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Regarding “Cap and Trade”

December 7, 2009

President Obama is in Copenhagen right now with other world leaders, trying to figure out what to do about the crisis we’re facing.

The number one solution on the table is something called “Cap and Trade.” I’m sure you’ve heard of it. A lot of liberals support it as a good idea because, in concept, it sounds sensible. A lot of conservatives oppose it because that’s what they do.

But Cap and Trade may not be all it’s cracked up to be. From the makers of the Story of Stuff, a look at why this solution could just contribute to the problem.

Check out the comments on the video if you want to see the ridiculous politicization at the heart of this. Some people would literally rather die than sacrifice some of the decadence of the culture, or think of someone besides themselves.

From → community, YouTube

One Comment
  1. Spiff permalink

    The better economic arguments always seem to point to the benefits of putting a true price on carbon emissions (i.e., a carbon tax). Since the cost for emissions is directly proportional to consumption, it makes businesses responsible for cutting emissions in the way they best see fit, with minimal government intervention. All the government needs to do is set a price, which they can adjust if they get it wrong.

    The problem is that introducing new taxes are politically toxic. In Canada’s last election, one of the major parties ran on a platform of Carbon Tax + Income Tax Cut. The other parties ignored the income tax part of it, and spread disinformation on the policy. The party didn’t get in.

    What’s interesting now in Ontario is that new sales tax reforms are coming in called “Harmonized Sales Tax”. One of the new features is that 8% provincial taxes will now be on gasoline, electricity, and heating oil. Effectively, they managed to introduce an 8% carbon tax. I haven’t seen it phrased that way in the media though, which seems to suggest they haven’t picked up on it.

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