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Argument: Free trade and markets benefit the environment

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Markets and free trade do better than state-intervention in producing positive environmental results

  • Martin Wolf, Why Globalization Works?. Yale University Press. 2004. ISBN 0-300-10777-3. pp 56. - "Business is supposedly indifferent to the environment. That, indeed, is one of the principal criticisms of a market economy. Yet, we now know that supposedly benevolent state-socialist economies were environmental catastrophes. The market economy has avoided these disasters for at least four reasons: first, it provides the means for independent critics of environmental abuses to flourish; second, it generates the prosperity that makes people concerned about the environment; third, it implies a separation between companies and the government that makes independent regulation possible; and finally, companies are concerned about their reputations and will act to protect them, in response to campaigning against them. For these reasons, effective environmental pressure groups have emerged only in market democracies."

Companies must maintain an environmentally sound reputation or suffer market consequences


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