear a lot of this vague BS on DDO and I wanted to nip it in the bud. Pollution is an externality of capitalism. Since we compete to get an edge over others, we have to be artificially incentivized not to cut corners (i.e., pollute) in order to try and capture the side-effects of keeping only yourself in mind. Pollution is thus unavoidable, at least without large amounts of gov't interference, which makes conservatives/libertarians even more senseless because they are the ones pushing the gov't out of the way.

Clearly you are uneducated on fundamental economics. Allow me to educate you.

There are things called "externalities" There are positive externalities, and their are negative externalities. It is the governments role to subsidize positive externalities while taxing negative externalties. For example if a town would show a fireworks display and charged an admission price to sit near the launching point. Many people would sit on a nearby hill to watch the display and not pay. These people are known as free-riders. To solve the free-rider problem the city taxes the free-riders of the town and subsidizes the fireworks display.

Similarly, imagine a company is dumping garbage into the ocean. The government estimates the cost of cleaning up that garbage at 10cents per pound. The government then taxes all businesses dumping garbage into the ocean at 10 cents per pound and ups the tax until pollution is at a minimum. It then subsidizes the cleanup efforts.



Also, and perhaps more importantly, why exactly is it the government's job to determine who has polluted? "Recognizing property rights" sounds straight-forward enough, because the gov't obviously is the authority on property, but when it comes to pollution this is just absolutely ridiculous.

It is not ridiculous as when someone pollutes they are causing harm to someone else's property. Think about it. If you had a nice clean house and then a coal plant was set up next door. The coal plant made your house incredibly smoky and you all developed cancer. How is the government not the authority?


There are hundreds of millions of people in this country alone, each one polluting in his or her own way. One person litters here, one company dumps there, a farmer's nutrients run-off into a stream there... It's impossible to expect that the government is going to be able to keep up with an absolutely chaotic system of chemicals that are traveling around in ways we don't even fully understand.

We do understand them and have regulators for all industries and fines on those who pollute.


And, again, how exactly are we going to keep shrinking gov't and getting it out of the way while we are demanding that they become more complex and get involved in this impossible task of property recognition?

Laissez faire demand that government vanish. Keynesians just want government to stop subsidizing things that are not positive externalities and quit taxing things that are not negative externalities.

I see your point . . . and I agree . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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12/22/2010 12:31:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Capitalism sucks. Instead, I propose utopia! Because little green pieces of paper will no longer exist, greed will also cease to exist. Once we've gotten rid of that integral part of human nature, we'll live in peace and harmony with the environment and everything will be perfect.

OK.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
wamba
Posts: 688
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12/22/2010 12:34:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 12:31:59 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Capitalism sucks. Instead, I propose utopia! Because little green pieces of paper will no longer exist, greed will also cease to exist. Once we've gotten rid of that integral part of human nature, we'll live in peace and harmony with the environment and everything will be perfect.

OK.

10/10
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 1:17:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 12:34:01 PM, wamba wrote:
At 12/22/2010 12:31:59 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Capitalism sucks. Instead, I propose utopia! Because little green pieces of paper will no longer exist, greed will also cease to exist. Once we've gotten rid of that integral part of human nature, we'll live in peace and harmony with the environment and everything will be perfect.

OK.

10/10

8*sideways*/8*sideways*
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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12/22/2010 2:06:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 12:00:02 PM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
At 12/22/2010 11:47:02 AM, Sieben wrote:
Not sure if serious...

What are you talking about . . . ? Don't judge what I posted simply by those images actually read what I wrote, those pictures were simply for emphasis upon my argument . . .

Uhh, you said totalitarianism follows from negative rights. You never tried to prove it. Its unclear how a society structured completely around individual freedom would automatically turn into collective slavery.

That's why I thought you were trolling.
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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12/22/2010 2:14:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Jerry Taylor of the Cato institute says "It is not 'market failure' that leads to pollution, but government failure to recognize property rights and hold polluters fully liable for their activities..."

I hear a lot of this vague BS on DDO and I wanted to nip it in the bud. Pollution is an externality of capitalism. Since we compete to get an edge over others, we have to be artificially incentivized not to cut corners (i.e., pollute) in order to try and capture the side-effects of keeping only yourself in mind. Pollution is thus unavoidable, at least without large amounts of gov't interference, which makes conservatives/libertarians even more senseless because they are the ones pushing the gov't out of the way.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, why exactly is it the government's job to determine who has polluted? "Recognizing property rights" sounds straight-forward enough, because the gov't obviously is the authority on property, but when it comes to pollution this is just absolutely ridiculous. There are hundreds of millions of people in this country alone, each one polluting in his or her own way. One person litters here, one company dumps there, a farmer's nutrients run-off into a stream there... It's impossible to expect that the government is going to be able to keep up with an absolutely chaotic system of chemicals that are traveling around in ways we don't even fully understand. And, again, how exactly are we going to keep shrinking gov't and getting it out of the way while we are demanding that they become more complex and get involved in this impossible task of property recognition?

