Market-Based Environmentalism and the Free Market: They’re Not the Same
Since the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, overtly socialist solutions to public policy problems have fallen into disrepute, even among socialists. It now seems to be widely accepted among policy analysts of both the Left and the Right that direct government control of market activities and market outcomes—the so-called command-and-control approach to public policy—is an excessively costly way to achieve public policy goals.
Yet despite widespread rejection of outright socialism and commandand-control policies, there is little appreciation of truly free markets and the outcomes they are likely to generate. Policy makers do not value market exchange because it maximizes liberty and personal satisfaction of wants. Instead, policy makers value the market because they can manipulate it to produce a centrally planned outcome. This approach describes so-called market-based environmental policy