February 09, 2017

To better help the environment and fight inequality, get rid of the profiteers, and give the citizens the incentives

Sir, after a price increase of 6.000% last year, gasoline is currently being sold a US$ 1 cent per liter in Venezuela, a country in which people are dying because of lack of food and medicines. Can you imagine how much better it would be to sell that gasoline at international prices, and perhaps even adding some carbon taxes to it, and then share out the new revenues obtained among all Venezuelans? I have been fighting for such a solution for soon two decades.

That is why I jump of joy reading Ed Crooks’ report about a proposal in the US for “a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, starting at $40 per tonne, with all the revenue recycled in dividends paid back to the public.” It is being introduced by the "Climate Leadership Council" “Republican grandees propose carbon tax” February 9.

In May 2016 you also kindly published a letter of mine in which I proposed something similar as a tool to fight pollution in Mexico. 

I pray the referred to proposal gets to be approved in the US. It would set up a great example for the world on how one can effectively align the fights against environmental damages and against inequality. It would serve as a great appetizer for a Universal Basic Income scheme.

That said we could reasonably assume that, since it reduces the value of their franchises, the usual green movements and redistribution profiteers will fight it tooth and nail.

PS. Venezuela’s domestic gasoline prices should in fact be considered a violation of economic human rights, but I have found little interest, for instance in OAS, for pursuing such matter.