"He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys; he may look dumb but that's just a disguise; he's a mastermind in the ways of espionage." Charlie Daniels, "Uneasy Rider" Bob Murphy in Forbes: no to "green" jobs, but otherwise? No advice - TT's Lost in Tokyo

Bob Murphy in Forbes: no to "green" jobs, but otherwise? No advice

Kudos to Robert P. Murphy for a new opinion piece dated Novermber 15 in Forbes.com regarding  "The High Costs Of 'Green Recovery'"

The biographical note appended to the piece describes Bob as "a senior economist with the Institute for Energy Research, a nonprofit foundation that applies free-market solutions to energy challenges" - but sadly, Bob's piece fails (i) to suggest what "free-market solutions" are available for energy challenges, or (ii) to argue why such free-market solutions are actually the best approaches.  While I share Bob's arguments that a federal "green" jobs program is likely to be counterproductive, I disagree with his generalizations on climate concerns. 

Bob noted the Forbes piece in his blog; I copy my below the comments I made to him there:

Congratulations, Bob, on getting into Forbes, but I must confess that it is a bit of a puzzle that even when you get the bully pulpit you decline to talk about what kinds of actions make sense as energy policy - such as how to improve the energy grid (a centralized push for local utility deregulation, so utilities might have some interest?), how to achieve political consensus on greater exploration (such as royalty checks to citizens), allowing faster depreciation, etc.

It also disappoints that you insist on engaging on climate change issues only from a heavy-handed government redistribution standpoint, while ignoring not only lack of property rights, many parties with differing views of equity, and tragedy of the commons aspects, but also ignoring the obvious superiority of carbon taxes (assuming legislators are going to choose between cap and trade and carbon taxes), which present few opportunities for rent-seeking and can be rebated to reduce the regressive effcts.

Update:  I note that Obama's campaign energy policy (the "Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan") is here; his slimmed-down outline that describes a plan with the same name is here.

Published Wed, Nov 19 2008 6:01 AM by TokyoTom