In the Tuesday Wall Street Journal, Professor Alan Blinder wrote of his puzzlement at the very slow growth of productivity in the last three years. There is really no mystery. The rate of growth of investment in...
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- Scientist Proposes Discouraging Meat Consumption with New...
Scientist Proposes Discouraging Meat Consumption with New Tax
Tax historian and expert Joseph Thorndike comments in Forbes today on a new scientific study urging reduced meat consumption to address global climate change. The scientists venture outside their wheelhouse for a rather unimaginative solution: use the tax code to punish meat purchases with a hefty new tax.
We can all dream up things we’d like to tax out of existence. Like sugary sodas. Or excessive antibiotic use. Or inequality. All these tax innovations have something to be said for them. (Although I find many — and especially those on food products — to be unforgivably regressive, paternalistic, and haphazard.)
But sin taxes — or to use the more dispassionate and technical term, Pigouvian taxes — have a serious problem. They complicate the principal function of a tax system: raising money to pay for government.
He's absolutely right. Read the full column here.
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