Wealthy countries have it easy. Their citizens are richer. Their people enjoy healthier and safer environments. Yet Western nations are hindering Third World people from improving their lives—in the name of the environment. Malaria is seen as a poor nation's disease, but it once afflicted today's industrialized states. Decades ago people in the United States and Europe suffered from this, one of history's most ravaging diseases. But malaria has essentially disappeared in the West.
When environmentalists argue that the costs of protecting the environment should be ignored, they quickly find themselves in a box. The only way to protect environmental quality in some ways (say, reducing water pollution) is by harming it in other ways (say, increasing air pollution).
Adam Smith, that is. Having just completed writing a history of economics, I have concluded that, despite the protestations of Murray Rothbard and other detractors, the eighteenth-century moral philosopher and celebrated author of The Wealth of Nations deserves to be named the founding father of modern economics.
Having just endured vacuousness on a grand scale in the last presidential campaign and eight years of verbal subterfuge and prevarication under Bill Clinton, Americans are in need of an inspiration from their political past. They have it in the person of our principled 22nd and 24th president, Grover Cleveland—brought to life in the past year by not one but two laudatory biographies.
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April 16, 2040, 11:00 AMREGISTER