Blumm, Michael. “The fallacies of free market environmentalism.”
Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy
Spring92, Vol. 15, Issue 2, p371, 19p
The liberty of those who emit air pollutants, discharge water contaminants, or dispose of hazardous waste materials may well be increased. But those exposed to environmental degradation lose liberty. And the numbers of liberty-losers typically outnumber considerably the liberty-gainers. Whether aggregate liberty is gained from market transactions is difficult to ascertain, but it is clear that some of the liberty-losers pay enormous health costs….
Unfortunately, it is a fantastic myth. Markets persistently fail to produce the ecological and health information necessary to allocate efficiently environmental resources. By focusing exclusively on “willingness to pay,” markets assume the wisdom of current preferences and the fairness of existing wealth distribution. They also carve out a significant role for the judiciary, the least representative branch of government, to allocate environmental resources. For these reasons, markets cannot supplant government intervention to correct environmental market failure.