Essays on the Economics of K. William Kapp
By Sebastian Berger
K. William Kapp was an environmental pioneer. Decades ago, he challenged economic theories that disregarded the waste and environmental damage caused by production, recognising that environmental pollution threatens sustainable development.
The Social Costs of Neoliberalism addresses rising levels of social demage in an era of climate change. It does so by reconstructing Kapp’s theory of social costs that explains why corporations have a built-in tendency to increase profits by socializing costs, that is, by shifting costs on to society. His focus is on the tremendous scope and irreversibility of this damage, pointing to its systematic character.
Kapp convincingly counters neoliberal and neoclassical arguments on externalities and market failure, that do not fully account for fatal flaws in the market’s calculus. His proposed alterntive is a robust framework of social-democratic controls of the economy to prevent effectively such social costs and the damage they cause to our environment.