The Phaserl


The Social Cost Of Capitalism

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts,

When I was a graduate student in economics, the social cost of capitalism was a big issue in economic theory. Since those decades ago, the social costs of capitalism have exploded, but the issue seems no longer to trouble the economics profession.

Social costs are costs of production that are not born by the producer or included in the price of the product. There are many classic examples: the pollution of air, water, and land from mining, fracking, oil drilling and pipeline spills, chemical fertilizer farming, GMOs, pesticides, radioactivity released from nuclear accidents, and the the pollution of food by antibiotics and artificial hormones.

Some economists believe that these traditional social costs can be dealt with by well defined property rights. Others think that benevolent government will control social costs in the interests of society.

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