Phil's Rambling Rants
Ideas: Appropriate use of taxation|
|Date:||September 16th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)|| |
The word you're looking for is externalities.
Where the externalities are readily measured in dollars, I don't think it's revolutionary to tax in proportion to them. Unfortunately, it is hard to place an unarguable dollar value on a child's health or an unspoiled landscape; I think government has to go farther than just the well recognized economic costs of activities when deciding they deserve to be restricted. Government is often willing to restrict freedom with laws and regulations without making an economic case for it, but much less willing to restrict freedom by taxing an activity.