Leftist Economist Joseph Stiglitz, coming to Australia to collect the human rights activist “Sydney Peace Prize”, is not the only dreamer urging a carbon tax for Australia and proclaiming that climate change was not a liberal conspiracy.
As Chris Kenny notes the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) are also virtue signalling their support for such economy-crushing measures. Oblivious to the fact that the carbon suppression agenda is really only confined to the sclerotic EU, 50 per cent of them put it as the major issue confronting the economy. It’s as though they are cocooned in a world that has never heard of Donald Trump’s rejection of the Paris Agreement or the fact that China and India will at best look to join it a dozen years hence!
While many of the AICD respondents may have expertise in how to make businesses operate profitably, they clearly are bereft of political and general economic skills.
It may well be that the company directors’ stumping up for a carbon tax and other measures designed to subsidise renewables is based on their corporate interests, since so many firms have punted, willingly or unwillingly, for renewable “investments” along with the subsidies without which none of the investments would be profitable. Any movement to withdraw these subsidies will likely be a precursor for the rescinding of the rorts already granted and this will not look good on balance sheets.
Although the electorate is often also over-obsessed with climate change and its corollary of poverty inducement and high household electricity costs, most people are better grounded on what affects their interests. The AICD virtue-signalling may well be self-interested but Essential has found that only 7 per cent of respondents among the general pubic put climate change and support for renewable subsidies as the key issue facing them; only 20 per cent placed it in the top three. In terms of importance climate change may be dominant among the chattering classes but does not come in the top seven for ordinary folk.
Here are the Essential results.
There is a political message in this, though the Morrison Government seems keener on trying to minimise its differences with the ALP and the Greens, perhaps because so much of the Liberal Party is under the patronage of the Photios “moderate” wing. Based on polling of real people, not only would going the Full Trump be good for the economy but it would, properly sold, be a major electoral positive.