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Green Tax Shift





ProfessorY91
I came across an interesting comic on reddit today, which I wholeheartedly support. This is generally what I thought should happen, in very simplistic terms, presented without really providing feasibility. The idea is great; tax "bad green behaviors" and thereby create an incentive for corporations / industry to continue to maximize profit by gravitating towards green production.

I'm pretty sure someone will have a convincing argument for why this wouldn't work / why this isn't feasible within the constraints of current government policy. (And the same would apply outside the US as well). I'd like to hear opinions.

As a side experiment, I'm wondering how many people actually frequent forums other than General Chat.

Alternate Mirror for Comic.
Original Source (Credited to): http://www.recombinantrecords.net/2010/12/06/green-tax-shift/
Bondings
This is one of those things that will obviously become reality in the future, the only problem is the timing and the adoption of this system by most countries in the world.

Anyway, I have two things to add.

The first being that this is partly implemented in a lot of countries already or at least being talked about. A lot of countries are already taxing the easiest forms of pollution/waste.

Secondly, the problems with these kind of systems is that a lot of the polluting industry will move out to poorer countries without those taxes/regulations, like African and Asian countries. A lot of toxic waste is even being dumped in some countries in exchange for some pennies. These kind of things are already happening because those countries don't have the security laws, waste management and other things that are standard in Western countries.
deanhills
ProfessorY91 wrote:
The idea is great; tax "bad green behaviors" and thereby create an incentive for corporations / industry to continue to maximize profit by gravitating towards green production.
It is an excellent idea, but I wonder how tricky it would be to define "bad green behaviours"? For example, what is bad for countries in Western Europe may be quite OK for the US and more than OK for China.
ProfessorY91
Quote:
Secondly, the problems with these kind of systems is that a lot of the polluting industry will move out to poorer countries without those taxes/regulations, like African and Asian countries. A lot of toxic waste is even being dumped in some countries in exchange for some pennies. These kind of things are already happening because those countries don't have the security laws, waste management and other things that are standard in Western countries.


Those are definitely potential ramifications. Couldn't legislation be passed which includes a clause for keeping toxic waste / pollutants localized to the countries they export to? I also assume that once an effort garners international attention, these consequences would be increasingly difficult to hide.

I'm definitely for the US joining the effort to tax the most common forms of pollution. The heavier the tax the more invested we'll be in alternative sources of energy / greener forms of energy.

Quote:
I wonder how tricky it would be to define "bad green behaviours"?


I'm certain that this is something that will be haggled over, but I'm not entirely sure I follow the point. Polluting in excess of a certain amount (determined by how fast the environment can replenish itself, and other factors like offsetting by reforestation) is a bad green behavior. As is burying nuclear waste, etc. Any environmentalist or scientist, and I'm sure there will be many, can act as the whistle blower for whatever policy is enacted.

In other unrelated side notes, I've concluded my side experiment. The founder himself posted on one of my few threads outside of General Chat. Smile Policy works.
deanhills
ProfessorY91 wrote:
Quote:
I wonder how tricky it would be to define "bad green behaviours"?


I'm certain that this is something that will be haggled over, but I'm not entirely sure I follow the point. Polluting in excess of a certain amount (determined by how fast the environment can replenish itself, and other factors like offsetting by reforestation) is a bad green behavior. As is burying nuclear waste, etc. Any environmentalist or scientist, and I'm sure there will be many, can act as the whistle blower for whatever policy is enacted.

In other unrelated side notes, I've concluded my side experiment. The founder himself posted on one of my few threads outside of General Chat. Smile Policy works.
What I meant was globally, not domestically. As of course each country usually decides what the excess will be. And that excess can differ from Europe to China. Countries would first have to agree what those limits should be, and who should be bearing the cost attached to keeping to those limits.
Afaceinthematrix
Right now, green products are often more expensive than normal products. Most people buy normal products to protect their wallets. I will try and buy greener products when I can just to cut back on waste. Some companies will advertise on the basis of making green products and hope that people will buy them. What a tax may do is bring the prices to about equal levels so that people buy the greener products. However, I really don't know if this will work because some companies may just pass on the greater expense to their employees by cutting their pay, benefits, etc.

But the existence of a green tax in all developed countries is definitely something that I see happening in the very near future. There are already taxes like this on companies that do certain practices. There are also reverse taxes on opposite things such as tax breaks if you drive a hybrid, if the insulate your home properly, etc.

The biggest problem here is the problem that everyone else has mentioned about production leaving to countries where there is no regulation. I guess the best solution for that would be to tax the hell out of them when they come back. But I do not see that going over well...

We'll have to see how this goes...
standready
May be a tax would work better than the fines our government imposes on polluters now. Many companies pay the fines because that cost less than the equipment to clean up their act.

Who's pocket does those fines end up in?
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