Thursday, February 16, 2006

He beat me to it!

I was going to comment on Simon Mollan's post about Chris Huhne and the Institute of Fiscal Studies but I'll just direct you to Jock's blog which has it covered. I don't like ecotaxes. I prefer cap-&-trade, etc. Ecotaxes give the government a financial incentive to maintain levels of pollution - Chris could have discovered this by reading the relevant chapter in The Orange Book. But at least he's talking radical policy ideas, which is better than the other two.

[Hmmm, that kitten looks a lot like LibertyCat when he's cross/tired]


  • At 10:14 am , Blogger Jock Coats said...

    I would say that there is a perpetual misunderstanding even amongst land value taxers about teh status of taxes on "wasting" resources.

    When Henry George referred to land he meant "everything in the material universe not created by man with labour and capital" and many take this to mean also the resources we take out of the earth, use and "throw away".

    For example, if you have a piece of land under which there is a substantial gold, or uranium, deposit, charging a high land tax because of its land value would encourage the extraction of that resource (and thence its use, perhaps profligately). So instead in these cases some suggest "use" taxes on the extracted resource.

    So there is a discussion to be had about which approach is the best or most ideologically pure from a Georgist point of view.

    For example, instead of taxing airline fuel, one might find it better to levy "LVT" on the market values of landing slots at airports.

    Instead of levying fuel taxes for motor vehicles, it might be better to levy land value taxes making it capital cheaper for people to live closer to where they need to be than to travel a long way or produce more incentive to redevelop the built environment to include enhanced energy saving techniques.

    But yes, he's certainly thinking along the right lines and open to persuasion in my opinion.

  • At 10:49 am , Blogger James said...

    I would be EXTREMELY surprised if by eco-taxes, Huhne didn't include cap-n-trade as well. But most people in his audience won't have a clue what that means. Either way, he certainly hasn't made a point of opposing it.


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