Negative Externalities are everywhere, but what exactly are they?
"A negative externality is a cost that is suffered by a third party as a result of an economic transaction."
This basically means a transaction happened that you were not part of, however it still had a negative effect on you. Such as someone who does not own a car having to breathe car polluted air.
Should people who cause negative externalities be required to pay for their effects? It would be incredibly hard to track who is affected by who, but on a general level we could impose penalties for people who are creating negative externalities for other members of society. Such as a pollution tax based on how much pullution your car puts out, charging for plastic grocery bags, or increased rent for tenents with pets. These increased costs could pay for mitigation efforts to help offset the problems created for other people. Such as more money for green energy, litter clean up projects, or sound proofing the walls for other tenants.
These increased costs could be considered unfair for the people paying them, but is it fair for them to degrade the quality of your life because they want to do things that are not confined to only affecting themselves?
I think just about everyone creates negative externalities in some way. However you should always try to be considerate, and mitigate the reach and damage of your activities.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.