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Author Topic: What does a Free Market mean to you?  (Read 5487 times)
bittersweet
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August 09, 2011, 04:40:20 PM
 #41

You forgot that blowing up the plant is the secret part of plan or can happen as just an accident.

And socialism prevents it how exactly?

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August 09, 2011, 04:41:35 PM
 #42

...because there are other things to pollute.  Air for one.  Is air property?
The term "air" can refer to the location in which air is or the air that happens to be in a particular space at a particular time. It's not really sufficiently well-defined for a yes or no answer to "Is air property" to be meaningful. Suffice it to say that if you pollute air on your property in such a way that it damages my use or enjoyment of my property, the majority of free market advocates would argue that your conduct should be legally actionable. Whether you say that means they consider air to be property or not is not particularly important.

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I don't care if you pollute your own stuff, and we all support laws against polluting other people's stuff. Pollution laws are part of the problem, as they set permissible levels of damage you may due to other people's property with impunity.
How would your property laws differ?  Let me guess.  If I don't want pollution on my property it can't be there.  Talk about naively begging the question. Sheesh.
It's not that simple. Pollution is a hard problem for any system. It gets simpler when you get public property out of the picture, but it's still a big challenge for any legal system.

Most advocates of even a pure free market do not believe that you can pollute in such a way that you harm other people's use or enjoyment of their property and the legal system should let you get away with it. But neither does anyone, so far as I know, have a perfect solution to the problem of pollution -- in any political system.

It's not an free market issue, unless you encounter someone who says "a free market means anyone should be able to pollute any air or water that passes through their property with impunity, otherwise you don't have a free market". Few people say that. In practical terms, most free market advocates who are not anarchocapitalists will hold that ultimately, until someone thinks of a better way, the government (if for no other reason than because it runs the courts of last resort) will have to decide what pollution is allowed and what is not.

Some free market advocates support Pigovian taxes, where polluters must pay the full amount of any provable damages their pollution causes. I personally don't support such taxes for the reasons that Coase pointed out. Again, it's a very hard problem. I don't think anyone has a perfect solution.

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August 09, 2011, 05:10:46 PM
 #43

...because there are other things to pollute.  Air for one.  Is air property?
The term "air" can refer to the location in which air is or the air that happens to be in a particular space at a particular time. It's not really sufficiently well-defined for a yes or no answer to "Is air property" to be meaningful. Suffice it to say that if you pollute air on your property in such a way that it damages my use or enjoyment of my property, the majority of free market advocates would argue that your conduct should be legally actionable. Whether you say that means they consider air to be property or not is not particularly important.

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I don't care if you pollute your own stuff, and we all support laws against polluting other people's stuff. Pollution laws are part of the problem, as they set permissible levels of damage you may due to other people's property with impunity.
How would your property laws differ?  Let me guess.  If I don't want pollution on my property it can't be there.  Talk about naively begging the question. Sheesh.
It's not that simple. Pollution is a hard problem for any system. It gets simpler when you get public property out of the picture, but it's still a big challenge for any legal system.

Most advocates of even a pure free market do not believe that you can pollute in such a way that you harm other people's use or enjoyment of their property and the legal system should let you get away with it. But neither does anyone, so far as I know, have a perfect solution to the problem of pollution -- in any political system.

It's not an free market issue, unless you encounter someone who says "a free market means anyone should be able to pollute any air or water that passes through their property with impunity, otherwise you don't have a free market". Few people say that. In practical terms, most free market advocates who are not anarchocapitalists will hold that ultimately, until someone thinks of a better way, the government (if for no other reason than because it runs the courts of last resort) will have to decide what pollution is allowed and what is not.

Some free market advocates support Pigovian taxes, where polluters must pay the full amount of any provable damages their pollution causes. I personally don't support such taxes for the reasons that Coase pointed out. Again, it's a very hard problem. I don't think anyone has a perfect solution.

Coase makes arguments that regulations are never beneficial assuming there are no transaction costs or wealth effects. He knows these are unrealistic assumptions.

Prohibitively expensive to get everyone to write private contracts covering all types of polluting behaviors and enforce them in courts (this is a txn cost) -> legal regulation can improve welfare
Children may be born with no wealth and be unable to borrow to finance their education (this is a wealth effect) -> free public education can improve welfare

If you want a definition of the free market that includes public education and government regulation, then fine. However, you must then admit that this makes 'free market' a very fuzzy concept.
My 'free market' can be this, while your 'free market' can be that. Similarly my 'communism' can be this, while your 'communism' can be that; ask the Chinese. It is more productive to talk about specific policy issues rather than use loaded words. Of course, the ideologues will disagree.



