Many don’t understand Ronald Coase’s Nobel Prize theorem because of the math. It seems non-sensical. Why should a farmer pay a train line not to run trains? That makes no sense on the surface, but when you delve into the property rights and profitability numbers, it makes perfect sense.
In the Wall Street Journal today, they had an article that illustrates the tangible value of individual property rights and profit versus centrally planned regulations. This is one of the largest differences spanning the two political parties outlooks today.
The author, Terry Anderson writes about the plight of endangered species. Governments of many countries have succumbed to pressure from animal rights groups to enlist quotas or bans on hunting to try and save species. We know that they haven’t worked. Not only have they not worked, but they have markedly increased costs, taken land out of circulation, forced governments to use resources to purchase land that could be diverted to more useful endeavors or simply not spent at all saving taxpayers money.
As South African economist Michael ‘t-Sas Rolfes points out, “Strong property rights and market incentives have provided a successful model for rhino conservation, despite the negative impact of command-and-control approaches that rely on regulations and bans that restrict wildlife use.”
Who could be opposed to environmental entrepreneurship that has successfully propagated endangered species, even if a few animals are hunted so that the populations will be sustained? Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, is one. She condemns having African animals on U.S. soil.
Though the scimitar-horned oryx went extinct in Africa, Ms. Feral believes the species found on Texas ranches should only live on African reserves, which are neither natural (many of them are fenced) nor sustainable. “I don’t want to see them on hunting ranches,” Ms. Feral said on “60 Minutes” on Jan. 29. “I don’t want to see their value in body parts. I think it’s obscene.”
Ms. Feral might think it’s obscene. But there are plenty of people out there that think extinction is obscene too. Why should a government policy enforce her subjective judgement?
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