Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The NoPigou club is under attack! Mark Jaccard, in a commentary posted at the NoPigou Club clubhouse, says we're just a bunch of Orwellian truth manipulators. In essence, the Simon Fraser University prof says carbon and other Pigou taxes are just crispy clean market-friendly government measures that all "right"-thinking economists and politicians should and do support. But here's Jaccard's big claim: He supports Pigovian taxes because they involve "no role for planners." We'll have more on this untruth in later postings, but let's begin with one question: Who sets the price--i.e. the tax? No planners here, says Jaccard. Just us free market economists. And how does one set the tax rate? What factors does one take into consideration? Maybe we need a report from the Ministry of Oil Supply and the Ministry of Consumer Behavior, the Department of International Trade and the Bureau of Tax Collection Efficiency. And then another question: What do we do with the money collected through the Pigovian tax? Let's get the Ministry of the Environment and the Department of Industry...but, hey, no planners, please. We're free-market driven Pigovians!