Monday, August 11, 2014

The Statist Reality: My response to Paul Krugman's "The Libertarian Fantasy"

Toledo has had problems with their drinking water. Phosphorus run-off from farms has been causing an algae bloom in Lake Erie, and that's bad. Paul Krugman has cited it as a reason why libertarian economics won't work. Krugman wants you to think that Libertarians think that pollution is no big deal. But pollution is a problem in any modern society, no matter what your ideology is. I think that the good folks of Toledo would be justified in filing a class action suit against farms along the Maumee River. The phosphorus is coming from fertilizer used on crops. And what should make you mad is that a lot of these crops aren't going to be used as food. A lot of corn is used to make ethanol. Most gas stations sell fuel that is 90% gas and 10% ethanol. The ethanol doesn't do anything to make your car perform better or pollute less. It's just there because the federal government has been trying to pump up corn prices. This is to help corn farmers and corporations that own corn farms. I have no objection to regulations to reduce phosphorus runoff, aside from that they would be difficult to enforce. Instead, Congress should stop encouraging farmers to pump chemicals into the ground by ending ethanol subsidies.

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