Or perhaps I should say that there are taxes which do less damage and taxes which do more. My interest being piqued by two stories in the papers. The first is businesspeople complaining loudly about business rates:
Yes, yes, I know, I become ever more tedious on this subject. Yet it still is true that if we are to believe that climate change is happening, that it is indeed something we must do about and further, that it is us causing the problem, then the answer is a carbon tax at that social cost of carbon emissions (more accurately, CO2-e).
I'm often amused by people breathlessly reporting something that we would expect to be true. You know the sort of thing, capitalists pursue profits and so on. Here it's the idea that China might clean up some of the pollution it emits because people don't like seeing their children choke on the stuff.
It's quite extraordinary the way in which Marianna Mazzucato, in her book The Entrepreneurial State, uses the example of the iPhone as proof that it's really the State that is the entrepreneur. Here's Owen Jones taking the argument for a walk:
Last time around that we had some vast economic disaster we ended up with the conventional wisdom being that fiscal policy was everything and that, as Keynes pointed out, governments should just spend more in fiscal stuimulus and she'll be right. As Friedman and Schwartz then went on to point out this wasn't quite so. The real cause of the Great Depression was not the stock market crash but the monetary response to it. The Fed rather screwing up by allowing the money supply to fall.