Opinion: Let’s follow New Zealand’s lead and make people and nature as important as GDP

This is truly a troubling approach to economics. It opens economics even further to interventions by politically connected special interests. We have forgotten or simply choose to ignore important economic lessons of the past.

Economies generate the greatest benefits when individuals prioritize the use of scarce resources. Only individuals know the relative value among the wide ranging options available to them. This includes the value of positive and negative externalities. Like any other feature of a product if they care about it they will spend the time investigating it before making a purchase. It will drive their purchasing choices and markets will respond.

The problem for environmentalists is that people value low cost transportation and electricity more than they are concerned about global warming.