April 17, 2011

TAX WHAT YOU DON'T WANT:

PODCAST: Can Taxes Be Green?: Could taxing environmental ills prove more of a solution to pollution than dilution? (David Biello, 4/17/11, Scientific American)

[S]tarting with Arthur Pigou in the early 20th century, economists have argued that if we really want less of something then we should make it cost more, not hide it in a public good like the atmosphere. How? Taxes!

For example, if we want less odorless, colorless carbon dioxide billowing into the air from coal-fired power plants and vehicle tailpipes, then a tax should cause people to cut down on this undesirable activity. The most common examples of this method are probably the various "sin" taxes put on things like alcohol or tobacco. A pollution sin tax could also offset current taxes, such as income tax.

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Posted by at April 17, 2011 10:27 AM
  

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