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.


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.


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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