Academic Commons

Articles

Private Property and the Politics of Environmental Protection

Merrill, Thomas W.

Private property creates wealth, capitalizes environmental costs and benefits into property values, and makes owners accountable for the environmental harms they cause. As such, private property creates the conditions for its effective regulation. Karl Marx might say that this is evidence of the cultural contradictions of private property; it is not. There is no contradiction -- only the need for a delicate balance. White private property must be sufficiently free of government regulation and taxation in order to represent a major share of household wealth, it cannot be overprotected to the point that government regulation is thwarted. Exactly where to strike the balance will always be controversial. The fact that some kind of balance is necessary in order to achieve effective environmental protection should not be.

Files

  • thumnail for Private_property_and_the_.pdf Private_property_and_the_.pdf application/pdf 2.01 MB Download File

Also Published In

Title
Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy

More About This Work

Academic Units
Law
Publisher
Harvard Society for Law and Public Policy, Inc.
Published Here
November 11, 2015
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.