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August 09, 2011, 05:13:11 PM
 #44

Free Market = Those who have the most capital decide
no. those who can offer most services and goods decides
and even then only if you want to buy from them.

only if you start from the assumption that capital is distributed in a roughly equal manner, otherwise capital acts like mass and gravity takes over.
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August 09, 2011, 05:48:57 PM
 #45

...because there are other things to pollute.  Air for one.  Is air property?
The term "air" can refer to the location in which air is or the air that happens to be in a particular space at a particular time. It's not really sufficiently well-defined for a yes or no answer to "Is air property" to be meaningful. Suffice it to say that if you pollute air on your property in such a way that it damages my use or enjoyment of my property, the majority of free market advocates would argue that your conduct should be legally actionable. Whether you say that means they consider air to be property or not is not particularly important.
Ergo there are other things to pollute.  Answering the question "Why would you need pollution laws?" which you knew.
Quote from: JoelKatz
Quote
Quote from: JoelKatz
I don't care if you pollute your own stuff, and we all support laws against polluting other people's stuff. Pollution laws are part of the problem, as they set permissible levels of damage you may due to other people's property with impunity.
How would your property laws differ?  Let me guess.  If I don't want pollution on my property it can't be there.  Talk about naively begging the question. Sheesh.
It's not that simple. Pollution is a hard problem for any system. It gets simpler when you get public property out of the picture, but it's still a big challenge for any legal system.

Most advocates of even a pure free market do not believe that you can pollute in such a way that you harm other people's use or enjoyment of their property and the legal system should  let you get away with it. But neither does anyone, so far as I know, have a perfect solution to the problem of pollution -- in any political system.

It's not an free market issue, unless you encounter someone who says "a free market means anyone should be able to pollute any air or water that passes through their property with impunity, otherwise you don't have a free market". Few people say that. In practical terms, most free market advocates who are not anarchocapitalists will hold that ultimately, until someone thinks of a better way, the government (if for no other reason than because it runs the courts of last resort) will have to decide what pollution is allowed and what is not.
So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so.  Again don't you think that's a little naive?

Quote
Some free market advocates support Pigovian taxes, where polluters must pay the full amount of any provable damages their pollution causes. I personally don't support such taxes for the reasons that Coase pointed out. Again, it's a very hard problem. I don't think anyone has a perfect solution.
I'd say this solution also naively begs the question.

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August 09, 2011, 05:57:33 PM
 #46

So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so.  Again don't you think that's a little naive?
Even assuming that's true, what exactly is your objection? That people shouldn't be able to pollute their own property? That there's something wrong with a free market because it doesn't miraculously solve hard problems like pollution?

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August 09, 2011, 06:01:49 PM
 #47

Coase makes arguments that regulations are never beneficial assuming there are no transaction costs or wealth effects. He knows these are unrealistic assumptions.
Of course. All arguments make simplifying assumptions and are invalid in cases where those assumptions don't apply to an extent that swamps the mechanisms of the argument. Nevertheless, I find Coase's criticism of Pigovian taxes to be devastating. But if you like them, by all means advocate for them. Though I think they're a bad idea, they're fully consistent with a free market.

Quote
Prohibitively expensive to get everyone to write private contracts covering all types of polluting behaviors and enforce them in courts (this is a txn cost) -> legal regulation can improve welfare
It's only prohibitively expensive if you don't optimize it. But again, I agree that pollution is a hard problem and one that has little to do with a free market. The only relevance a free market has is that it would mean that pollution of one's own property that doesn't affect other people's use or enjoyment of their property would be allowed. Otherwise, it would be handled much the same way.

Quote
Children may be born with no wealth and be unable to borrow to finance their education (this is a wealth effect) -> free public education can improve welfare
And people may be born with no wealth and be unable to borrow to finance starting a business. Education is an investment with an expected return like any other investment. If nobody is willing to make the investment with their own money, it's probably a bad investment. And I genuinely believe that for most of the recipients of public education, it does them almost as much harm as good. I consider public education more or less a failed experiment.

I don't believe public education is a better investment than whatever those who were taxed to pay for it would have done with their money. So I don't think it will improve welfare overall.

