Loose Ends (53)

Elizabeth Warren is the gift that keeps on giving:

But running a close second is this theme from the left, as is expressed in this tweet by a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin:

You can see why political “science” is in such trouble these days. Law professor David Bernstein makes quick work of this stupidity:

Though I have to say, runner-up in the stupid tweet-take department has to be this one:

Remind me again who the Hispanic candidate was in that race? Oh yeah . . . the guy named Cruz. The other guy was whiter than the inside of a snowball. Oh, and how do you “beard” an argument? Is this some kind of new hipster talent I haven’t heard of?

Echoing what I said yesterday about how environmental initiatives mostly failed at the ballot Tuesday, Tyler Cowan writes that the carbon tax is dead:

Often the most important results of any election come in the initiatives and referendums. And one striking result from Tuesday’s election is that voters in Washington state, a Democratic stronghold, soundly rejected a proposed carbon tax by a margin of 56 to 44 percent. This raises the prospect that the carbon tax may be dead as a policy for the time being, including at the state level. As my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Liam Denning writes: “We can debate the magnitude of the vaunted blue wave, but there was definitely no green wave.” . . .

I don’t view the unpopularity of the carbon tax as merely reflecting the influence of special interests. The American people apparently feel that government ought to be able to solve this problem without imposing a new tax burden on them.

For all the talk about disillusionment and cynicism in American politics, this view represents a strange kind of optimism. If this issue really is so important, some voters must be thinking, surely you politicians can find a way to solve it without making us pay for everything. Don’t we give you enough money already?

Economists should not give up our analytical arguments for a carbon tax. But maybe it’s time for a change in tactics. These new approaches might start with the notion that we can address climate change without transferring more money from voters to politicians.

I like Tyler’s work a lot, but in this last point he is simply naive: raising taxes is the main point for many climatistas. Fixing a crisis without expanding government is no fun at all. I hope Tom Steyer keeps spending millions on behalf of such initiatives. Someday he’ll run out of money.

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