Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Koch Brothers and the EPA

There's a new, probably Soros funded, film out on the Koch brothers. It details how in this confused world of public property, the brothers take advantage to dump waste into public waters. The poor confused people living near the waste flow want a stronger EPA that they think will clamp down on the Kochs. Huh. As the film also shows, the Kochs are major contributors politicians, and the film implies that this buys influence.

It's important to remember, whenever there are power centers, people will attempt to capture and gain control of the power centers. The key is not to revamp or grow the EPA, the key is to make property rights stronger for all types of property, which would prevent the kind of waste dumping going on here by the Kochs.


  1. Strong property rights work for many things, but not for diluted externalities. Who can you sue if you get lung cancer because of the bad air in New York?

  2. Can you please explain further what you mean when you say "the key is to make property rights stronger for all types of property."

    Just from a knowledg of people, it seems that if people have more property rights than they do now they could do as they please without regard for their neighbors.

    I use to live in unincorporated Jefferson County, Colorado near Clear Creek as it comes out of the mountains, and there were some manufacturing plants which basically did as they wanted with their property, they incenerated all kinds of things and continually had toxic spills and even a fire and God only knows what pollution that caused. Finally, they were bought out by Coors beer as Jefferson County officials did nothing to stop their activity. Too bad, there are not more Coors Beer companies who can buy out others including the Kochs.

  3. @Anonymous #1 -- you sue whoever made the air bad. If it was a number of polluters, you sue all of them. Of course, the government roads, which are an indirect subsidy to the automobile industry, cause a great deal of pollution. If government were not involved in transportation, we most likely would have had, by now, a much safer, more efficient, cleaner transportation system.

    Anonymous #2 -- in a free market, if you lived somewhere and a company's pollution was affecting your property, then you would sue that company. If the government courts do not protect your property rights, then that's a problem of government, not of private property.

  4. "Strong property rights work for many things, but not for diluted externalities. Who can you sue if you get lung cancer because of the bad air in New York? "


    That's some pretty special air pollution that doesn't cause damage to the property immediately around it, but travels in a vacuum to the other side of the country and plops itself on your land, with no method of tracing where it came from.

    And again, this is not claiming that pollution will not occur under private property rights. That is about as asinine as claiming that government intervention and the EPA has prevented pollution. The only claim advocates of a free market and strong private property rights make is that it will be more efficient at handling the pollution problem than government intervention has been. And looking at the past 30 years of the pollution problem under a government-interventionist "solution" to the problem, the bar is set awfully low at doing better than the EPA has.

  5. Anon@632PM-

    STRONG property rights (not the corporatist "rights" we have now) would give standing to sue for damages if you could show that the actions of some "person" (aka the fake, gov't created, gov't protected "non-person" of corps) had harmed you by polluting the air, water, ground, etc. due to their irresponsible disposing of waste in your "back yard" and would peacefully "persuade" any polluters to adopt technologies that mitigated their "externalities".

    So, Big Corp dumps waste into the water supply. You, and your neighbors (and anyone downstream from the offending plant) could show that such action had caused harm to the water you use, could "force" them (by use of community respect for property rights) them to pay for damages, or implement a "water purification system" for the offender, or accept a monetary payout (on that one issue) that would pay for a variety of purity systems for home consumption, all dependent on YOUR level of "safe" water. Instead, The State creates a "one-size-fits-all" system where you are locked out, and the Big Corps are heavily protected.

    Pollution is an externality, and a deadly one. Allowing- nay, EMPOWERING- the people to seek redress in a non-corrupted court (and almost ALL-99.5%- of courts are corrupt since they derive power from their gov't ties) would DRASTICALLY change the fiscal calculations for these corps. It would compel them to find cleaner, more efficient and less-damaging ways of doing business. It would become MORE profitable to stop "bad practices" since they would result in lawsuits.

    Since the regulators & polluters & politicians are all in bed together in a twisted "menage-a-trois" of greed and power, pollution continues unabated.

    The company that can pay millions to senators and representatives and presidents for a small exemption to their pollution- a few legal lines snuck into a congressional bill about seeing-eye dogs for the blind- will be able to "out-compete" a better company because the gov't protects them.

    THAT is why pollution is so bad- no property rights, no ability to seek redress, no ability to sue for subsequent damage- that is the reason they can still dump shit into the river.

    Hope this helps.


  6. Murray Rothbard addressed this issue:


  7. I was just about to post that Rothbard article myself! Mises and Rothboard have both written on how the industrial revolution would have turned out completely differently if private property rights had been respected.

  8. Oops, seems like anon1 and 2 were resoundingly refuted. Burn.