Aff: Capitalism Good – Environment

Empirically, capitalist economies are better for the environment.
Herbert Walberg Fellow Hoover institute and Joe Bast CEO of the Heartland
Institute 2003 (Herbert, distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, and
Joseph, C.E.O. of the Heartland Institute, Education and Capitalism: How Overcoming
Our Fear of Markets and Economics Can Improve America's Schools, pg x)

Today most of us are environmentalists, so the environmental effects of
capitalism concern us greatly. If we believe capitalism allows greedy business
owners to pollute the air and rivers without concern for the future or the health of others,
we are unlikely to entrust capitalism with the education of future generations. One way
to judge the impact of capitalism on the environment is to compare the
environmental records of capitalist countries with those of countries with
precapitalist, socialist, or communist economies.35 The record clearly
shows environmental conditions are improving in every capitalist country
in the world and deteriorating only in noncapitalist countries.36
Environmental conditions in the former Soviet Union prior to that communist nation’s
collapse, for example, were devastating and getting worse.37 Untreated sewage was
routinely dumped in the country’s rivers, workers were exposed to high levels of toxic
chemicals in their workplaces, and air quality was so poor in many major cities that
children suffered asthma and other breathing disorders at epidemic levels. Some
environmentalists say it is unfair to compare environmental progress in a very affluent
nation, such as the United States, to conditions in very poor nations, such as those in
Africa. But it was the latter’s rejection of capitalism that made those countries
poor in the first place. Moreover, comparing the United States to developed
countries with mixed or socialist economies also reveals a considerable gap
on a wide range of environmental indicators. Comparing urban air quality
and water quality in the largest rivers in the United States, France,
Germany, and England, for example, reveals better conditions in the United
States.38 Emerging capitalist countries experience rising levels of pollution
attributable to rapid industrialization, but history reveals this to be a transitional
period followed by declining emissions and rising environmental quality.39 There is no
evidence, prior to its economic collapse, that conditions in the former Soviet
Union were improving or ever would improve. There is no evidence today
that many of the nations of Africa are creating the institutions necessary to
stop the destruction of their natural resources or lower the alarming
mortality and morbidity rates of their people.

” A country that is very poor is too preoccupied with lifting itself out of poverty to bother about the environment at all. will relocate to poorer countries with no environmental legislation. Progress of this kind. In Defense of Global Capitalism. Does there really have to be a conflict between development and the environment? The notion that there has to be a conflict runs into the same problem as the whole idea of a race to the bottom: it doesn't tally with reality.Aff: Capitalism Good – Environment Capitalism incentivizes protection of the environment. All over the world. Four researchers who studied these connections found “a very strong. But it is the fact of prosperity no less than a sense of responsibility that makes environmental protection easier in a wealthy society. their preferences will have no impact. Environmental quality is unlikely to be a top priority for people who barely know where their next meal is coming from. . positive association between our [environmental] indicators and the level of economic development. however. and so it is in the developing countries today. they start to regulate effluent emissions. requires that people live in democracies where they are able and allowed to mobilize opinion. however. There has been much talk of American factories moving to Mexico since NAFTA was signed. Such was the case earlier in western Europe. it can develop environmentally friendly technologies—wastewater and exhaust emission control. is that since free trade was introduced Mexico has tightened up its environmental regulations. A wealthier country can afford to tackle environmental problems. That is a dismal thesis. There is no exodus of industry to countries with poor environmental standards. with the implication that when people obtain better opportunities. Environmental destruction is worst in dictatorships. The West has to follow suit and lower its own environmental standards in order to stay in business. otherwise. for example—and begin to rectify past mistakes. and when they have still more resources they also begin regulating air quality. where they can pollute with impunity. following a long history of complete nonchalance about environmental issues. Johan Norberg senior fellow at the CATO institute 03 (Johan. the argument runs. Senior Fellow at Cato Institute. Factories in the Western world. Instead. resources. and there is no downward pressure on the level of global environmental protection. economic progress and growth are moving hand in hand with intensified environmental protection. Less well known. they use them to abuse nature. pg 224) Although multinational corporations and free trade are proving good for development and human rights in the Third World. Countries usually begin protecting their natural resources when they can afford to do so. When they grow richer. When our standard of living rises we start attaching importance to the environment and obtaining resources to improve it. A number of factors cause environment protection to increase with wealth and development. and technology. This tightening up is part of a global trend. there still remains the objection that globalization harms the environment. Abating misery and subduing the pangs of hunger takes precedence over conservation. the bulk of American and European investments goes to countries with environmental regulations similar to their own.

