08 Sep '12, 3am

Where conservative capitalism breaks down: Three primary sources of free market failure

Where conservative capitalism breaks down: Three primary sources of free market failure

Externalities . Externalities are costs associated with something that are not paid for by that something. If, for instance, you are in manufacturing, and one of your byproducts is a toxic sludge, what is the least expensive thing you can do with that sludge? Dump it in a river. Problem solved. Well, sort of. The people living downstream might have something to say, and anyone who was making a living by fishing from that river now has no job. The most obvious externality is pollution and public health. Coal, for instance, has substantial externalities. In America, we subsidize coal’s externalities to the tune of $345-$500 billion per year in health costs , including 600,000 cases of brain damage in infants, 10 million asthma attacks, and 43,000 premature deaths. If coal had to INTERNALIZE those costs into its business model, electricity generated from coal would cost 3x mo...

Full article: http://inspiredeconomist.com/2012/09/07/where-conservativ...

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