Belaboring the Obvious

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

As one of the deeply unserious people...

... in this country, it's probably not fair to the deeply serious elite and the Villagers of Washington, DC, to even ask this question, but, I will, anyway: if the powerful in society were capable of manipulating the entire government regulatory and financial systems to benefit the modern-day counterparts of pirates and privateers and nearly brought down the entire economy in the process, then what's to prevent the same thieves and reprobates from gaming a carbon emissions cap and trade system, since hedge funds and derivatives traders are already licking their chops in anticipation of all the cash that's going to pass through their hands, from which they can subtract a chunk?

And, as a follow-up question, if the cap-and-trade system implodes as the financial system did, or has the effect (as mortgage trading did) of hollowing out the trading banks, will the taxpayers be expected to make the system whole again?

I won't even ask how the government expects to fund cutting-edge energy research by giving away initially large allotments to the major emitters. Nor would I even dare ask why there's even one person still saying that this "market-based approach" will work better than a tax, after the "free market" has cost the taxpayers trillions in tax revenues, lost real estate value and 401(k) net worth due to unprecedented levels of greed and bad judgment among the people controlling the "free market."

Nor would I even think of suggesting that the carbon credits should be distributed among the people at the bottom of the consumer pile--the end users--who will inevitably have to pay the passed-through additional costs of carbon trading, so that their individual contributions to reducing carbon footprint are rewarded, instead of just being penalized less.

But, then, that's just me. Others aren't nearly so polite....


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