Personal tools
 
Views

Argument: Market prices do not reflect externalities

From Debatepedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Parent debate

Extended argument

This is then compounded by the "free-rider problem" that Robin Hahnel describes, when the logic of markets leads to an "incentive for everyone who benefits from a public good to try to avoid paying the cost for providing that good, and instead ride for free on the purchases of others." For example, if I have a choice between buying something that runs on oil and something that runs on wind energy, the fact that one choice is leading to the destruction of the environment does not factor into the price. And it is cheaper to use the oil that we already have all the technology for and have built the access to even though it will destroy the environment. In other words, as the market stands today, pollution is good. Also, in a market economy it is cheaper to exploit someone than to pay them a fair wage, since it costs me less to exploit someone than it does to be fair to them, because externalities are not counted into price. So markets promote anti-social behavior and encourage people to exploit and repress each other. This promotion of anti-social behaviour is the ultimate root of the environmental catastrophe that we now face. See Against the Market Economy or Economic Justice and Democracy by Robin Hahnel

Problem with the site? 

Tweet a bug on bugtwits
.