Quote
If you want a definition of the free market that includes public education and government regulation, then fine. However, you must then admit that this makes 'free market' a very fuzzy concept.
I agree, it's a fuzzy concept. It can't be explained in a buzzword or two.

Quote
My 'free market' can be this, while your 'free market' can be that. Similarly my 'communism' can be this, while your 'communism' can be that; ask the Chinese. It is more productive to talk about specific policy issues rather than use loaded words. Of course, the ideologues will disagree.
Well, that's why earlier in this thread, there was a list of core policy issues that relate to what we mean by a "free market".

But yes, I agree, you can't make a simplistic list of buzzwords and say "that's what I mean by a free market". Complex issues are complex.

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August 09, 2011, 07:34:59 PM
 #48

So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so.  Again don't you think that's a little naive?
Even assuming that's true, what exactly is your objection? That people shouldn't be able to pollute their own property? That there's something wrong with a free market because it doesn't miraculously solve hard problems like pollution?

Weird sentence.  Assuming what is true exactly?  I'm talking about your position.   Do you not know if my statement describes your position or not?

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August 09, 2011, 07:54:46 PM
 #49

So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so.  Again don't you think that's a little naive?
Even assuming that's true, what exactly is your objection? That people shouldn't be able to pollute their own property? That there's something wrong with a free market because it doesn't miraculously solve hard problems like pollution?

Weird sentence.  Assuming what is true exactly?  I'm talking about your position.   Do you not know if my statement describes your position or not?
Assuming your characterization of what I believe is fair. I know your statement describes the consequences of my system that you foresee but not the consequences that I expect. So rather than arguing over what the precise consequences would be, since it doesn't matter for purposes of this argument, I assume they'll be what you expect them to be. (For example, I expect that private organizations will take over many government functions just as private security and private arbitration have started to do. So I would expect some organization to figure out better solutions to pollution problems than governments have. But I'm willing to assume that doesn't happen, since I don't know for sure that it will.)

So suppose we have the same system as we have now, except people are free to pollute their own property or permit others to do so. So, what's wrong with that?

Does that make things much better? Probably not. But I never claimed I had some miraculous solution to the problem of pollution. If you see advocates of a free market claiming that a free market will solve the pollution problem, then you have a legitimate complaint. Otherwise, unless you can show a free market will make pollution worse, what's the relevance?

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August 09, 2011, 08:29:51 PM
 #50

So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so.  Again don't you think that's a little naive?
Even assuming that's true, what exactly is your objection? That people shouldn't be able to pollute their own property? That there's something wrong with a free market because it doesn't miraculously solve hard problems like pollution?

Weird sentence.  Assuming what is true exactly?  I'm talking about your position.   Do you not know if my statement describes your position or not?
Assuming your characterization of what I believe is fair. I know your statement describes the consequences of my system that you foresee but not the consequences that I expect.
Wait. What?  Looking at my statement I see these words: "So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so."

That's not a consequence of the system. It's a description of what you appear to be saying.  If it isn't then you should help make the description better.   I'm not sure what possible utility there is* in arguing (in the formal sense) about a system that isn't the one you are talking about.  I might as well have described candyland and gone on about the environmental impact of a licorice based economy.  Roll Eyes

*Although after writing that it occurs to me that your approach avoids dissonance.



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August 09, 2011, 08:57:19 PM
 #51

Wait. What?  Looking at my statement I see these words: "So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so."

That's not a consequence of the system.
That the government will make the effective decisions is a consequence. It's not the consequence that I expect. But it's the consequence that you expect. For example, you probably don't think that effective private organizations will be able to make rules about pollution and enforce them. I might. So I might not expect the same conseqeuence you expect.

Quote
It's a description of what you appear to be saying.  If it isn't then you should help make the description better.   I'm not sure what possible utility there is* in arguing (in the formal sense) about a system that isn't the one you are talking about.  I might as well have described candyland and gone on about the environmental impact of a licorice based economy.  Roll Eyes

*Although after writing that it occurs to me that your approach avoids dissonance.
Exactly.

Suppose I believe that a free market will perfectly solve the pollution problem. (I don't, but suppose it.) To have that conversation with you, we'd have to argue over all the intermediate consequences of the affects of a free market on all kinds of other things, disagreeing all the way. However, I only need to make a much smaller point, which is that the "problem of pollution" is not a problem of the free market. It's a problem generally with all systems that a free market will not make worse.

