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Environmental Protection and Energy Independence Requires Less Gov't and More Individual Creativity

Environmental Protection and Energy Independence Requires Less Gov't and More Individual Creativity

By: Howard Blitz

Talk show hosts, elected officials, and just every day common individuals are constantly crying out for the U.S. economy to be less dependent on imported oil and shift America’s reliance on energy to renewable energy supplies and technologies thereby cleansing the environment.

They also cry out for the individual’s inherent right to clean air and water at work and home.

Also noted with much desire are energy-efficient transportation systems through investments in local bus and rail transit, regional high-speed rail, and magnetic levitation rail projects. 

All of this is possible, but not without the individual possessing the liberty to create all of it.  Government rules and regulations and taxation did not create the automobile, electricity, or any other 21st century technology that helped clean up the environment of horse manure in the streets and saved the largest animal on the planet from being destroyed to provide energy for human use.  The creative mind of the individual did with minimum government interference. 

Although no one has an inherent right to clean air and water, most individuals want such an environment.  The free market pricing system accomplishes this better than any government controlled system.  One only has to look at those systems where government regulation and control is the order of the day to find that those places have the dirtiest water and air. 

Those places where government is in control of the transportation system, lines develop, wait time increases, and more breakdowns occur, making the transportation system more expensive.

To pay for all of it, in a government controlled society, taxes must be paid by everyone, even those not using such systems, to provide the needed products and services.  In a free market, meaning free from government intervention, only those individuals that decide to use a particular product or service pay for that product or service. 

In order for the American economy to become less dependent on imported oil, incentives to keep what one earns must exist.  No matter what the society, government controlled or free, individuals look out for themselves and seek their own self-interest including government officials.  The difference lies in who does the controlling, the individual or government officials.  By allowing the individual to keep what he earns, the chances are enhanced that clean air, clean water, and less dependency on foreign oil result. 

Individual property rights and the enforcement of those rights by government is what makes our environment clean.  If there were no protection of our right to our property, then anyone could do whatever they desired with our property, such as dump garbage on it, or pollute it in some way.  This is why government is to be restricted to just making sure that individual’s right to his legitimately obtained property is protected from others and that voluntarily entered into contracts are adhered to.  In order for individuals to maximize their own well-being, individuals must provide others what they desire, such as clean air and water, otherwise they will not have any customers.  The reason one does not dump his garbage in his neighbor’s yard is because he knows there will be a cost to acting that way through the enforcement of private property rights.  By doing the job government is intended to do, to punish and therefore restrict individuals from using force on one another to achieve the goal of a clean environment and to enforce contracts freely made between individuals, individuals are then free to give what the consumer desires, such as clean air and water, since each individual on the planet is out to maximize his own well-being.   

Less government rules and regulations and less taxation upon individuals and companies to do business can and does result in a greater chance of more clean air and water existing, less dependency on foreign oil, and more efficient transportation systems developing. 

America has drifted very far from its once proud heritage of individual liberty toward a government controlled economy causing the air and water quality to deteriorate in recent years and the increased dependency on foreign sources of energy.  Government is not the solution to protecting the environment and providing an energy source.  Individual liberty has provided both in the most cost effective and efficient manner throughout history.

Howard J. Blitz, President of The Freedom Library, Inc., (FreedomLibrary.Org) a center for Libertarian Thought, Sound Economic Principles, and development of future leaders by educating minds in liberty.


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