In the first two parts of this series, I discussed the reasons why both conservatives and progressives should love a carbon tax, and why many of each political persuasion do. In this third installment, I take up the more difficult case of libertarians.
There is no way that a good libertarian could love a
carbon tax, or any tax, for that matter. Classical liberal principles
hold that the state should play a role in economic affairs only when
there are problems that cannot feasibly be handled in the private sector.
Even those who support a role for the state in, say, criminal justice
or national defense, do so only reluctantly. They secretly pine for a
libertarian utopia like that in Robert Henlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, where even those functions were the responsibility of the marketplace.
I think it is possible to make as good a case that libertarians should
support a carbon tax as that they should endorse a government role in
courts or the military. Here are some reasons why. >>> Read more