Friday, July 04, 2008

The Price of Everything, the Value of Nothing

Money quote for those who shudder at the idea of economists making decisions on matters pertaining to the environment, says Tim Haab, an environmental economist (the Economist Blog):

Whenever someone asks me, how can you place a price on something as invaluable as the environment, I ask them: How can you not put a price on something as invaluable as the environment when most people act as if it is free?
It's a decent blog post as well. Read the whole thing. Come to think of it, it's a decent quote that applies to a whole slew of social issues - especially when some people come our proclaiming "XXX is too important to be left in the hands of the market". A more appropriate response would be "XXX is therefore too important to be left in the hands of the government."

Update: More on regulations, markets and the environment from Megan McArdle: "There's also this dodgy belief, fervently embraced by many liberals advocating regulations--"Look, even a big business head who would be regulated believes it's a good idea! It must be!" Au contraire, mon frere. The heads of big businesses often love big new regulatory bodies, because they have the resources to best negotiate a complex regime. The end result of this kind of radical regulation is usually that the big companies capture the regulator and use it to shut out competition." (h/t Instapundit)

No comments: