[Editor note: Mr. Epstein, a new Principal at MasterResource, is Founder of the Center for Industrial Progress. Part I appeared yesterday.]
But what about the “environmental impact” of industrial development? Isn’t the “green” movement providing a salutary influence us by helping us combat that problem? Again, no.
The idea of “environmental impact” is what philosopher Ayn Rand called an “intellectual package-deal.” Such a concept dishonestly packages together two very different things—the impact of development on the human environment and the impact of development on the non-human environment.
Industrial development will certainly often harm various non-human environments—but it is a godsend to the human environment. By lumping together concern with the non-human environment (e.g., displacing some caribou to get billions of barrels of the lifeblood of civilization) and the human environment (e.g.,…
[Editor note: Mr. Epstein, a new Principal at MasterResource, is Founder of the Center for Industrial Progress. Part II of this post is here.]
In the wake of two recessions following two fleeting, largely service-sector bubbles—the dot-com bubble and the housing/financial bubble—America’s intellectual and political leaders are championing the need for industrial progress.
The ubiquitous Thomas L. Friedman takes on the subject of industrial progress in his latest book, That Used to Be Us, coauthored by political scientist Michael Mandelbaum. The book begins by describing a China full of fast trains, stupendous buildings, and an aura of dynamism—and contrasting it to an America in which repairing a subway is a multi-year project. Such images resonate with readers and voters, who wonder with frustration why so much industrial innovation, production, and job-creation is happening overseas rather than in America.…