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It should be recognized that the American environment, on the whole, is much cleaner than most places around the world. Certainly the environmental destruction revealed by the unveiling of the iron curtain dispelled any notions that love and central planning are better for the environment than commercial society.

However, I don’t want to argue the point that capitalism is good for the environment (the evidence suggests that it is), but rather that the above table is a testament to the remarkable wealth in the United States. It is also a testament to the American political institutions that have enabled Americans of all stripes to have their preferences for environmental quality reasonably well represented.

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