The Natural Wealth of Nations: Harnessing the Market for the Environment

Author: David Malin Roodman
ISBN: 0-393-31852-4
303 pages
September 1998

The Natural Wealth of Nations offers concrete solutions to environmental problems by showing how we can turn the tremendous power of market economies away from environmentally destructive activities and toward protecting natural wealth of human health.

Why are the world's governments wasting more than $650 billion each year to subsidize activities that harm the environment, from logging to mining to driving? David Roodman shows how cutting these wasteful subsidies can boost the economy and save tax dollars, while protecting the environment. Roodman also proposes raising taxes on harmful activities like air pollution, while cutting taxes on payrolls and profits — a tax shift that would discourage pollution without harming the economy.

These and other proposals in this book would make the market better reflect the environmental costs and benefits of what we do. Putting a price on pollution turns environmental protection into a profit opportunity. When businesses are faced with environmental taxes, many turn their expertise to creating technologies that conserve resources and slash pollution levels. Market-based solutions for environmental protection exploit humanity's greatest resource: its creativity in problem solving. The Natural Wealth of Nations put in our hands a clear proposal for encouraging a vibrant economy and protecting our planet.