Monday, December 29, 2008

Mr. Jones

Two months ago, the Freakwenter received what appeared to be a well-personalized bit of spam. If you look back at that post, you may observe that I treated the sender with a unhealthy dose of irreverence, hoping to make the best of a useless situation.

Then a friend convinced me that I wanted a stainless steel canteen, so I went online and filled out the simple form on the spammer's site and forgot about it. Round about Christmas, a box arrived on my doorstep from California. The postage was in excess of $8. The box contained a beautiful stainless steel canteen and a book by one Mr. Van Jones, The Green Collar Economy, $17 on Amazon. Who would waste $25, plus a canteen, on a blogger with a friend-subsidized cumulative ad revenue of just $43, I asked myself.

Mr. Jones says that we can fix the economy and the environment by increasing government investments in green technology. If you are a run-of-the-mill environmental enthusiast, this is a fine book to get you acquainted with some issues and motivate you to become a political activist. But if you, like the Freakwenter, seek careful arguments and deep policy analysis, don't bother with this book. It reads much like I imagine the Book of Mormon or the Koran would read. Granted, I've read neither.

For the benefit of all run-of-the-mill environmental enthusiasts who don't want to read a mediocre book, I recommend simply joining the Pigou club, as I have done. Membership in this club consists of advocating higher carbon taxes, such as gasoline taxes. In one swell swoop, a carbon tax does all of the following:
  • Increases federal tax revenue, allowing for a decrease in income taxes and/or federal deficits.
  • Prompts consumers and businesses to use less fossil fuels.
  • Reduces both the price and quantity of imported oil, hence reducing our dependence on foreign energy.
  • By raising the price of energy domestically, allows "green" energy businesses to become competitive, resulting in new green-collar jobs.
  • Accomplishes all of the above in the context of a free market, rendering redundant a huge swath of existing and potential environmental regulations (such as vehicle emissions standards) and allowing for a decrease in the size of our bloated government.

4 Comments:

Blogger Persimmon Hill said...

It doesn't quite sound like "free market," this carbon tax. Still, to my small mind the idea seems pretty neat and tidy.

sk

10:43 AM  
Blogger My Freakwentness said...

More precisely, a "freer market." This raises a question of how one measures "freedom." I don't know. To have a market at all, there has to be some rules -- at least, thou shalt not steal.

5:55 PM  
Blogger KTdid said...

So did you get rid of your cell phone and buy the house in Michigan?
(that post disappeared) ks

11:08 AM  
Blogger My Freakwentness said...

the link to the Detroit house stopped working so I took down the post. maybe they sold the house?

11:39 AM  

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