The View From 1776
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Green Myth
Obama’s obsession with green energy is akin to taking the Harry Potter stories as descriptions of reality.
The bottom line on all government planning in the economic realm: if it made any sense, private, profit-seeking entrepreneurs would long ago have implemented it. If it can’t survive without government subsidies or tax penalties imposed on existing technology, then it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Brazil’s “success” with sugar cane ethanol, for example, is possible only because the government imposes a huge tax on petroleum-based fuel to make ethanol competitive.
Economics is about effective use of scarce resources; wasting them is uneconomic. To the extent that people are compelled to pay more for “green” boondoggles, they have less to spend on far more essential things such as food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare.