Thursday, December 20, 2007

Candidate Review - The Environment - Ron Paul

I like Ron Paul in some ways. He is at least a libertarian, and pretty consistent. And his environmental plan is libertarian as well.
The key to sound environmental policy is respect for private property rights. The strict enforcement of property rights corrects environmental wrongs while increasing the cost of polluting.

In a free market, no one is allowed to pollute his neighbor's land, air, or water. If your property is being damaged, you have every right to sue the polluter, and government should protect that right. After paying damages, the polluter's production and sale costs rise, making it unprofitable to continue doing business the same way. Currently, preemptive regulations and pay-to-pollute schemes favor those wealthy enough to perform the regulatory tap dance, while those who own the polluted land rarely receive a quick or just resolution to their problems.
There's some value to this; I do like understanding that wanting corporations to clean up their environmental damage isn't some kind of hippy dippy plan; it's simple justice.

That said, this plan can't do anything about larger economic problems, particularly things like climate change.

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