PS- the contrast between the Administrations support of the egregious HSR project in CA and its rejection of the takes-no-tax-dollars Keystone XL infrastructure project reminds me of my earlier piece on the Timeless Appeal of Triumphalism. Politicians love to shift capital from private, boring, productive things like pipelines to sexy taxpayer-funded things that they can put their names on.
If he’d have asked me, I’d have told him to play the “Obama only supports pipe dreams of more energy, not real pipes full of energy angle.
But then, environmentalists want you to freeze to death in the dark.
That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to say!
Milton Friedman was right when he warned that, “In the long run government will spend whatever the tax system will raise, plus as much more as it can get away with.”
Except, my phrasing was, “It is impossible to raise more in taxes than government can spend.”
via You Should Support a Value-Added Tax…if You Want Bigger Government and More Debt | Cato @ Liberty.
And also, Jim Harper gives examples on how government environmentalism not only fails to protect the environment, but rather, helps industry destroy it while reducing overall productivity:
Everyone dreams of a “real regulator” that will clean up industry, protect public values, and smartly manage economic activity. What you routinely end up with is a pro-industry self-dealing agency that fails to protect the values it was assigned while mismanaging productive activity. Case in point.
I suspect I would find DeChristopher’s environmentalism at least overwrought, but when did it become a criminal offense to default on an auction bid? When the government got into the business, that’s when. Instead of, say, pre-qualifying bidders, it evidently just uses its monopoly on coercion to lock up people who mess around with its action.
Command-and-control is probably the simplest way to advance environmental values, but it has failed so dramatically so many times, and it fosters a punitive state that jails its citizens. The simplest way to advance environmental goals may not be the best.
via How’s that Big-Government Environmentalism Workin’ For Ya’? | Cato @ Liberty.