Have you ever heard of Kip’s Law? It’s this: “Every advocate of central planning always – always – envisions himself as the central planner.” Kip’s Law is the only reason I can think of why good people get co-opted into supporting bad ideas. Now the government is trying to co-opt you. Don’t fall for it.
I am referring of course to the new task force that has been appointed to “provide recommendations to the government on targeting investments in climate technology to help transition to a lower-carbon economy.” I am sure the five members of this committee are smart, well-meaning people: there are representatives from big energy, small energy, agriculture, indigenous business and environmental consulting. They’ll be giving the government advice on how to spend some $3.4 billion raised through the carbon tax. No doubt if you asked them, they’d all say they can do this, just like any confident central planner would. Kip’s Law, remember?
Government’s obviously have short memories. What is it voters hate so much about government? What is it that causes voters to turf out a government that has been in power too long?
It is always – always – when politicians invite special interests to worm their way into the corridors of power to hoover up your hard-earned tax dollars form of grants, subsidies and graft. I don’t blame businesses for this; I blame politicians. If the government is offering billions of dollars in free money a business owner would be crazy not to try and get some of it steered his way. After all, if he doesn’t get it, his competitor will.
The way a business gets money in a free market is they have the best idea so they are able to attract private investors, or they have the best product at the best price so they are able to attract customers, or both.
Businesses that get government grants may not have either, but they almost always have the best lobbyists. That spells trouble for taxpayers.
History is littered with failed government corporate welfare experiments. Just because it is the NDP that is now doing it and it is dressed up in the language of “green”, it doesn’t make it any less likely that it will be a boondoggle. This task force is just another example of crony capitalism at work. It’s just a different set of cronies.
There is only one smart way to redeploy the billions of dollars that will be generated by the Alberta Government’s carbon tax. Return it – all of it – to taxpayers in the form of rebates and tax cuts, just like they did in British Columbia. Then investors and consumers will have the money to spend on the ideas and products that they think make the most sense.
This new task force will be travelling the province in October to do “targeted” sessions (ie invite only) in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge. But they are also inviting the public to tell them what you think by emailing CTTF@gov.ab.ca.
My advice? Email the committee and tell them you want your money back.