Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Robert Reich agrees

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich agrees with Mankiw regarding the carbon policy proposals of both Obama and McCain.

Though Mankiw quotes McCain saying that perhaps an auction could occur "over time," Reich gives him less benefit of a doubt. The latter uses rhetoric that cites common property rights, i.e. "our atmosphere belongs to all of us," and also cites the fantastic example of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Alaska's state government reclaims the revenues from oil produced there and invests 25% of the revenue into what is basically a mutual fund for all Alaskans. The initial investment in the fund (part of which was likely taken from a bonus received by the government upon initially leasing the oilfields) was $734,000, and it has grown to a roughly $40 billion trust fund. Citizens are given a dividend payment each year from this trust fund; last year it reached $1654. The fund is a means to represent that the land of Alaska is common property, and as it is used or depreciated by anyone, the rent should benefit all owners.

No comments:

Post a Comment