Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy New Year to all NoPigou Club members

I know it's been a while since postings, and I apologize. But we will be back in the New Year with fresh blasts at the rising menace of Pigovianism within the intellectual and political classes. There are those who say there's nothing to worry about, because voters will never buy into the idea of a big new tax on gasoline to fight global warming, congestion, smog and what have you. Such complacency is unwarranted. The confluence of popular fear of something like global warming could easily be converted by a sly politician into a mandate to impose major tax increases as part of a grand strategy to save our nations. As such threats mount in the coming year, the voice of the NoPigou Club will be heard!
In the meantime, and on behalf of Peter Foster and William Watson, co-founders of the club, I wish you all a prosperous year.
All the best
Terence Corcoran

Monday, December 04, 2006

Canada's Liberals reject Pigou carbon tax

Attention Republicans and Democrats: Pigovian carbon taxes may be political suicide. Not much of a surprise in that idea, but it took concrete form in Canada over the weekend when the Liberal Party (the Democrats of the North) picked a new leader, Stephane Dion. Mr. Dion is an inducted member of the NoPigou Club, having campaigned against carbon taxes throughout his leadership bid.
Going down to defeat is former Harvard prof and international intellectual Michael Ignatieff, an avid Pigovian. Ignatief even mentioned carbon taxes in his speech to delegates at the convention: "We must put a price 0n pollution and on carbon emissions."
Not great politics. Bad economics, too. Did Ignatieff spend time with his Harvard colleague Greg Mankiw? Ignatieff's leadership bid had other problems, but I would put his Pigovianism on the list of stumbling blocks. When it came down to the final votes, Ignatief would have carried no support from Alberta, Canada's oil province. Dion, meanwhile, would have attracted Alberta suport, even though he's a tough-talking promoter of the Kyoto Protocol.
Terence Corcoran