Rob, this is where i go a little nuts with this site. What you say bears no semblance to reality. The least capitalist of countries are the absolute worst offenders in the area of the environment. I wouldn't drink the water in Red China, but i would in New York city, i wouldn't want to eat the fish in any of the Asian communist countries, but i would in the UK. I remember very well the stench in Moscow during the Soviet era, and it was because of the exhaust fumes, which was because they had no concept of a catalytic converter. You show me a non-capitalist country and i will show you a dirty country.
LaissezFaire
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12/22/2010 2:31:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 2:06:52 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 12/22/2010 12:00:02 PM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
At 12/22/2010 11:47:02 AM, Sieben wrote:
Not sure if serious...

What are you talking about . . . ? Don't judge what I posted simply by those images actually read what I wrote, those pictures were simply for emphasis upon my argument . . .

Uhh, you said totalitarianism follows from negative rights. You never tried to prove it. Its unclear how a society structured completely around individual freedom would automatically turn into collective slavery.

That's why I thought you were trolling.

Being retarded =/= trolling.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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12/22/2010 2:59:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
- Multiple sources of an externality: who done it? It's often very ambiguous.
Same problem is faced by any intervention against polluters, whether modelled on property or no.

- Multiple victims - this complicates dispute resolution.
Not really. Any particular victim can sue just fine.

- incomplete information - regarding the true costs of the externality.
Same problem is faced by any intervention against polluters, whether modelled on property or no.

- time lags: many externalities take years to be realized. 10,000 years from now, it's gonna be kind of hard to sue anyone over our spent nuclear rods, for example.
Same problem blah blah blah.

- Asymmetric information - if those creating the externality know all about it but those affected are not privvy, we have a problem.
Same problem blah blah blah.

- transaction costs - of litigation/lawyers, as well as how much the gov't would need to spend to keep track of all the pollution.
Same problem, unless you replace lawyers with totalitarianism, which is still costly.

- social mores - it's not always socially acceptable to stand up for the environment or to be going around suing people/companies.
Legislators and regulators face same problem.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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12/22/2010 3:11:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 2:31:43 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 12/22/2010 2:06:52 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 12/22/2010 12:00:02 PM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
At 12/22/2010 11:47:02 AM, Sieben wrote:
Not sure if serious...

What are you talking about . . . ? Don't judge what I posted simply by those images actually read what I wrote, those pictures were simply for emphasis upon my argument . . .

Uhh, you said totalitarianism follows from negative rights. You never tried to prove it. Its unclear how a society structured completely around individual freedom would automatically turn into collective slavery.

That's why I thought you were trolling.

Being retarded =/= trolling.

tolmencre ganxo . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
Caramel
Posts: 855
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12/22/2010 11:37:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 9:21:37 AM, Sieben wrote:
At 12/22/2010 4:08:48 AM, Caramel wrote:

- Multiple sources of an externality: who done it? It's often very ambiguous.
Again, if a thousand people take a bite out of someone, and he dies, they are all responsible even though no individual bite did very much harm. At the very least biting must be outlawed. Same with pollution.

But your are oversimplifying the problem. Pollution is much more complicated than someone going up to you and assaulting you. Damage can be dealt, covered up, and not discovered until much later. Species can become extinct and the damage is absolutely irreversible. In fact, the way capitalism sets us up, you (as a company planning on developing an area and causing environmental damage) actually have an incentive to keep things hush-hush and go in and destroy sensitive species before-hand, so that by the time activists get wind of your plans they have no species that still exists to use the ESA to fight you off with. This is just one of an incredible number of mis-alignments of interests that exist under the current system.

- Multiple victims - this complicates dispute resolution.
Solved by intermediaries who represent large groups of people. Example, health insurance cares about reducing lung cancer.

Besides the fact that we are creating yet more administrative mechanisms to further complicate the situation with this, I am unconvinced that this would solve issues involving people who lack the knowledge or power to stand up for themselves, or people who may be affected later in life and aren't prompted to give it consideration until it is too late.

- incomplete information - regarding the true costs of the externality.
Irrelevant. We don't have to estimate the "true cost" of rape to make it illegal.

How do we sue a company without knowing how much to sue it for?

