Former Sightline coauthor, current stand-up economist and all-around stand up guy Yoram Bauman has a new book out—The Cartoon Introduction to Economics. Big deal, you say? Well, it is a big deal: not only is it a fun and readable introduction to the subject, it’s one of the few introductory economic texts around that extols carbon taxes. Yay, carbon taxes!! Click on the thingamajig below to read the key chapter.
Notice, of course, that Yoram makes a point that’s fairly obvious to economists, but seems difficult for some folks to grasp:
Cap-and-trade sounds very different from a pollution tax, but in fact they’re practically identical.
Here, here. There are differences, to be sure, and people can have legitimate disagreements about which system is “better.” But a lot of the sound and fury in the carbon-taxes-vs.-cap-and-trade brouhaha results from a mistaken belief that they’re fundamentally different systems. They’re not: both can be effective, fair and efficient ways to reduce carbon emissions, or ineffective duds. It’s the other details—schedules, targets, loopholes, how revenue is used, and so forth—that can make or break either system.
And while you’re at it, check out Yoram’s appearance on the PBS NewsHour last week, or just see the video below…
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