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Friday, October 30, 2009

Re: [CALPCandidates] campaigning ... for free markets

Pamela J. Brown wrote:

PB) Negative externalities are theft, a violation of property rights, and require one be protected (PB

Right on.  And I agree with all that you've said against people using force initiation for income or wealth redistribution (with the caveat that I think appropriating ground rent is itself force initiation, and returning it to the community is correcting an injustice).

PB) and made whole via the courts. (PB

Suppose today I get a sunburn due to ozone destruction by chlorofluorocarbons, or I get diarrhea due to hiking across a creek with upstream intrusions of fecal coliform bacteria, or I get itchy eyes from all the tailpipe emissions from the couple million commuters here in Silicon Valley.  Can you please tell me what plaintiffs I should name in my lawsuit(s), and estimate for me how my collected damages will compare to my legal costs?  :-)

In other words, I'm curious if you agree with the anarchist view that torts can adequately police all negative externalities. I don't. Saying aggregated micro-aggression should only be covered by civil torts would be nothing less than saying that aggression is permitted if defending against it costs an individual more than the harm it causes her.  I think that policing aggression, including pollution, is a legitimate and indeed necessary role for the state.  Not all libertarians agree, as noted in the draft St. Louis Accord.