Thursday, June 19, 2008

Green Shift part II

I don't want anyone to imagine by my last posting that, because I criticized the Liberal Green Shift plan, I in any way agree with the Conservatives on this issue. The conservative attitude is to simply ignore the problem, give tax breaks to the rich and keep saying in the media that their plan is working even when they have no plan. I think besides providing positive incentives for people to go green, and taking an active part in developing new technologies outside of the so-called free market, the government needs to make radical new regulations on corporations like car makers. Tell Ford and GM for example that they need to have all new vehicles get 80 or 100 miles to the gallon in 5 years and that half the vehicles they produce or import have to be electric or hydrogen. They will complain and finally admit to us that they have no ability to innovate but they will get on with it if they have to. We also need absolute caps on emissions from industry. I think regulation and caps are the flip side of positive incentives. Nathan Cullen is correct when he says without absolute caps any green plan is just a shell game.

The irony of the whole think is that Harper attacks Dion's plans suggesting that they can never be revenue neutral, yet his shift in taxes just favours the corporations and the rich. Maybe the Liberal plan cannot be revenue neutral but the Conservatives have given so many tax breaks to the wealthy and they have undermined government revenue so badly that now that a recession is coming they are helpless to stop it. Herbert Hoover would be proud!

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