[ExI] Don't be a locavore fundamentalist

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Sep 26 03:20:37 UTC 2009

2009/9/26 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:

> ### Free exchange (i.e. non-violent, non-regulated interactions
> between multiple entities) is a means of apportioning resources
> according to the desires of participants - and aside from a refusal to
> endorse violence, the proponent of free exchange does not pass
> judgment on the wisdom or folly of these desires. So yes, locovory, as
> long as it happens in a non-violent context, is market at work, and
> may not be restricted by violent means.
> Still, locovory is stupid. US locovores usually profess that their
> choice to eat e.g. Virginia apples rather than Chilean ones somehow
> "protects the environment" and "makes people better off" - and this is
> simply incorrect, since the price signal tells us that Chilean apples
> are more economical (i.e. more conducive to human welfare) to produce,
> given the comparative advantages involved here. Locovores usually do
> not understand the real social implications of prices - for them the
> price is just an arbitrary number.

You may be right that locovores are stupid, but not because of the
price signal. It is possible that something is cheaper but harmful,
and that people will prefer it for its cheapness because they don't
believe the harm will happen to them or won't happen for a long time.
The fact that there are a lot of coal fired power stations because
coal is cheap has no bearing on the empirical question of whether
burning coal will harm the environment and as a result kill us all.

Stathis Papaioannou

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