Historians have argued about whether or not slavery in the United States was economically efficient.
It is as if The Plantation Era is to be judged by the cost of a slave, since labor is a fundamental part of the cost of goods and services.
The bottom line is that we rejected slavery whether or not economists from Cygnus considered it to be efficient or inefficient, because we consider human life to be priceless.
A new plantation mentality has developed in the "economics" of environmental law, which basically "bargains" over the cost to be paid for human life.
When the Supreme Court said it was legal to use "cost benefit analysis" to decide environmental damage assessment, that court basically put a price on the heads of all members of civilization.
The Supreme Court is saying that it is legal to protect the environment so long as it does not cost big business too much money.
When a price is placed on the priceless environment it puts a price on the priceless human life that the environment makes possible.
Dredd Blog has pointed out the reality that the main function of human government should be to enforce the laws of nature, not to ignore them by passing human legislation at odds with the laws of nature.
This blog has also posted, in accord with that view, posts pointing out that it is delusional to think human law trumps natural law.
In the United States the return to a plantation mentality is a function of the federal judiciary, which has gone back to its 1930's configuration, a time when it was a right wing "institution".