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August 09, 2011, 09:45:39 PM
 #52

The term "air" can refer to the location in which air is or the air that happens to be in a particular space at a particular time. It's not really sufficiently well-defined for a yes or no answer to "Is air property" to be meaningful. Suffice it to say that if you pollute air on your property in such a way that it damages my use or enjoyment of my property, the majority of free market advocates would argue that your conduct should be legally actionable. Whether you say that means they consider air to be property or not is not particularly important.

It is amazing how you ignore the fact that air moves all the time around entire globe.

The one second i breath some certain cube of air and then it travels and you breath it.
Seriously wtf do you live on a different planet then the rest of us ?
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August 09, 2011, 09:51:14 PM
 #53

You forgot that blowing up the plant is the secret part of plan or can happen as just an accident.

And socialism prevents it how exactly?

I am sad that you bring about discussion to binary options. I dont see how i can even start to reason with you but i will give it a try.

In a reasonable,pragmatic society which goal is sustainability and healthy lives, nuclear plants is a no go. It is like roulette in which we bet our survival and we have alternative technologies at the same time.

We have science and it show us how radiation can affect us, we cant dispose or defend against it as well. It is obviously retarded .
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August 09, 2011, 10:21:29 PM
 #54

The term "air" can refer to the location in which air is or the air that happens to be in a particular space at a particular time. It's not really sufficiently well-defined for a yes or no answer to "Is air property" to be meaningful. Suffice it to say that if you pollute air on your property in such a way that it damages my use or enjoyment of my property, the majority of free market advocates would argue that your conduct should be legally actionable. Whether you say that means they consider air to be property or not is not particularly important.

It is amazing how you ignore the fact that air moves all the time around entire globe.
Quite the opposite, I specifically point out that fact in the quote you cited above. The term "air" can refer both to a location that is filled with air, and the air that fills that location. The former can be property in the normal sense, the latter cannot unless you enclose it.

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The one second i breath some certain cube of air and then it travels and you breath it.
Seriously wtf do you live on a different planet then the rest of us ?
I agree. That's one of the ways something you do on your property can affect my use and enjoyment of my property. From where do you get that I disagree with this?

As I said, in the quote you cited: "[ I ]f you pollute air on your property in such a way that it damages my use or enjoyment of my property, the majority of free market advocates would argue that your conduct should be legally actionable."

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August 10, 2011, 06:16:20 AM
 #55

Enclosing the air sounds like a possibly useful approach. Suppose we set up a bottling factory to just keep on bottling all the air that enters our airspace. If anyone tries to coplain that we are bottling their air, they will have to prove it is theirs that we are bottling, whereupon we can check for pollution in the bottles they claim contain their air, so we can countersue them for polluting our air.

Would what we get from them for polluting cover what we might have to pay out to others for "stealing their air"?

If we bottle enough, maybe demand for air will increase, driving up the price...

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August 10, 2011, 01:56:28 PM
 #56

Wait. What?  Looking at my statement I see these words: "So in both what you espouse (I apologize but I don't know the majority of advocates of anything so I can't speak for them) and what exists the government still decides what is pollution effectively producing the same system with the notable exception being my ability to pollute my property as much as I like and those properties where I get permission to do so."

That's not a consequence of the system.
That the government will make the effective decisions is a consequence.
However I'm not the one who put government in the equation.  You did.  I simply asked how your system would differ.  So it's not a consequence of my expectations.  Thus your line of reasoning here is invalid.  Grin
Quote
Quote
It's a description of what you appear to be saying.  If it isn't then you should help make the description better.   I'm not sure what possible utility there is* in arguing (in the formal sense) about a system that isn't the one you are talking about.  I might as well have described candyland and gone on about the environmental impact of a licorice based economy.  Roll Eyes

*Although after writing that it occurs to me that your approach avoids dissonance.
Exactly.
Exactly?  Perhaps you should quote smaller pieces of text because what you appear to be saying is that you are arguing to avoid dissonance by which I (at least obviously to me)  meant cognitive dissonance. Specifically that by distancing yourself from an argument you can preserve a wrong idea.  Ummm...Bravo?

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Suppose I believe that a free market will perfectly solve the pollution problem. (I don't, but suppose it.  To have that conversation with you, we'd have to argue over all the intermediate consequences of the affects of a free market on all kinds of other things, disagreeing all the way.
Lulz.  Firstly, If you believed that a free market will perfectly solve the pollution problem then all I need to do is focus on one respect no matter how small and demonstrate it as imperfect and your premise is incorrect.  So you're completely incorrect that all intermediate steps need to be argued.  Secondly, aside from you attempting to project the idea about the perfection of the free market in dealing with pollution onto me it's never been argued by myself or by you so it's a wrong characterization.

