Monday, December 7, 2009

There He Goes Again

Mankiw at Harvard posts a note on his blog supporting his Pigou friends who are promoting a Carbon Tax.

First, we now have the mess of lack of any credibility in the science based upon the less than ethical and professional conduct of some large group involved in the basic data. Not to mention the complexity and uncertainty of the science. You see as an avid botanist I frankly love CO2, and last year was a bust for me so I am a bit up in arms.

Second, they oppose cap and trade, which as we have shown here is really tax and spend on pork. That is the Markey and Waxman approach.

Third, they support a tax. The Pigou approach. Well if you tax, my good friend Mr Economist, you take money from the economy which would go to entrepreneurs and place it in the hands of politicians who "give" it to their friends. This makes no sense, Pigou notwithstanding.

Fourth, those taxed have no control of their usage. When it is cold, as it is now, one needs to heat their residence. You can turn the thermostat down, I do, you can wear a heavy set of clothing, I do, you can drive a small car, I do, you can go green, I do, since I grow thousands of plants and hundreds of trees, but what do all the people do to make a change, just nothing, they are at the whim of the auto and power companies. It is not like calorie consumption or tobacco, where you tax at the point of decision. You are taxing way down the food chain. Makes no sense to me, but I am just a humble engineer, not a brilliant economist.

Perhaps Shakespeare was wrong, you know about the lawyers and all. He may have thought differently if he had met economists.