All right kids, I have work to do so I will leave this as an exercise for the class. At least one person here is being a moron. In response to someone saying that the government ought to tax bads (like carbon emissions) rather than goods (like income), a cynic says:
I know there's plenty of tongue in cheek going on here, but this is truly the reductio ad absurdum that disproves the Pigou Club. The Government is put in charge of deciding what is good and what is bad. I do not trust them that far.
Then Mike Moffatt says:
What the writer fails to realize is the deciding what is good and bad is exactly what government does. Every government decision naturally involves some subjective ethical decision. What the author is advocating here is not some limited government libertarian fantasy - he is advocating for anarchy. (emphasis original)
And then Moffatt trots out the murder example: "If you object to governments deciding what is right and wrong, how can you possibly support laws against murder?"
This of course is just a response to the more general maxim, "You can't legislate morality," which often comes up in drug legalization debates. The pro-prohibition person then says, "Sure we legislate morality all the time."
My gut reaction is that Moffatt is dead wrong; even if you are a minarchist, your theory of government certainly is NOT, "We let politicians decide what is right and wrong." It's wrong to swear at your grandma or cheat on your spouse; that doesn't mean the government should levy a Pigovian tax on such behavior.
But is the other side wrong too? I don't think so, but since I agree with them in the specific issue maybe I'm biased. I.e., since presumably the cynic I quoted above is not an anarchist, and since he thinks the government ought to ban some things that are wrong, is he overstepping when he says he doesn't trust the politicians to pick what is right and wrong?
(HT2EE. Incidentally, you might want to check the link out. Lots of libertarian bashing going on over there. Speaking of which, is Crash Landing the Pakistani training camp for libertarian Net warriors? Is Gene the Osama...oh wait, Osama was financially successful.)
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