One thing I can NOT stand about libertarians is their dogged repetition of the idea that "letting the market decide" will somehow end well for humanity. My arguments against this belief usually start with "well nuclear missiles are in high demand, as are human organs...so let's deregulate those, right?"
But seriously. Here's the thing. People (for example Megan McArdle) like to point out that even as the price of solar power decreases, it still costs more than fossil fuel-based energy. And that the price drop is being helped by massive government subsidization. Take away the subsidies, they argue, and the appeal of solar will wane immensely.
Here's my rebuttal: just because a thing is expensive doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. Let me ask my libertarian friends, "which would you rather continue to fund: the war on drugs or solar installation tax subsidies?" The libertarian purists answer, of course, is "neither" but that wasn't really what I asked. My point is that if I have to pay taxes (which I do), I'd much rather pay them so that I can help decrease the rate at which our species is annihilating life on this planet, as opposed to funding bombs that are strapped to drones and dropped on children in Pakistan. I'd rather pay taxes to subsidize wind farms in western Kansas than subsidize a secret detention center for suspected terrorists.
People might counter that these sorts of decisions aren't either/or, and that I'm creating false choices. That's certainly true and I'll cop to it. But I have to ask libertarians one more question: when civil liberties are under attack from all three branches of government, the 2012 Defense spending bill allows the military to arrest U.S. citizens in America and hold them indefinitely, the President can order the assassination of a U.S. citizen with no trial or publicly-available evidence, and when protesters are being arrested all across the nation and portrayed as worthless entitled children...why are you wasting your considerable blogging talents writing about the vileness of solar subsidies?
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