- strategic behavior - we ARE talking about capitalists here. While they are protecting their own a5ses, they will be doing everything they can to disrupt the process.
Much easier with a government monopoly on dispute resolution.

But the fact remains that we are creating the incentive to fight the system (as well as fight our own citizens). A cooperative system would simply weight the costs and benefits to society and make a decision; a competitive system prompts the firm to hide data, react politically, lie, manipulate...

- time lags: many externalities take years to be realized. 10,000 years from now, it's gonna be kind of hard to sue anyone over our spent nuclear rods, for example.
Same as your "full extent point"

OK.

- Asymmetric information - if those creating the externality know all about it but those affected are not privvy, we have a problem.
Even if we don't realize someone's harms for 20 years, we can still crackdown on them. The anticipation of the future crackdown disincentivizes present crime.

...and the law is specifically set up, nowadays, to make the companies that are polluting liable even if they are using best available technology and even if there was no way for them to know a problem was going to arise. Unfortunately, the problem of information exists: firms in competition will not volunteer info like cooperative entities. Therefore, we can expect to be in the dark.

- transaction costs - of litigation/lawyers, as well as how much the gov't would need to spend to keep track of all the pollution.
Well, government is silly. And the lawyer cost would be very low compared to the benefits... as far as keeping track? What's to keep track of. Pollution is illegal.

"Pollution" isn't like rape or murder - it is a vague concept that changes as time goes by. The EPA is by far the largest agency we have and even with its enormous size there is really no chance to implement much of the environmental legislation we have - we would need tens of millions of EPA officers to be constantly monitoring all types of activities. The fact is that the EPA is little different than the DEA in the sense that just like there is little chance they are going to stop me from getting high tonight, there is little chance we are going to catch many companies "in the act" and be able to hold them accountable. At this point we can make an inordinately severe punishment to offset the low risk of being caught, but we can't even get weak regulations through these days with Republicans in the congress. Even if we could, I have some serious philisophical problems with punishments not fitting crimes...

- social mores - it's not always socially acceptable to stand up for the environment or to be going around suing people/companies.
Applies to any system at any time forever and ever. Capitalism is the best weapon against irrational culture because there are monetary rewards for acting prudently.

There are - but I am more concerned with the rewards for acting viciously. There are just too many conflicts of interest at play.
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mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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12/23/2010 12:02:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Caramel, with all of these supposed problems, what solutions do your propose that would solve these problems without creating greater problems?
Tidin
Posts: 63
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12/23/2010 2:07:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
To answer:

The most important aspect of protecting the environment is to strengthen property rights.

In Government's cozying up to businesses, they weakened property rights concerning pollution. Ironically, by passing environmental legislation stating what is legal and what isn't, it handcuffed the property owners themselves. If you say that so much pollution is legal and best for the common good, my little farm that happens to be downstream is fucked and has no legal recourse. Solution? Remove all laws concerning pollution. If a company spews coal dust into the air, allow the entire region to sue them for health defects, loss of property value, cost of home repairs (to remove the dust), loss of vistas, etc, etc, etc. If someone pours chemicals into a river, sue them into oblivion. And most importantly, don't allow them to hide behind the corporate veil when it comes to *any* tort claim. If the Board of Directors chooses to allow their employees to pollute another person's property, the company should be held liable first, and if there isn't enough money there, the Directors themselves should be held liable.

This is just one of the many areas where government caused the problem in the first place, and then duped the populace into thinking that the only way to solve the problem is for the government to become even more involved in the way that caused the problem in the first place.
darkkermit
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12/23/2010 2:21:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Alright how does one determine is something is considered polluting or not. Let's start with air pollution. How does one own the air? And let's say one does own the air. If I pollute the air, then its going to diffuse to other area.
It's impossible to stop the diffusion, unless I built a container around my place, which would be too expensive.
Alright, now let's take examples of simple pollution. CO2 and methane gas cause global warming. How does one stop these gases emissions? Technically, every time I take a dump or breathe I am causing pollution. How do 'property rights' stop CO2 and methane gas emissions?
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Caramel
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12/23/2010 2:25:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Clearly you are uneducated on fundamental economics. Allow me to educate you.

There are things called "externalities" There are positive externalities, and their are negative externalities. It is the governments role to subsidize positive externalities while taxing negative externalties. For example if a town would show a fireworks display and charged an admission price to sit near the launching point. Many people would sit on a nearby hill to watch the display and not pay. These people are known as free-riders. To solve the free-rider problem the city taxes the free-riders of the town and subsidizes the fireworks display.

