Paper #1: Role of Government Intervention in Environmental Issues
In environmental cases, a policy framework is sometimes more
effective when there is less government intervention. As the level of
government intervention diminishes, this allows more flexibility for
corporations to achieve efficiency. Furthermore the traditional command and
control approach has proven to be costly, bureaucratic and often inefficient.
It is important to address the fact that there are numerous benefits that
can be achieved for both policy makers and industries, if a policy framework
is based on market forces. However it is important that there is a need for
some government intervention, but should be as minimal as possible.
I have chosen to examine the article from the New York Times
entitled RU.S. Seeking Options of Pollution RulesS. Although pollution is
detrimental to our environment, you have to take into account that it is
almost impossible to entirely prevent pollution. This is scientifically
impossible and it would have severely negative economic impact on the
industries. So the core issue becomes the fact no matter what, there will
always be pollution, as long as these industries exist. So we should focus
on how we can minimize this and yet at the same time have an efficient market
system? Furthermore, we should also focus on how we can accomplish this so
that sustainable growth and development can take place. So there is
definitely a need for some form of government intervention to enforce and
monitor this. Reason being that there is always an element of equality that
has to be enforced, when dealing with cases such as this. For instance,
larger corporations may have an advantage over smaller corporation, since
they have stronger influence on politicians and lobbyists. So the
governmentUs role should be to ensure that all industries (regardless size
and/or power) have equal opportunities to benefit from this type of approach.
In another words, the government should simply be a RwatchdogS.
Government should monitor so that the distribution and transaction of the
permits are done in an appropriate manner.
The case of Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Corporation is a
classic example of tradable permit approach. Under this model corporations
are able to buy, sell and trade permits that legally allows emission. Many
economists have favored this approach because this also provides incentives
for technical improvement. So the aggregate effect would be that most
industries would try to maximize their profits by trying to come up with new
techniques to reduce the level of emission. This in turn would allow them to
reduce the cost that they would have to pay from polluting. Norm Miller also
endorses this approach by stating that Rperformance-based approaches are more
efficient, both for industry and for governmentS.
Allowing a company to devise and manage their own pollution control
plan is another effective (and Rde-regulativeS) approach. In the article,
this was exemplified in an Arizona based company called Intel. Individual
companies such as Intel knows what is best for the company. This means that
each individual companies know what the best equipment is and what the best
procedures are to achieve established standards. Rather than having the
government telling them what to do, the people at Intel were able to devise
their own plan. This saved them a great amount of time with out the usual
cumbersome, bureaucratic procedures. The Intel company, in this case, bought
the effluent from the cityUs waste water treatment plan. This allows
corporations to work more closely with the local communities. Usually, the
result is that both parties would benefit and even achieve a common goal.
There are, however, potential problems that may occur from this.
Although we can presume that market...
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