Friday, October 9, 2009

ToT: Cap and Trade novel is all too realistic

Retired engineer Don Harney illustrates why the media don't usually interview retired engineers about economics. See, they are quite different skill sets.

Mr Harney spins a yarn about awful things resulting from a hypothetical cap-and-trade system, and concludes that instituting one would be just awful. This is how a retired engineer does economic research: by "writing a novel" in his head.

An economist, or dare I say anyone with a working brain, would do the research by looking at existing systems empirically. Like all of Europe, which has been trading emission credits since 2005 following a three-year test in the UK.

The results have been mixed, depending largely on how the credits are allocated, but the criticisms of the program include nothing like what Mr Harney writes in his imaginary novel.

You'd think the editors, in considering this piece for Talk of the Town status, might evaluate it for its possible value to the readers. But apparently talking straight out of your ass about something the editor reflexively doesn't like is enough to get you a column in the Courier. I know, maybe we could just mentally slug these as Talk of My Ass instead.

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