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Unformatted text preview: The speaker argues that because scientists continually shift viewpoints about how our actions affect the natural environment, companies should not change their products and processes according to scientific recommendations until the government requires them to do so. This argument raises complex issues about the duties of business and about regulatory fairness and effectiveness. Although a waitandsee policy may help companies avoid costly and unnecessary changes, three countervailing considerations compel me to disagree overall with the argument. First, a regulatory system of environmental protection might not operate equitably. At first glance, a waitandsee response might seem fair in that all companies would be subject to the same standards and same enforcement measures. However, enforcement requires detection, and while some violators may be caught, others might not. Moreover, a broad regulatory system imposes general standards that may not apply equitably to every company. Suppose, for example, that pollution from a company in a valley does more damage to the enviro...
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- Spring '09