we should aim to tax the bad things (noise, gasoline, trash, violent crime, evil foreign dictators) and untax the good things (homegrown profits, employment, innovation).To which Three Sources responds:
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.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. I will explain with an example:
Take four actors: Two individuals A and B, a government G, and taxpayer T.
A murders B and is found guilty in a trial. Goverment G throws individual A into prison. Both the prison and the trial are paid for by taxpayer T.
There are at least three "good or bad" decisions on rights here:
- Though shalt not kill. Or specifically the government has determined that the right for B not to be murdered trumps the right of A to go around stabbing people in the neck.
- The government G can take away the rights of A based on an incident between A and B.
- The government G can confiscate money from T because of what A did to B - a situation which had absolutely nothing to do with T.