"Cap and Trade, as envisioned by Godman Sachs, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues... cap and trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax-collection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: it allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before its even collected."
Matt Taibi, Rolling Stone
Cap and trade is overly-complicated and byzantine to say the least and, worse, easily subject to corruption and private profiteering from within a necessary public interest and mission. Its a huge mistake.
My alternative, suggested several years ago, was to enable a regime of Distance Tariffs. In short, fossil-fuel delivered products pay at the port of destination based on the miles traveled from producer to market.
The forced "free trade" regime, however, which has already devasted First World nations and standards, also contributes greatly to, and even maximizes, fossil-fuel climate damage. Today boatloads and planeloads of "goods" arrive from distant countries and compete with local produced goods which have a fraction of the pollution-to-market costs.
Yet there is no offset here. In other words, products which travel 10,000 mles to market compete on the same level as those that travel 50 or 100 miles to market. In this way we subsidize the greater polluter, the greater slave, and the greater human rights violator. Maximum idiocy.
Distance tariffs in a rational trade regime can applied by all countries that import goods. The amounts can be set to carbon-mile measures and universally applied. The benefit is that is offsets the advantage of the long distance producer and, depending upon tariff amounts, local producers will gain back some benefit against importers. In effect, it is akin to a simple carbon tax, easily and fairly applied, by all nations, to all exporters.
The benefits are many-fold. It acts to increase competition and manufacturing in many more locals, thus increasing a greater diversity of products. It increases local middle-class employment and benefit gains, and we also offset global oligarchy and oligopoly (the very worst of worlds) as we re-write pollution deficient GATT-WTO rules.
Aside from its oligarchic and undemocratic structure, the idiocy of the GATT-WTO regime is that it rewards the greater slave and the greater polluter. It maximizes climate damage by greatly increasing and effectively rewarding the long distance shipment of goods. It is a criminally-deficient regime in many respects, and yet one still embraced by ruling-elite book-licking "economists" determined to embrace the global gulag of forced interdependency and maximum climate damage... at any costs.
Many advocates for environmental sanity see the numerous problems with cap and trade schemes. They are undemocratic "because it allows entrenched polluters, market designers, and commodity traders to determine whether and where to reduce greenhouse gases and co-pollutant emissions without allowing impacted communities or governments to participate in those decisions."
They also see simple carbon taxes as a much better alternative. In effect, an across-the-board tax on carbon to stimulate pollution reductions from all sources would not only be fairer, but would be more effective in stopping climate change and economic in-efficiency in this regard.
Distance Tariffs fit this bill.
As usual, however, Congress is out of the loop and appears befooled by this "cap and trade" bill, one upon which a 300 page addendum was added the day before passage. When "our" representatives vote for bills they don't read or understand, and are prevented by their leadership from reading or thoroughly debating, the world is doomed to death by corruption something we're already experiencing in spades.
Thanks Congress! Now it is up to the senate to scuttle this corrupt regime best described as yet another rape of the taxpayers.
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