Addressing Externalities: An Externality Factor Tax-Subsidy Proposal
Nature is losing the war against capitalism and needs us to come to her defense in a way that may seem counter-intuitive. We, humans, have our ways of doing things and natural processes follow their own courses, often distinctly foreign to our inclinations. Our modern-day business practices are designed for the short term, are self-centered, tending toward precision and inevitably leading to environmental destruction. Natural processes, on the other hand, are intended for the long term, are generous, are highly imprecise and almost always lead to flourishing ecological systems. While humankind produces primarily negative externalities, nature produces almost exclusively positive externalities or no externalities at all. This paper discusses a way that both negative and positive anthropogenic externalities can be used to encourage ‘good consumption’ and to discourage ‘bad consumption’ for the benefit of natural ecological systems, human societies, family units, and our future generations.