… is the closing paragraph of Ron Bailey’s excellent 2013 article “Can a Carbon Tax Solve Man-Made Global Warming?” (links added):
In 1988, [Nobel laureate economist Ronald] Coase argued, “The fact that governmental intervention also has its costs makes it very likely that most ‘externalities’ should be allowed to continue if the value of production is to be maximized.” Considering how well governments afflicted by political conflicts of interest, chronic corruption, and inherent incompetence can be expected to execute a carbon tax, global warming is likely just such an externality.
DBx: Just as it is unscientific to ignore ‘externalities’ and other imperfections that exist in market settings, it is unscientific to ignore ‘externalities’ and other imperfections that exist in political settings. Put differently, just as the ability to describe, scientifically, on paper how splendidly markets function when all conditions are ideal is no reason to believe that in reality markets function in the ideal way described on paper, the ability to describe, scientifically, on paper how splendidly governments function when all conditions are ideal is no reason to believe that in reality governments function in the ideal way described on paper. As Ron Bailey explains in the article from which the above quotation is taken, many sound reasons exists to believe that any real-world regime of carbon taxes will be designed and implemented in ways that inflict net damage on humanity. At the very least, to dismiss as unscientific or ideological those who argue as Ron argues is to exhibit strong evidence of a disposition that is itself unscientific or excessively ideological.
(Pictured above is Ronald Coase.)