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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Clive Crook's theft of reason

Clive Crook said: "On grounds of economic efficiency, the case for a bigger gas tax is unassailable."

BS - political rhetoric

I've seen pro gas taxers (yes, I still refuse to improperly call you pigovians because I think Pigou, if he were still alive, would be against this gas tax idea too) make some reasoned arguments for a gas tax. But, there are equally (and in my opinion more persuasive) strong arguments against such a tax increase. So to say that "a schedule" of gas tax increases will DEFINATELY be efficient (or, rather, more efficient than other alternatives previously discussed)is ridiculous and shameful.

Many posters on Mankiw's blog have debated these issues and then try to back their ideas up with theory or empirical evidence. Clive Crook just says it; it must therefore be so?

And beyond that, as I mentioned in a recent post last week, it is a mistake that economists continue to make when they detach efficiency from equity. When economists and 'thinkers' push (ignore) the problem of equity onto other fields, it leads to these kinds of black-and-white, rhetoric-filled statements.

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