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No wonder. A car today contains only half as much metal as a car of 30 years ago. It was because they were common lands that the rain forests of the Amazon began to be rapidly exploited in the 1960s and 1970s and are still being rapidly exploited today. everyone then has an interest in using up the resources quickly before someone else does. In Defense of Global Capitalism. On the contrary. Trade and freight are sometimes criticized for destroying the environment.Environment Property ownership in capitalism incentivizes long-term environmental protection. It is the absence of definite fishing rights that causes (heavily subsidized) fishing fleets to try to vacuum the oceans of fish before someone else does. That is why the amount of raw materials needed to make a given product keeps diminishing as productive efficiency improves. even aside from the general effect it has on growth. no one has any such long-term interest. but the problem can be rectified with more efficient transport and purification techniques. and there trade can make a positive contribution. . that the most large-scale destruction of environment in history has occurred in the communist dictatorships. where all ownership was collective. after nomads had overexploited the common lands and then moved on. 97 percent less metal is needed for a soft drink can than 30 years ago. The introduction of private property creates owners with long-term interests. whether they continue using the land or intend to sell it. Trade leads to a country's resources being used as efficiently as possible. The biggest environmental problems are associated with production and consumption. a satellite image was taken of the borders of the Sahara. Landowners must see to it that there is good soil or forest there tomorrow as well.Aff: Capitalism Good . Everywhere. where the desert was spreading. as well as emissions fees to make the cost of pollution visible through pricing. With modern production processes. environmental improvements are due to the very capitalism so often blamed for the problems. Only about a 10th of forests are recognized by the governments as privately owned. Goods are produced in the places where production entails least expense and least wear and tear on the environment. If the property is collective or government-owned. John Norberg Senior Fellow at the CATO institute 2003 (Johan. the land was parched yellow. Senior Fellow at Cato Institute. even though in practice Indians possess and inhabit large parts of them. because otherwise they will have no income later on. A few years ago. pg 224) Very often. then. But in the midst of this desert environment could be seen a small patch of green. This proved to be an area of privately owned land where the owners of the farm prevented overexploitation and engaged in cattle farming that was profitable in the long term. partly because of the use of lighter aluminum.

states. while "democracy is desirable for many reasons. ethnic hatred. pushed free markets while opposing imperialism. such as Richard Cobden. "representative governments are unlikely to contribute directly to international peace. But new research suggests that expanding free markets is a far more important factor. He explains: "Democracy does not have a measurable impact. Free-flowing capital markets and other aspects of globalization simultaneously draw nations together and raise the economic price of military conflict.S. but then." In particular. neither is democracy. created by the Fraser Institute. including U." Capitalism is by far the more important factor. one naturally asks: What causes peace? Many people. This contention animated some support outside as well as inside the United States for the invasion of Iraq. Dough Bandow Senior Fellow at the CATO institute 05 (Doug. Bush. democracies typically have freer economies than do authoritarian states. But Gartzke argues that "the 'democratic peace' is a mirage created by the overlap between economic and political freedom. "liberal political systems. Markets generate economic opportunities that make war less desirable.and democratic . Today's corollary is that creating democracies out of dictatorships will reduce conflict. Moreover. going back to Immanual Kant. President George W. Territorial aggrandizement no longer provides the best path to riches. The prospect of economic ruin did not prevent rampant nationalism.Aff: Capitalism Good – Peace Capitalism is critical to maintaining peace in the international system. that republics are less warlike than other systems. Thus. Thankfully. hope that spreading democracy will discourage war." That is. poorer democracies perform like non-democracies. which interfere with economic prosperity. But World War I demonstrated that increased trade was not enough. leading to what Columbia University's Erik Gartzke calls a "capitalist peace. while nations with very low levels of economic freedom are 14 times more prone to conflict than those with very high levels." It's a reason for even the left to support free markets.org/pub_display. just usually not each other. in and of themselves. Contends Gartzke. An even greater conflict followed a generation later. nuclear deterrence. sanctions. have no impact on whether states fight. The shift from statist mercantilism to high-tech capitalism has transformed the economics behind war. and regional differences. Many of Britain's classical liberals. World War II left war essentially unthinkable among leading industrialized . http://www. senior fellow at the Cato Institute." Gartzke considers other variables. Support grew for the argument. The capitalist peace theory isn't new: Montesquieu and Adam Smith believed in it. It long has been obvious that democracies are willing to fight.cato. provides a coercive step short of war to achieve foreign policy ends. and security fears from trumping the power of markets." he notes in a chapter in the latest volume of Economic Freedom in the World.php?pub_id=5193) In a world that seems constantly aflame. . Positive economic trends are not enough to prevent war. including alliance memberships. Spreading Capitalism Is Good for Peace.

