BOZEMAN, Montana—I’m away to Big Sky country today to visit my friends at PERC, the Property and Environmental Research Center. These are the folks who work out the idea of free market environmentalism, that is, how markets and property rights provide superior environmental protection to government regulation. It provides a much better balance of genuine environmental protection with individual liberty. FME (as we insiders call it) begins with a simple insight: why doesn’t anyone ever wash a rental car?
There’s a blog; there are podcasts; there are academic conferences; there are research fellows; there’s a special program for “enviro-preneurs”; there’s an SSRN online journal. And, there are videos on PERCtv! In the one displayed here, PERC fellow Jonathan Klick deploys two of the oldest but most important analytical axioms of our time—the law of unintended consequences, and the doctrine of perverse results—on the hot button topic of plastic bag bans.