Piketty Has a Good Idea

Joke: What do you call someone obsessed with income inequality? “Nit-Piketty.” (Insert rim shot here.)

But seriously folks, as we all know French neo-socialist economist Thomas Piketty electrified the left with his Capital in the 21st Century, which indeed seemed hard to distinguish in substance from Capital in the 19th Century, perhaps better known in the original German (Das Kapital).

Right now, however, Piketty has an idea I rather like—with one important modification I’ll get to shortly. I’ll let The Guardian tell it:

Air travel should be taxed to protect the world’s vulnerable from drought, flooding and sea level rise.

A €180 ($196/£130) levy on business class tickets and €20 on economy class would raise the estimated €150bn a year needed for climate adaptation.

That is one proposal by French economists Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty to address global inequalities between high-polluting individuals and the victims of climate change.

“Taxing flights is one way to target high emitting lifestyles, especially if we tax business class more than economy class,” Chancel told Climate Home.

“A tax on air tickets to finance development programs already exists in some countries. What we need is to increase its level and generalise it.”

Since the climatistas, and moreover their uberclass sympathizers, all fly business class and first class, by all means let them pay for “climate adaptation” (yes, I know, that’s just a euphemism for lining the pockets of bureaucrats and special interests, but roll with me here).

But the idea needs one significant addition: the tax on private jet travel should be especially high—at least $1,000 per flight hour (and $5,000 per flight hour if you’re Al Gore).