Friday, February 09, 2007


No proper economist wants to be left out of the Pigou Club.

Today's WSJ reports: "Economists Back Fossil-Fuel Tax To Spur Alternative Energies ... most of them say that the best way to do so is one Mr. Bush isn't proposing: putting a tax on fossil fuels. Forty of 47 economists who answered the question in the monthly survey said that the government should help champion alternative fuels."

It's a trifecta. Market signals are enhanced. Sinners are punished. Politicians get more money.

The first appears in every textbook. The second is the part most students (and some others) like best. The third gets much too little attention.

But I just noticed that the Marginal Revolution folks had already suggested the Pigou-Brennan-Buchanan Club. In a nutshell, drug legalization proponents claim that it would deliver more open, responsible and supervised use. So no more heroin (no new tax revenues) for the junkies (politicians) until there are rules on supervised use (spending).