Decoupled Profits & Criminalized Consumption

If that isn’t a recipe for economic and political catastrophe, I don’t know what is. But in the name of fighting climate change, these twin concepts inform radical new government policies being increasingly enacted that will dramatically transform our energy economy, how we use all other natural resources, and by extension, our entire economy.

“Decoupling” profits from production defers investment in new sources of energy, it destroys the incentive to earn a profit in a free market, and it channels innovation into narrow, government annoited channels. “Decoupling” will always harm the consumer. But despite these fatal flaws, it is taking hold as policy. For example, if you produce electricity in California, the LESS energy you deliver, the MORE you make. In California’s legislature and in the U.S. Congress, “decoupling” is being considered for electricity and water. Make no mistake about this, to decouple productivity delivered from revenue collected is a completely different, new, and potentially devastating form of government takings. It inordinately empowers and merges with the government huge sectors of the economy and removes from their mission the necessity to pay their way, to operate efficiently. With most significant previous “takings,” the operator still retained these crucial incentives.

At the same time as our major resource purveyors now propose to “decouple” the value they create from the value they collect, we also are increasingly embracing a new conventional wisdom, if not passing laws, based on the new principle that consuming large amounts of resources is a crime. This emphasis […] Read More