Complete Market, Environment and the Right of the Individual

Reading some alternative media you hear that a private company in France is pumping the ground water of the inhabitants of a local community leaving them to sit on the dry. The water in the ground is nobody´s property and the company can take it for free with the exception of a ridiculous price for a rightsholdership. The fact that the water itself does not have a price is a market distortion. Just because the fresh drinking water is in the ground, it does not mean that it is the property of nobody. It is the property of the inhabitants of the local community and the municipality, which ought to represent its inhabitants, needs to care. The municipality makes a disservice to its inhabitants if it allows a private company to take away a good without a respective compensation, which needs to be measured in the quantity of the pumped water here, and which is in the common proprietaryship of its inhabitants. If the inhabitants don´t consent with what the company is doing then the company is either steeling the water or the municipality has broken with its duties. The fact that there was a fee for the right of extraction does not count here since it was ridiculously small and can not compensate for the damage caused. If the water under their feet is the property of the inhabitants, it must be up to them to decide. It is utmost important that this right of the inhabitants of a community like this has its representation in written law. If someone buys a land, that is a parcel with building lease in the given municipality, it needs to be guaranteed that the buyer also buys shared rightsholdership of the regional ground and water resources used to uphold his future supply. The municipality is just a representative of its inhabitants and does not own the water rights. The right should be counted equally that is to say by person and that can be argumented well because the right on natural resources stems from the right to live.

The same that is valid for the extraction of ground water needs to count for any natural resource or any good of nature that is not in private property. At the beginning of times all the good of nature was in the property of the people who kept living in a given region. When a folk or tribe defends its territory, it defends its natural resources. Even today we have folks who don´t know private property and thus only have common property. Denying common property as done by our established value systems is often used as pretext or excuse to disappropriate and displace such folks, whether they are sedentary or seminomadic. With nomadic people you could make an argument in them not having usurped or defended any territory and thus not having any right for it. That is not quite right though, because the right that arouses from the use of the natural goods of a territory is to be founded on their right for live and their mode to make a living. You can not just take away what they used to live on without proper compensation.

What would it mean for our economic system if we ceased to deny conjoint property as how it is already realized in associations and companionships? Any company of given size has a balance, profits and winnings. However bookkeeping just counts assets, the profits and everything used to gain winnings. The damage a company is doing to the public does not count. It is clear that nature and environment are common goods. At the beginning of times we all had equal proprietaryship to them. The fact that a group of people is making their living in a given territory makes up their common proprietaryship of nature within there, given with respects of their right for live.

How should it be counted in bookkeeping if a given company is polluting the environment? When polluting the environment a company is destroying a good that was here before, namely free, unspoilt nature, how it can not only be used as a retreat but also as it is the base of our health. This means the holders of proprietaryship need to decide first whether they want to sell their natural good at all, which is exhausted, destroyed or converted as part of the economic process, and what price they would regard as justified. It is a disbalance of our economic system that every euro is counted twice on the one side, that is the side where profits, cash flow and winnings are generated - and it counts for the operating company to provide a good service for its customers or to win new customers - but on the other side, we say the side of common goods and nature - we all depend on for our live -, where they usually realize losses and damage, nothing is counted at all.

Up to now we more or less only have numerous rulings and regulations that should bound or infringe the damage a company can cause. However this seems somehow inefficient as it would require an own rule for any still so small issue and those who make law need not be confident with the business domain of the operating company. If the free goods taken from nature would have value and representation in our economic system, companies would count as accurate on any side, that is we would also have accurate appraise on the side where losses or damage use to be realized. I am telling “free” as the use of a common good doesn´t need to alter, consume or harm it. Disfruiting a beautiful mountain-view, it does not go away just because of who is seeing it. It poses a somewhat evident question if I would ask at this point how the Vatican can take a stance which appears to be failed completely in my mind concerning this regard: The Vatican classifies, presents and purports the trading of CO2 certificates as unfit and unjustified measure. It needs to be reasoned in the church denying common properties. A thing like this can not exist, that would be communism, that is against our rules of value. A very deplorable position. We have clear evidence that the trade system which was established for NOx certificates in the USA, long before climate change was in public opinion, has worked very well. Free markets have a self regulation power and why should we not tap that power for the means of good?

The circumstance that the trade system for CO2, that is the tradings with the ‘right’ to pollute, is reported as insufficient or inapt, has a very different cause, namely that the price per emitted ton of CO2 was simply set too low and thus ineffective. Such a finding does not reduce the effectiveness of the system per se at all and it is known to be high. But why was the pricing deliberately set too low? It martially says “all the power (of the state) is origined by its people” in our constitution. Now people find themselves less and less represented by politicians who should represent and work for their voters, that are the people who empower them, exerting their position for special interest groups from economy instead. The influence that lobbyists from private economy have, or to say the lobby action like a meeting, does often not need to be declared at all. There are also interest groups of common citizens and people who may stand for environmental or social concerns but their achievements don´t pay back as profits to the organization that has taken action. We know they are funded by the people who have a common concern or interest. If a politician acts in favor of an economic interest group, it is often not because he just wants to have a working economy or good work opportunity for his people. He does it for this own benefit. Someone who has proved himself complaisant towards a company or economic interest group will get revindication afterwards that is f.i. a well paid job opportunity where you do not need to invest much of an effort, if he can not account for a consultancy at the time, a dinner or a short trip or getaway.

In these findings I did not only want to argument how the avail and efficiency of our economic system can be augmented or how the ‘anti-avail’ can be minimized at the same time, but I also wanted to argument what needs to be part of a consistent and just system of values for and used by people. The denying of common property in the form of natural goods does not only cause harm to oftenly innocent people but in my mind it also causes injustice and thus constitutes a failure of value.