The numbers never add up. At least not when you get them from the government. We live in an age where the normal metrics by which we judge economic performance, social progress, and business productivity no longer adequately represent our reality. Some of this discrepancy is a result of an economy that has been managerially manipulated beyond recognition. But another aspect of this disposition between reality and metric measurement is due to the government’s uncanny knack for number manipulation.
Within the legalese of an obscure and non-controversial rule lies a small change to an abstract accounting measure that promises to have profound consequences. President Barack Obama approved an increase in the so-called “social cost of carbon” calculation to $38 a metric ton. (I wonder if the “social cost of carbon” takes into account the countless number of jobs produced, wealth generated, philanthropy projects, and overall prosperity that cheap energy creates.) This number is used by government bureaucrats to weigh the cost and benefit of proposed projects, regulations and environmental laws; all without the hassle of actually understanding economics. In other words, this number (arrived at by a “scientific” method that calculates the cost of global warming to local governments) will be utilized to sell environmentally friendly legislation.
According to Bloomberg news, “With the change, government actions that lead to cuts in emissions -- anything from new mileage standards to clean-energy loans -- will appear more valuable in its cost-benefit analyses.” Can I translate? This gives the government “economic” reasons to oppose job creating initiatives like the Keystone XL pipeline while promoting green energy initiatives like Solyndra.
Cool. . . We no longer have to worry about how much a new hybrid will cost. When you fork over the ten or fifteen thousand dollar premium to drive a Chevy volt, just remember: The government says it’s an economic benefit. I guess when you can’t win an argument on merit, it’s time to change the rules. . .
Bloomberg went on to explain the impact of the rule change:
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