Everybody Doesn't Like Something, But…

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… if you mentally continued that headline with an advertising jingle about a dessert company, congratulations, you're old.

But we're going a different way today, thanks to Andrew Follett: Everybody Hates Carbon Taxes. It's a worldwide phenomenon.

Campaigns to end carbon taxes are politically successful because such campaigns champion the interests of the vast majority over the preferences of a small elite. Wealthy carbon-tax preachers such as Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio live personal lives of luxury, flying on private jets while demanding carbon austerity for the masses, making driving and heating one’s home more expensive.

From a policy perspective, carbon taxes are all pain with no gain. They devastate the economy, disproportionately harm the poor, and do nothing to reduce temperatures. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that a carbon tax would double the tax burden of the poorest households. And although calculating the true costs is difficult, as the money is spread out among numerous grants, subsidies, taxes, “green” regulations, and salaries for bureaucrats, it’s clear that the poor wouldn’t be the only ones footing the bill. Combined with current energy-efficiency and emissions-reduction goals, carbon taxation would cost an estimated $16.5 trillion by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency. And for all that, carbon taxation would have a literally undetectable effect on global warming.

There's also a local issue:

Thirteen deep-blue U.S. states — California, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont — have some form of carbon-pricing, credit, or tax in place. That’s mostly via the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), but participation in it is collapsing. Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin’s Air Pollution Control Board removed the state from RGGI in June, noting that it was “in effect a direct tax on all households and businesses.” Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI was blocked by the Commonwealth Court last November. The court ruled that the state’s left-leaning bureaucracy and then-governor Tom Wolf (D.) had greatly overstepped their authority to illegally join the measure without the consent of voters.

"Deep-blue"? Us?

Well, never mind that. It would be nice if we had a deeper-red legislature and governor that would yank us out of RGGI.

Also of note:

  • Avert your eyes, children! Lest you see a tasty culinary temptation! Charles Oliver highlights A Red Meat Issue.

    The government of Utrecht, Netherlands, has banned ads for meat on bus stops and other government-owned spaces. The city has previously banned ads for fossil fuels, cars, and flying. City officials say the bans could have a positive impact on residents' health and on the climate.

    Yeah, OK, Netherlands. Which still outranks the United States in Heritage's rankings of economic freedom, despite what you are prohibited from seeing on bus stops.

  • Gee, who elected these people? Oh, right. Eric Boehm notes the obvious: Congress Is Trying To Avoid Taking Responsibility for the Debt Crisis It Created.

    It's not quite accurate to say that no one in Congress wants to talk about the national debt and the federal government's deteriorating fiscal condition.

    Indeed, during Wednesday morning's meeting of the House Budget Committee, there was a lot of talk about exactly that.

    "Runaway deficit-spending and our unsustainable national debt…threatens not only our economy, but our national security, our way of life, our leadership in the world, and everything good about America's influence," said Rep. Jodey Arrington (R–Texas), the committee's chairman. He pointed to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections showing that America's debt, as a share of the size of the nation's economy, is now as large as it was at the end of the Second World War—and that interest payments on the debt will soon cost more than the entire military budget.

    Yes, it was a meeting about the possibility of forming a committee to have more meetings about the possibility of doing something to address the problem. In fact, it was the second such committee hearing in front of the House Budget Committee within the past few weeks.

    It seems like there ought to be a more direct way to address this. Like, say, if there was a committee that already existed within Congress charged with handling budgetary issues. A House Budget Committee, perhaps.

    Boehm's argument applies equally well to calls for a Constitutional "balanced budget amendment". The amendment process is cumbersome, requiring supermajorities and state ratifications. Wouldn't it be simpler to … y'know … just pass a balanced budget?

  • Good to remember. Nathanael Blake points out: Jew-Haters Loathe All Of Western Civilization, Not Just Israel.

    Jew-hatred in the West used to arise from viewing Jews as outsiders, aliens within Western civilization, “rootless cosmopolitans” as the old slander put it. Now, Jews are hated because they are identified with Western civilization.

    As my Ethics and Public Policy Center colleague Devorah Goldman recently observed, “Jews are treated on the left as patriarchal oppressors, virtually indistinguishable from whites/Christians/Westerners.” And so large swaths of the left now traffic in Jew-hatred because the left’s fundamental impulse is civilizational patricide — rage against their own culture and a longing to destroy it.

    This hatred for the West and those identified with it explains why leftists are not bothered by the inconsistencies of their support for radical Islamists. It might seem odd that there are so many self-proclaimed feminists and queers cheering for Hamas, especially because one need not like Israel, or even Jews in general, to recognize that Hamas is a genocidal death cult that should be destroyed. But the left’s ideological imperatives push them to side against whomever they perceive as more white, Western, and Christian, which in this case are the Jews and Israel.

    Further fun read, from our favorite Hamas cheerleader, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein: her minor effort toward civilizational patricide, the Decolonising Science Reading List.

  • Myself, I kind of like Spector's wall-of-crap. Professor Jacobs on stuff he's heard: sound and effects. It's about George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album:

    There’s an excerpt from an interview with Harrison during which he remarks on his dismay when he first heard Phil Spector’s production of “Wah-Wah”: “I hated it.” Then, he says, he got used to it, came to like it. But at another moment in the documentary, the engineer Ken Scott, who participated in the making of All Things Must Pass, talks about getting together with Harrison thirty years later to work on an anniversary edition of the album. They sat down to listen to it and simply laughed out loud at how bad it sounded. The interviewer didn’t like hearing this. He loves the sound of Spector’s production. He says it sounds contemporary. Yeah, I silently replied, contemporary crap. Compare Spector’s wall-of-crap sound with the demo that Harrison did with just his guitar and Klaus Voorman’s bass. The latter is infinitely superior.

    My musical tastes are probably not as refined as Jacobs'. But he's got a number of other recommendations for listening, see what you think.

Last Modified 2024-01-09 6:50 PM EST