Harvard Prof: Use Carbon Charge Revenue to Pay Citizens Dividend
|November 30, 2013||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
This 2013 excerpt of “What It Will Take to Counter Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight against Global Warming”, January, is by Theda Skocpol of Harvard University; prepared for the Symposium on THE POLITICS OF AMERICA’S FIGHT AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING, co-sponsored by the Columbia School of Journalism and the Scholars Strategy Network, Feb 14. Skocpol has been called one of the top political scientists in the US.
Cap and dividend has the clear potential to launch reinforcing feedback loops as well, attracting voter support and enhancing the leverage of the businesses and reform organizations that have an interest in completing America’s transition to a green economy.
But for strategists who suspect that more of the same kind of politics will not work, cap and dividend approaches hold the possibility of constructing a new political movement in the next few years. A carefully organized drive for cap and dividend might well bring together environmental advocates, green businesses, and many unions and citizen associations to support the enactment of carbon-emissions caps and the subsequent ratcheting-up of the tax levels to ensure that the United States completes a transition to a green economy, with ordinary citizens reaping economic benefits along the way.
Values and moral vision would inspire action, of course, but so would pocketbook payoffs for most families and future-oriented businesses.
Ed. Notes: Having the people get the revenue rather than the politicians get it might avoid creating any constituency for the carbon tax or fee. While a majority of politicians might want more carbon emissions in order to swell the funds they get to spend, would a majority of the public likewise want more alteration of the atmospheres and the calamities that go with it?
Practical politics aside, when people get paid a dividend then they get compensated, at least monetarily, for having to endure a degraded world. People do have a right to a planet in a healthy condition. Earth’s health — plus her worth — are our common heritage.
Back to practical politics … Since the dividend can get a carbon charge passed — as it did in British Columbia — shouldn’t advocates for land taxes or Land Dues or land-use fees also advocate for a dividend in order to get a majority of voters to accept their favorite levy? You’d think so but in the world of politics — which attracts true-believers of every stripe — you never know.