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June 25, 2008

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» Taxing the "bad things" from Knowledge Problem
Michael Giberson Greg Mankiw called it "the Pigou Club in a Nutshell", quoting the following from Tim Kane: we should aim to tax the bad things (noise, gasoline, trash, violent crime, evil foreign dictators) and untax the good things (homegrown... [Read More]

Comments

Tim,

The market, fortunately, hath already provided -- ear plugs. As for talking in the street to one of your friends, learn sign language or text message them.

Sure, it stinks that other people make you carry the burden of their noisiness, but I think it's ultimately cheaper than starting an altercation. Trying to go after the propagation of sound waves is eerily (pardon the pun) like King Canute ill-fated attack on real waves.

More to the point, how would you ever enforce a noise tax anyways?

I know a librarian or two, who might be of assistance...

How about the Hayek club? What's wrong with the government issuing tradeable permits to deal with negative externalities?

With some of the Malthusian predictions coming to fruition I say the state should subsidize abortions. There goes my Christian Coalition endorsement.

The most noisy thing in a big city is traffic. The best solution for traffic is public clean transport. The problem is taht thsi solution is not cheap and noone want to invest so much and in long term son the effects appears after he finish his term.
About abortions, is better to educate people so the realize that tehy can't have childs. But once again big changes are not so popular in politics

"problems that others tell me are impossible look to me like a fun challenge. ... a lot of problems that people tell me are incredibly complex actually look pretty simple to me. But the solution is never what they want to hear."

- I guess you either feel pretty good about yourself or you have a low opinion of others. Either way, I'd not wanting you fixing my problems without a bit more modesty thanks.

I live in a quiet part of town, and I and my neighbors value the quiet. The biggest destroyer thereof is the Harley enthusiast roaring past at 11:30 PM just when you're dozing off. It's worse, of course, downtown: the Harley roaring off from a stoplight makes you put your conversation on hold. The drivers seem to like going from zero to 35 as quickly as possible, stoplight or not.

Contrary to poster above, earplugs don't help when you're just dozing off (the Harley-tuned exhausts cut right through because of the contrast with the general level of quiet), and earplugs are counterproductive when one is trying to carry on a conversation.

So the gist is, yes, the exhaust-tuned-to-maximize-soundprint is a classic example of a Negative Externality, which the Harley crowd is imposing on other members of the community. The classic solution would be to shift the cost back to the noisemakers.

Even though his heart seems to be with the Harley guys, Charles Johnson asks a good question: How, exactly, would a city council create an effective financial disincentive to high-decibel vehicles? Especially given that many operators are short-term residents (college students) or visitors? A sales tax at the Harley dealership will hurt only the local dealer; people will buy their Harleys elsewhere.

So: how about a special license that operators must display within city limits on vehicles with noisy exhausts? You could measure the vehicle's liability with a decibel meter. If the vehicle doesn't display this license, police can stop it and fine the driver the cost of the license. The cost shd be steep enough to make drivers think twice about the vehicle.

Forget (for a moment) your views on whether one SHOULD try to disincentivize noisy Harleys/ F-250s within city limits. If that IS one's goal, how do you structure the disincentive so that it would work? THe above is my first pass at it. Anyone have any suggestions on how to improve it?

OHSAS 18001 standard contains requirements that can be objectively audited and does not establish specific requirements for OH&S performance. The performance is assessed against company’s commitments documented in its OH&S policy and its compliance with applicable legal and other requirements to which the business subscribe. The major performance characteristics of an OH&S management system are prevention of injury and ill health and demonstration of continual improvement.

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