The Necessity of Economics: The Preferential Option for the Poor, Markets and Environmental Law
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Markets and economic theory are often cast as the enemies of both the poor and environmental quality. This paper, part of the Peace with Creation symposium held at the St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, argues that economics provides a necessary, but not sufficient, tool to address the problems of the poor and of improving environmental quality. The paper discusses ten propositions of economic theory and explains how each applying them results in both improvements in environmental quality and in the lot of the poor. The paper then briefly examines three examples of how applying the lessons of economics accomplishes both. It concludes by arguing that fulfilling Christianity's obligations towards both God's creation and the poor requires that we understand the economic implications of our actions.
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