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However, I only need to make a much smaller point, which is that the "problem of pollution" is not a problem of the free market.  It's a problem generally with all systems that a free market will not make worse.
Well actually you're kind of equivocating there, your final clause saves you (sort of) but it begs the question.

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August 10, 2011, 07:52:16 PM
 #57

Well actually you're kind of equivocating there, your final clause saves you (sort of) but it begs the question.
We seem to be talking past each other. Perhaps we should start over.

I think a free market will lead to prosperity and that prosperity is the ultimate solution to pollution. Essentially, that other things being equal, the freer the market, the faster pollution will become less of a problem. But I'm only trying to make a much, much smaller point here -- nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse, except that people would be free to pollute their own property in cases where it didn't affect anyone else's property.

The "dissonance" I'm trying to avoid is where you have a discussion with someone and you keep talking past each other because you have drastically different understandings of the consequences of things. In order to figure out what pollution would be like in an actual free market, we'd have to agree on what many other things would look like under a free market system, and of course people will disagree on that.

I will agree with this though -- if you don't believe that a free market will add to prosperity, you should believe that a free market will probably make the pollution problem worse. If you believe a free market will add to prosperity, you should believe that a free market will probably make the pollution problem better.

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August 11, 2011, 05:53:59 AM
 #58

A real free market would include a free market in governance, where people can choose which tribe and which city to move to.

I think an essential condition for the same would be a tacit understanding among most people that the way to deal with things is not with force, but with persuasion, commerce, arbitration and if necessary, published boycotts.

The tribes should be mostly at peace with each other, since anyone who wants to follow any kind of rule setup will have thousands of choices.

When people move to a new tribe or city, they more or less understand that they are going to be following the rule of the land/tribe. Governance would become a more restricted profession, more concerned with sustaining peace, economic and social well being. There would be thousands of "business models" to follow.

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August 11, 2011, 02:38:02 PM
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Well actually you're kind of equivocating there, your final clause saves you (sort of) but it begs the question.
We seem to be talking past each other.
I don't know what that means really.
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nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse, except that people would be free to pollute their own property in cases where it didn't affect anyone else's property.
See I really don't know what you are saying here.   If "pollution problems" don't get "any worse" why are you using "except".  Which causes the dependent clause to agree with the primary clause.  i.e. Saying "I never lie except on Sunday" means that I lie on Sunday.   So parsing your sentence that way means that pollution problems do get worse on private property.  Now perhaps you don't consider the pollution on private property to be a problem in which case I would have just said: "The free marked does not make the pollution problem worse. Pollution on private property is not a problem as long as it didn't affect anyone elses' property".  Which is better but I suspect it's begging the question.

Quote
The "dissonance" I'm trying to avoid is where you have a discussion with someone and you keep talking past each other because you have drastically different understandings of the consequences of things.
I'd like to point out again that I haven't been talking about consequences.  The idea that government defines what pollution is (just like they do now) came from you.

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I will agree with this though -- if you don't believe that a free market will add to prosperity, you should believe that a free market will probably make the pollution problem worse. If you believe a free market will add to prosperity, you should believe that a free market will probably make the pollution problem better.
Define "prosperity"...

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August 11, 2011, 03:12:55 PM
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nothing about a free market need make pollution problems any worse, except that people would be free to pollute their own property in cases where it didn't affect anyone else's property.
See I really don't know what you are saying here.   If "pollution problems" don't get "any worse" why are you using "except".  Which causes the dependent clause to agree with the primary clause.  i.e. Saying "I never lie except on Sunday" means that I lie on Sunday.   So parsing your sentence that way means that pollution problems do get worse on private property.  Now perhaps you don't consider the pollution on private property to be a problem in which case I would have just said: "The free marked does not make the pollution problem worse. Pollution on private property is not a problem as long as it didn't affect anyone elses' property".  Which is better but I suspect it's begging the question.
You're asking me why I didn't make an additional claim that you don't think is true? It's hard to figure out your point because you've concealed it behind a nitpick at my grammar.

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Quote
I will agree with this though -- if you don't believe that a free market will add to prosperity, you should believe that a free market will probably make the pollution problem worse. If you believe a free market will add to prosperity, you should believe that a free market will probably make the pollution problem better.
Define "prosperity"...
Material wealth. Technological progress.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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