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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

RE: [LPplatform-discuss] Environmental Kuznets Curves and Pigovian Taxes

Kevin Bjornson wrote:

BH) as soon as you stray from the ZAPsolutist principle of restitution for particular aggressions proven in tort-like proceedings, you're off the ZAPsolutist reservation and into the grownup world of prior restraint and probabilistic judgments -- things that ZAPsolutists complain are just as bad as any kind of tax. (BH

KB) There is no basis in fact for assuming that courts would issue judgments more accurate than laws passed by congress and enforced by the executive branch. (KB

You're not hearing my argument, and I don't really have time to try harder to explain it to you.  The ZAPsolutist argument is that only zero pollution taxes is guaranteed never to over-fine anyone.  If you're willing to accept that some people get fined a little too much but that the delta is so small as to not offend the ZAP, then you're simply not a ZAPsolutist, and we're apparently in violent agreement of some kind.

KB) No fine is ever going to match the aggression perfectly; that would be cosmic justice. (KB

The ZAPsolutist argument doesn't claim that court proceedings are always perfect.  It just says that it's unjust to write a law that is guaranteed to over-fine some people, whereas with court proceedings there is in principle a mechanism to calibrate the fine in every individual case.

KB) The NAP/ZAP needs to be applied correctly. Rothbard has distorted the ideology. (KB

The "Z" in ZAP stands for "zero".  I agree that ZAPsolutists have distorted the concept of opposing aggression, but I don't agree that they've distorted the concept of zero.  If "non" for you doesn't mean "none", and "zero" for you doesn't mean complete absence, then I'm just going to welcome you as not a ZAP proponent, and bow out of this discussion.  For anybody else I might try to persuade them not to use terms in such non-standard ways, but I know better than to try that with you. :-)

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