Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Cow Tax

Agricultural blogs and lobbyists are busy condemning a "cow tax" being considered by the Environment Protection Agency. See here and here and here. I tried looking for the original EPA document but it was taking to long. Derivative articles said the tax would be be $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head for beef cattle and a little more than $20 per pig.

Agricultural industries are condemning the tax, of course, as any industry opposes government action that hurts it and favors government action that benefits it. I'm told that people and professors are the same way.

However, if you think that global warming is a problem we must confront, and if you believe in capitalism, you should not oppose the cow tax. No champion of capitalism believes taxpayers should help firms pay for their cost of production. If a firm cannot sell a good for more than it costs them to produce, they should not be in business. If firms should pay the cost of the labor they use, they should also pay the cost of the pollution they emit. That includes pollution from cows, if such pollution exists.

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