I find no objection to John Quiggin’s numbers, as I am no mathematician; my critique stays embedded within the fallacy of unpublicized taxation. This is excellent for raising tax revenues, though practically useless for moderating Consumption behavior. A Dollar or two Dollar Fuel Tax per gallon would be immediately noticed by Everyone, and would likely reduce Fuel consumption somewhere around 7% per Dollar, over the first three Dollars. John’s desire for 5, 12.5, and 25 cents/litre will whither Fuel Demand a potential 0.003% of total Fuel Demand, in the absence of major Fuel Cost increases (my much less influential Math; don’t mutter that Error has to be in my Name somewhere!). Do the Math yourself, and account the run-up of Fuel price and drop of current Demand. A Consumption Tax must hit Consumers in the head, in order to affect Consumer Preference Demand, the more integral the Product, the heavier the Hit; just to raise a blip on the Scope of Consumer consumption.
The World is unfair (it is called Competition), and there are Those more Accredited and Accomplished than Others; this means that Those who make $300k/year get offered Jobs making $500k/year, while the Rest of Us get to wait in the Receptionist’s Office. One may ask how this applies to the previous paragraph. Office-Seeking, like Consumption Demand, depends on a developed market; Economists and Oil Executives both being hired on the hope and desire that these Individuals maintain their previous high level of performance upon Transfer. Felix concentrates on Federal Reserve Directors, a much less competitive position with less Benefit and Pay, and a extremely large ability to destroy Prestige by association with failed Policies adopted by the total Federal Reserve Board. Bailing Out of the Job would appear to be more likely under conditions of general disagreement with Board policy; where failed Policy humiliation contains the greatest threat to personal Prestige.
I sometimes worry for Mark Thoma, though I had a similar Upbringing; Thank God that there is a Statue of Limitations to Juvenile mischief. I will not even bring up the Issue of Drinking and Driving, else MADD will condemn Us both! I was luckier than Mark at the Time, growing up on a Farm, and with a generous father: he paid me at relative Minimum Wage rates for Working on the farm (no Rent charged, but I had to buy most of my own stuff). I relate this information to express the Market practice which alters Social practice over Time, Mark and I would be committed to Substance Abuse Counseling today. It creates Problems, new Ones which have to be resolved as was Our Drinking, the greatest fear today been Overeating, by Child expenditure of total Allowance on Food with little Entertainment–leading to cultural pounding down the Calories. Students should recognize that Market Conditions affect the Social Setting, and raise alternate Causes of Concern. lgl