Ethics NOtes - Ethics: Environmentalism 21:05 Narveson: Let...

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Ethics: Environmentalism 21:05 Narveson : Let the free Market solve whatever environmental problems  there may be Environment is not something that the government needs to get involved in One reason for thinking free markets will not solve environmental problems  (Indeed they may contribute to it) -Existence of “Externalities” impact of an economic transaction on a party who is not party of the  transaction when this happens prices do not reflect the true costs of the good or service  in question -Examples of externalities Company A buys chemicals from Company B Company B dumps pollutants of Town C The population of Town C is not party to the transaction of A and B o Their costs are not reflected in the price of the chemical o Theirs costs are not reflected in the price of the chemical o The price is lower than it should be given its true costs-->We produce too  much of the chemical Why are free markets good? They are the best mechanism for promoting the common good o As opposed to what some individual or group deems to be good What about externalities-What to do about them? There is no such thing as an “externality” (e.g. pollution) in itself, only things  people don’t like
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(pollution is not just stuff in the air, but stuff in the air that people don’t like) The only way to determine how much people dislike something is via market  mechanisms o How much would they pay for it to “go away” Another related point: different people will value an outcome differently o Some may really detest the effects of smog, others may be fine with it (or  at least not mind it so much) Government regulation focuses all to value the outcome equally o And this is unfair Only free markets allow individuals to choose what outcomes they want for  themselves
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more Environment…woooo 21:05 Narveson: The only fair, rational way to determine the value of clean air, clean  water, ect. Is on the basis of free market mechanisms. (How much are people  willing to pay) Why? Because market exchanges are agreements between free and equal  parties (non-coerced)  Can enter into whatever agreements they want  (Equal before the law) But one’s “voice” is determined by how much money one has… and is that  really fair If not markets, than what? o Register preference via Political Mechanisms (Voting, Lobbying, Rioting,  ect.) Smith considers four arguments in favor of FME Tragedy of the Commons We have a resource that we all want preserved Owned in common Think from the perspective of a self-interested person. What is it rational for 
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This note was uploaded on 06/29/2009 for the course PHIL 130 taught by Professor Maxrosenkrantz during the Spring '09 term at CSU Long Beach.

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Ethics NOtes - Ethics: Environmentalism 21:05 Narveson: Let...

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