B.C.'s Carbon Tax: A Regressive Hoax
The editorial in the current issue of Canadian Dimension magazine (May/June 2008) H.L. Mencken once wrote, "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." British Columbia's recently announced carbon tax is a case in point. It won't reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and it will have no impact on global warming — but it will hurt working people and the poor. According to carbon-tax advocates, greenhouse gases are growing because emissions are free: corporations and consumers don't pay when they use the atmosphere as a carbon waste dump. By imposing a price on products that produce CO2 and related gases, a carbon tax will cause consumers and corporations to adopt low-emission products or technology. Presto! Free-market magic works again! Even the most committed defenders of carbon taxes agree that this kind of tax will only work if two conditions are met: The tax must be high enough to cause buyers to switch to alternatives, and there must be alternatives