prosperity and freedom . democracy alone doesn't yield peace. increasing the cost of war.J. Trade encourages prosperity and stability." Freeing those economies is critical. But it turns out that peace is good business. It's a particularly important lesson for the anti-capitalist left. Author R.they should appreciate the unintended peace dividend. either. If market critics don't realize the obvious economic and philosophical value of markets . the relationship between economic liberty and peace remains. If it is true that democratic states don't go to war.Although the causes of conflict vary. for instance. But promoting open international markets . challenges Gartzke's methodology and worries that it "may well lead intelligent and policy-wise analysts and commentators to draw the wrong conclusions about the importance of democratization. technological innovation reduces the financial value of conquest. an avid proponent of the democratic peace theory. Nothing is certain in life." Gartzke responds in detail. and people are motivated by far more than economics. . the enemies of economic liberty also most stridently denounce war.However. spreading capitalism . Notes Gartzke: "Warfare among developing nations will remain unaffected by the capitalist peace as long as the economies of many developing countries remain fettered by governmental control. And capitalism is good for peace.that is. Yet they oppose the very economic policies most likely to encourage peace. often in near-pacifist terms.civil and economic. His conclusion hasn't gone unchallenged. then it also is true that "states with advanced free market economies never go to war with each other. Free political systems naturally entail free elections and are more likely to protect other forms of liberty . Rummel."The point is not that democracy is valueless. noting that he relied on the same data as most democratic peace theorists.is the best means to encourage peace as well as prosperity. globalization creates economic interdependence. To believe is does is dangerous: There's no panacea for creating a conflict-free world. That doesn't mean that nothing can be done. For the most part.

are able to compete with one another to mutual advantage. in 2006 (The War on Terrorism and the American "Empire" after the Cold War. capital accumulation and technological innovation is constantly expanding the size of the market. they have strong incentives to coordinate with one another in order to govern this competition. Any given state thus becomes a "local guardian of the world republic of commerce. remains a standing possibility but it is not the general case. Its political correlate is the impersonal bureaucratic state also operating according to the rule of law. Its international elements involve the subordination of key aspects of the external economic policies of states to individual rights to trade. eds. the liberal form of regulating capitalism is as much a project of international management as it is a set of domestic arrangements. 51-2)-mikee More specifically. rent-seeking activities of capital. it is routinely compelled to attend to the general functioning of the economy. both domestically and internationally. a general framework for accumulation. since the liberal state is dependent for its tax base on the tempo of accumulation in the domestic economy as a whole. because of this. Simon Bromley. including the extension of these rights to foreign nationals. for access to internationally mobile capital and for leadership in the field of technological innovation—is not a zero-sum phenomenon in the way that competition between capitals is in any given market.Aff: Capitalism Good – Peace Capitalism promotes global peace and stability – It is mutually beneficial for everyone to coordinate economic policies. That is to say. This tends to result in a general subordination of the economy to the rule of law and of money functioning as capital. states that are able to uphold broadly liberal forms of economic and political regulation. p. A. but it provides. checking the monopoly. And in so far as capitalism involves an historically specific privatization of the relations of production. Saull. Moreover. . there are marked differences between the economic competition of many capitals and the political competition of many states. Competition between states—for market shares. This separation is a process that is constantly repeated and it is always an object of class struggles. contra the Lenin-Bukharin thesis that continues to underpin notions of (incipient) inter-imperialist rivalries. it correspondingly fixes the general political aspects of domination in the territorial (national) state. and. potentially ruinous for the system as a whole. Self-destructive competition among states. Colas & R. to ownership and to travel across borders. because the overall process of competition." in which states coordinate with one another to ensure mutual gains. Lecturer International Political Economy Open University. In short. in liberal capitalist states. freeing property relations from fixed territorial bases.

