Don\’t know whether this comment will get through, given that "The debate is over".
"But the policy is based on the simple model that the market rules, that there is a stable equilibrium, that the gifts of nature are free (and should be free) and that profit maximising (or ‘greed is good’) is what business is all about."
Only one out of four there correct Richard.
1 "The market rules"…..except when it doesn\’t. Any and every economist accepts, even insists, that markets do not provide the optimal outcome in all cases. As I\’ve pointed out above this is true for public goods: even the most viciously right wing (or "neo-liberal" if you prefer) would include defence, the criminal justice system and almost all (Larry Lessig perhaps excluded) would accept copyright and patents as at least one valid way to correct what would be a pure free market and non-optimal outcome (others like Dean Baker have different ideas of how to do this but almost all agree that the pure free market outcome is non-optimal).
The argument is not that all markets all the time produces an optimal outcome. It is not over whether interventions can improve upon market outcomes. It is only over *when* do interventions improve upon market outcomes. Again, as I mention above, the existence of externalities leads to "neo-liberals" not only accepting but actually campaigning for certain interventions: as with the London Congestion Charge.
2) "Stable equlibrium". No, we do not argue that there is a stable equilibrium. Technology changes, desires change, thus there is not and will not be a stable equilibrium.
3) "Gifts of nature are free (and should be free)". No, we do not argue so. See above. Certainly, when demand for a gift of nature is below the sustainable supply we argue that there is no problem with it being treated as free. But we are the very people who argue that a price has to be put on those gifts when demand exceeds sustainable supply. Again, see above.
4) "Profit maximising is what business is all about". Yes, this is the one you\’ve got correct. But there are provisos of course. For example, only profit maximising where one is indeed taking account of externalities (again, see above). For a business maximises profit in the long term by servicing the desires of consumers. And that is what it really is all about, how best to organise the various resources available to as to maximally (to the extent which is possible at current levels of technology) satisfy the desires of, to maximise the utility of, the population.