Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some Debate!

I was supposed to debate Ken Malloy last week at the Atlas Economic Research Institute conference in Canada. I had been assured he hated my ideas. He favored some sort of energy tax, apparently. So I had been told.

But he came up to me at the opening cocktail party the evening before a debate. Says he: "I really hated your proposal when I first heard it. But when I ran it through my analytical model†, it scored extremely high in nearly all parameters. That made me re-consider. You really hoist some sacred cows on their own petard in a very interesting way. I now think your green energy tax cuts idea is one of the most innovative energy policy proposals I have heard in years."

Wow, thanks Ken! Never had a debate go down quite like that before...

Ken still does not like one aspect of my proposal: he says it distorts markets. However, he favors a carbon tax, which in my views, distorts markets even more, and also imposes economy-wide deadweight loss. But that debate, it seems, will have to wait until another day.

†Ken has developed a tool for analyzing eco/energy policy proposals he calls "The Ecoviergy Index."