Carbon Tax Club?
By Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw asks everyone to join what he calls The Pigou Club, by which he means economists who favor carbon taxes or gasoline taxes. The idea is that instead of taxing stuff that we want more of–work, saving, risk-bearing–we should tax stuff we want less of–carbon dioxide emissions.
I would join, but I also think that the Pigou Club ought to be looking at subsidies to eliminate that would have the same effect. Examples might include local regulations that distort land use in favor of parking places, subsidies for agriculture or other energy-intensive industries, and so on.
Also, I do not think that economists ought to be bullied into believing in human-caused global warming. Paying a big carbon tax “just in case” is sort of like an agnostic making a big contribution to a church “just in case.”