- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Searching Finance Ltd (September 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 190772026X
- ISBN-13: 978-1907720260
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,074,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tanstaafl (There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch) - A Libertarian Perspective on Environmental Policy Paperback – September 15, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
But sometimes we get the chance to re-write an earlier work, not just to finesse the original perspective but to add wisdom and highlight important points.
Edwin G. Dolan has taken this second path with his "Version 40.0" 2011 update of his 1971 book, TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) - A Libertarian Perspective on Environmental Policy.*
Now some readers may be tempted to stop reading this review, since they are not interested in a "libertarian" book on environmental policy. Don't libertarians, after all, think that money should determine who gets what, in some kind of Darwinist struggle to allocate rainforest to the richest?
Not really, and definitely not in this book.
That said, Dolan doesn't shy away from highlighting the dangers of government failure and command and control myopia. In fact, he does an excellent job of exploring the tradeoffs between individual liberty and government guidance when it comes to managing our environment -- saying things I've said in the past, but adding more discussion that I wish I had and explaining more clearly than I ever did.
In other words, I like this book. I like it in the same way as I like "Economics in One Lesson: 50th Anniversary Edition", which I assigned to my Environmental Economics and Policy class at UC Berkeley, and I'd definitely assign this book to ANY class with "environment" in the title.Read more ›
Many conservatives oppose action on climate change as it goes against the status quo, and unfortunately some of that attitude can be seen in areas of Libertarian thought; this book is good because it does not debate science (leave that to the scientists), but focusses on the various policy alternatives and approaches that fit the Libertarian philosophy.
This notion of earth as a closed system is the basis of much of the book's discussion. The explanation of economics was accessible and didn't leave me with my eyes glazed over. There are many great ideas of how to redistribute the cost of doing business so that those who are paying also receive the benefits to which they are entitled. And for those to whom the word "entitlement" is considered profanity, the biggest receivers of those entitlements are the businesses who do not pay for the true costs of extraction and depletion of non-renewable resources.
This is a must-read for everyone. It is important to understand the underbelly of "business as usual" if anything is going to change. My only disappointment with this book is the lack of how to effect those changes. And sooner than later as the second maxim after "No Free Lunch" is "Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later" where "Later" is ALWAYS more expensive.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read the original, not this edition, when Dolan was my freshman econ prof in 1971. He was a bright guy and good teacher. Read morePublished 10 months ago by T C.
It seems like Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on the principles of economics and the environment presented in this short but excellent book. Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Bruce S
It's the single best prescription to save the planet in light of overwhelming market forces pushing us over the edge: realign those forces to work for -- not against -- us. Read morePublished on February 9, 2012 by Gernot Wagner