Wenz on Free Market and Cost-Benefit approach to distribution of env. hazards

37.     Free Market approach (e.g., give toxics to those who will accept them for $) violates equal consideration of interests (and is thus unjust) when it is allowed to determine the distribution of vital needs

          a.        A child dying of cancer receives little benefit from community's new swimming pool

38.     Argument for free market approach: Toxic wastes (burden) should be placed where residents accept them in return for $ (benefit)

          a.       Whole communities could receive $ to improve schools, parks, hospitals and get tax revenue, jobs from business expansion when they accept env. hazards

39.     Reply: When basic/vital goods/services at issue, equal consideration of interests requires ameliorating inequalities of distribution that markets tend to produce

          a.       Where vital needs at stake, markets should be supplemented or avoided for the sake of equal consideration of everyone's interests

40.     Examples: Education, healthcare, military service

          a.       One reason for public education is to provide every child with basic intellectual tools necessary for success

                    i.        a purely free market would result in excellent education for children of wealthy parents and little ed for children of poor residents

                    ii.       Poor kids opportunity would be so inferior that their interests were not given equal consideration

          b.       Medicaid for poor people, intends to supplement market transaction in health care as equal consideration of interest requires everyone be given access to health care

          c.       Military service in war: Use conscription.

                    i.        When national interest requires placing many people in moral danger, it is just that exposure be largely unrelated to income and market transactions

41.     Equal consideration of interests requires rejecting purely free market approaches when basic/vital needs concerned

42.     Because placement of toxic wastes affects vital interests–as do education, health care, wartime service–exemption from market decisions is required to avoid unjust imposition on poor and to respect people's interests equally


43.     Cost-Benefit Analysis (social wealth maximized by putting LULUs near poor whose land values are less) treats people unfairly

          a.       Argument for C/B approach: Maximizes society's wealth, as determined by what people are willing to pay

          b.       W      ill put LULUs near poor people, as LULUs lower land values (what people willing to pay) and since land already cheap where poor live, placing hazards there will not lose as much value as if placed in expensive land where wealthy people live

                    i.        Overall smaller loss of social wealth by putting env. hazards in poor communities

          c.       Reply: Violates equal consideration of interests, as does the FM approach

                    i.        Vital interest at stake, so equal consideration of interests requires that people be considered irrespective of income