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Externalities 2

Historically, capitalist externalities refer to costs that could not be counted because they were assumed to be minimal and thus ignored. This is similar to what occurs in calculus. In estimating volumes of round objects, the technique creates a situation in which the inaccuracies can be ignored–though present. The problem is economics ignores our new abilities to count and maintains the intent to ignore for less flattering reasons.
Also historically there have been a number of schools of capitalism (more on this later). Today I like to refer to “ideological” capitalism which uses externalities to generate profits by offloading costs to society. Thus where ecological costs were once ignored because it was assumed that nature had the ability to endlessly absorb pollution, we now this is not true but insist corporations simply cannot absorb these costs and be profitable. It is interesting to note this same claim ignores the implications of this claim and also calls for a minimalist government and regulation. This is not the capitalism of Adam Smith.

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