in 2003. Others maintain that capital and corporations flock to poor countries with low production costs. In Defense of Global Capitalism. instead of globalization marginalizing certain regions. 154 Arguments that capitalism is somehow to blame for world poverty are oddly contradictory. Moreover. p. the difference between these groups of countries are increasing. are not getting investments and trade. Clearly. it is the regions that stand back from globalization that becomes marginalized. to the detriment of workers in the developed world. . for obvious reasons. It is the really closed economies that. Fellow at Timbro (Swedish think tank). Trade and investment flows in the past two decades have come to be more and more evenly distributed among the economies that are relatively open to the rest of the world. Johan Norberg. Some argue that capital and corporations make their way only into the affluent countries leaving the poor ones up the proverbial creek.Aff: Capitalism Good – Equality Capitalism is a key element in promoting economic equality. The truth seems to be that they make their way into both.

put another way. in 2003 (20:21 Vision. to 1975. since before individuals and companies will respond to such freedom they need to feel confident that it will last. economic freedom means the ability to do what you want with whatever property you have legally acquired. So the issues surrounding those are what matter: Are property rights legally protected? Are people hemmed in by government regulations and trade barriers. and rated 102 (now 123) countries on each of them. Those suspicious of free-marketeers should note that conclusion: it is government. That is what an international study. Goods and services do not. The conclusion was abundantly clear: the freer the economy. even if it is not becoming any easier to implement them. one must first believe in capitalism and in the fact that it has been the only successful generator of sustained improvements in human welfare that has so far been discovered. has sought to do every year since it was first published. in the hope of capturing and measuring the things that matter in making capitalism work. as long as your actions do not violate other people's rights to do the same. Economic Freedom of the World. But the study also sought to define economic freedom. or the lack of it. Bill Emmott. however. Governance is more important than the economy. The next thing is to work out what it is that makes capitalism tick. pp. The correlations it finds between sustained economic success and aspects of capitalist circumstances suggest that most of the explanations lie in how poor countries are governed. and used a panel of economists to do so. one must find out what is different about the places where it ticks and the places where it doesn't. alas. if possible. their arrival depends on property rights and the incentives to use and create them.Aff: Capitalism Good – Poverty Capitalism is the most effective system to end poverty. rather than in natural disadvantages or unfairness by the rich. or can they do what they want with their money? Is it economically viable for parents to send their kids to school? The study's authors initially found seventeen measures of these things. Broadly. Or. expanded in the 2001 update to twenty-one. 272273)-mikee The findings of history are quite simple. going back. Editor-in-Chief of The Economist. The aim of the study was to see whether countries in which people had more economic freedom were also richer and grew more rapidly. by eleven economic think tanks around the world led by the Fraser Institute in Canada. To believe them. in 1996. fall like manna from heaven. This was especially so for countries that maintained a fairly free economy for many years. or fearful of confiscation? Are their savings under attack from inflation. the higher the growth and the richer the people. that makes the crucial difference. They then had to find ways to weight the measures according to their importance. .