Paul Craig Roberts: It's worse than that, Rob [laughing]. Because" look me give you an example.
Let's take agri business. All the fertilizers that have to be used because the soil's been ruined. They float down the Mississippi River. They go into the Gulf of Mexico. They're now extensive "dead zones' in the Gulf of Mexico. That means the sea is dead! There's no life in these dead zones. Those are a massive cost, but they're not included in the cost of the food when you buy it in the store. It's an external cost imposed on society in the" and, and it's not a cost that's paid in the production of the agri business crops. That's one good example.
Another example, let's take this fracking. You know where they put all high pressure water over chemicals incumbent in the ground, to cause methane, you know, gas to rise up so they can get it out easier. Well, that destroys water supplies all over the State. You know, you've now got a massive environmental crisis in Montana. These costs" you know wells are ruined, irrigation, ranching, all of those costs that are imposed by fracking on other people"are not included in the price of gas. The natural gas.
So when you have an economy that operates like that, you can't any longer claim that "we are making the best use of every resource, and getting the best value out of that resource', because the costs just simply aren't included in the process. So this is a massive failure.
And so that's one of the things, the new book discusses.
Rob Kall: Now Paul, I" I totally agree with you, and I" I've got to say that I wonder is there any nation on earth that is really contenting with this big picture ecological issue of dealing with the full costs of the environmental impact of corporations" anywhere?
Paul Craig Roberts: [interjecting] No
Rob Kall: It happens anywhere.
Paul Craig Roberts: No, they're not. And" and the economists tell them there's not really a problem because the economists assume that man-made capital is a perfect substitute for nature's capital. So they say, 'you don't have to worry if we run out of resources. We'll have created some substitute'. "You don't have to worry about"'
Rob Kall: [at same time] That's a fantasy!
Paul Craig Roberts: I know it is.
Rob Kall: "with lunacy!
Paul Craig Roberts: I know" I know it is, but the production function that's the basis of this theory, is the work of two Nobel Laureates.
Rob Kall: Who?
Paul Craig Roberts: Joseph Stieglitz, and Robert Solar. So" the authority of the profession is behind the idiocy. So when you go to challenge it, most people, most economists will say "well, this can't be right, because look at all these Nobel Laureates who gave us this. They must be right!' So they don't even bother to think. And so, nobody is addressing these issues. And of course ever since the Bush" the George Bush crowd got in there, they" completely destroyed the Environmental Protection Agency, you know, the Forest Service, everything else, by sticking in these corporate polluters in charge of it. So we had that BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, simply because Cheney & Bush stuck in polluters instead of regulators. And then they used that Correx to hide the oil, which has caused the most incredible deformations in sea life. And" and nobody knows even exactly what the effect of all that stuff in the Gulf of Mexico means in the long run. And so even the kinds of protections that we had which were minimal, they've now been cast aside. And if you talk to most of the politicians, they think that environmental protection is just some kind of a Communist way to prevent corporations from making money. So you're right"