The gov't does not have an inherent "role" in society - society can exist without government. However a capitalist society cannot exist without government - police are needed to check the greed at some point. The market creates the government, and fuels its size continuously in almost every way. Hundreds of years later here we are trying to rip it back down under the assumption that we never needed it in the first place. The government is like a giant scab that has grown over the damage done by capitalism - ripping it off would be a bad idea.

Similarly, imagine a company is dumping garbage into the ocean. The government estimates the cost of cleaning up that garbage at 10cents per pound. The government then taxes all businesses dumping garbage into the ocean at 10 cents per pound and ups the tax until pollution is at a minimum. It then subsidizes the cleanup efforts.

Companies don't put their pollution numbers (if they even bother to take them at all) on their businesscards. We don't magically know how much each is polluting, where it is all going, when and how they do it, etc. Just asserting that there is a problem in the first place can be a deal-breaker. Problems that are so obviously bad that people are dropping dead will tend to win the legal and political battles necessary... Even after all is said and over and the battle is won for the good guys, it only takes a Ronald Reagan to come in and hand the keys to the henhouse right back over to the wolf (i.e., putting conservatives in powerful executive positions to relax standards, fines, etc). It's all a stupid game really, caused by conflicting interests set in place by capitalism.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, why exactly is it the government's job to determine who has polluted? "Recognizing property rights" sounds straight-forward enough, because the gov't obviously is the authority on property, but when it comes to pollution this is just absolutely ridiculous.

It is not ridiculous as when someone pollutes they are causing harm to someone else's property. Think about it. If you had a nice clean house and then a coal plant was set up next door. The coal plant made your house incredibly smoky and you all developed cancer. How is the government not the authority?

I didn't re-read that paragraph before I wrote it and I see now it was very vague. My point was supposed to be that there is a big difference between common property rights and environmental property rights. By ridiculous I was describing the difficulty in employing scientists, politicians, EPA regulators, judges, DNR officers, and the thousands of others involved directly with their activities. And if it were just a matter of "employing them" then I wouldn't be arguing with you, because I'd rather drive a Suburban and just pay the taxes for it. The problem is that it doesn't work.

The EPA has not the funds to hire platoons of officers to police businesses into good behavior. Most of the cases it does investigate are never even pursued; they have no money to hire lawyers to attack businesses.

There are hundreds of millions of people in this country alone, each one polluting in his or her own way. One person litters here, one company dumps there, a farmer's nutrients run-off into a stream there... It's impossible to expect that the government is going to be able to keep up with an absolutely chaotic system of chemicals that are traveling around in ways we don't even fully understand.

We do understand them and have regulators for all industries and fines on those who pollute.

You've got to catch them in order to fine them. What if they fight back legally? Politically? What if they lobby congress or contribute to campaigns of executives? What if they launch a giant scientific campaign to discredit the issue? History has shown that politics and science don't always agree.

And, again, how exactly are we going to keep shrinking gov't and getting it out of the way while we are demanding that they become more complex and get involved in this impossible task of property recognition?

Laissez faire demand that government vanish. Keynesians just want government to stop subsidizing things that are not positive externalities and quit taxing things that are not negative externalities.

Laissez faire don't remember why we created these regulations in the first place - the system didn't work without the regs.
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Caramel
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12/23/2010 2:27:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/22/2010 12:31:59 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 12/22/2010 3:54:07 AM, Caramel wrote:
Capitalism sucks. Instead, I propose utopia! Because little green pieces of paper will no longer exist, greed will also cease to exist. Once we've gotten rid of that integral part of human nature, we'll live in peace and harmony with the environment and everything will be perfect.

OK.

Perfect.
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Tidin
Posts: 63
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12/23/2010 2:49:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
"Alright how does one determine is something is considered polluting or not. Let's start with air pollution. How does one own the air? And let's say one does own the air. If I pollute the air, then its going to diffuse to other area."

Who said anything about people "owning air"? You cannot economize air, as air is not scarce. Therefor, you cannot "own" air unless the scarcity of the air changes to being scarce i.e. under water or in space.

If a company pollutes the air with harmful gases, then all of those effected would be able to hold the company responsible for their pollution. As for if it were to "diffuse" to another area the same would apply, sue.

"Alright, now let's take examples of simple pollution. CO2 and methane gas cause global warming. How does one stop these gases emissions? Technically, every time I take a dump or breathe I am causing pollution. How do 'property rights' stop CO2 and methane gas emissions?"

This seems like silly argument to make. I suppose, to counter, we should all stop breathing.
Tidin
Posts: 63
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12/23/2010 2:55:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
"Laissez faire don't remember why we created these regulations in the first place - the system didn't work without the regs."

This made me laugh out loud.