Par Michael Howard | le 11 Juillet 2020 |
Traduction par Christine Cayré
150 économistes américains ont signé une lettre ouverte qui revendique entre autres les points suivants :
- Le versement de revenus directs est un outil essentiel pour stimuler la sécurité économique, inciter les consommateurs à dépenser, accélérer la reprise et promouvoir la réassurance à tous niveaux, politiques et économiques, pour aussi longtemps que cela sera nécessaire.
- La souffrance économique s’est largement répandue et la nécessité d’une action forte et immédiate s’impose clairement
- Des paiements de relance directs réguliers et durables stimuleront les dépenses de consommation et la reprise économique tout en coupant court à la récession.
- Ces stabilisateurs automatiques apporteront un soulagement aussi longtemps que nécessaire. Ils favoriseront une reprise solide et montreront l’efficacité gouvernementale.
- Etant données les inconnues qui persistent, il est essentiel de promulguer des politiques qui aideront à promouvoir une reprise robuste, durable et racialement équitable et qui resteront en place jusqu’à ce que les Américains se remettent sur pied…
Pour en savoir plus voir l’article de Michael Howard sur le site de USBIG
A propos de Michael Howard
Michael W. Howard est professeur de Philosophie à l’Université de Maine, Etats Unis. Il coordonne le Réseau pour le Revenu de Base Garanti aux Etats Unis, il est co-éditeur des Etudes sur le Revenu de Base et co-éditeur, avec Karl Wilderquist de deux ouvrages sur le Fond Permanant de Dividendes en Alaska.
On peut lire l’article en anglais ici.
There is a translation of this article into French
150 economists in the United States have signed an open letter that asks for
- “Direct cash payments are an essential tool that will boost economic security, drive consumer spending, hasten the recovery, and promote certainty at all levels of government and the economy – for as long as necessary….
- The economic pain is widespread and the need for immediate, bold action is clear….
- Regular, lasting direct stimulus payments will boost consumer spending, driving the economic recovery and shortening the recession….
- Automatic stabilizers ensure relief for as long as it is needed, promoting a strong recovery and efficient government.
- With many unknowns, it is critical to enact policies that will help promote a robust, sustained, racially equitable recovery and will stay in place until Americans are back on their feet….”
For further details, see Michael Howard’s article on the USBIG website.
Michael Howard, Co-ordinator of USBIG, has written an article about increasing Basic Income activism in the United States.
Two years ago, if one were to speak of a basic income movement, one might be accused of hyperbole. USBIG was able to muster support for annual congresses, in cooperation with the Basic Income Canada Network, and disseminate information and analysis through the website and newsflash. … Then came the Yang campaign, putting UBI on the national agenda. …
To read the article, click here.
This weekend, April 24-26, the US Congress will be debating and probably voting on the CARES 2 Act, the next phase in the US government’s response to the health and financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus. A coalition has been formed, under the leadership of the Income Movement, and including USBIG, Humanity Forward, the Fund for Humanity, the Economic Security Project, the Universal Income Project, the Humanity First Movement, and others, to appeal to Congress to include an emergency Basic Income in this legislation.
If you would like further details on this story, then click here for an article by Michael Howard.
The Climate Leadership Council just put forth a proposal for a carbon fee and dividend, as a key policy to combat climate change. The authors are conservatives, including Republican former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and two Chairs from the Council of Economic Advisors in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations. While there are some aspects of the proposal to question, progressives should get behind the main idea: a steadily rising carbon fee and dividend.
First, the proposal is a very welcome development for the effort to fight climate change, and for the introduction of a partial basic income. At a time when the President and many Republicans in Congress make light of or outright deny the problem of anthropogenic climate change, it is encouraging to see such concerted effort by people with impeccable conservative credentials proposing a policy that is also favored by many progressive Democrats and environmentalists like Bill McKibben. The dividend would be a significant benefit especially to poor and working class families, and, if revenue-neutral, would more than compensate for the regressive income distribution effects of a carbon tax.
How effective this particular carbon tax and dividend proposal will work depends on details not spelled out in the proposal. The proponents propose starting at $40 per ton of CO2, and a lot depends on how quickly the tax rises. They claim that a commission will decide after five years whether to raise the tax, and if it is flat for five years, that would not be adequate. One analysis of the proposal assumes that if the tax rose by $5/year, it would reduce US carbon emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. While not as much as we need, it would be a big step beyond the status quo, and could be strengthened as the political will rises to do so.
The authors propose a tradeoff between the carbon tax and regulation. The authors claim, “To build and sustain a bipartisan consensus for a regulatory rollback of this magnitude, the initial carbon tax rate should be set to exceed the emissions reductions of current regulations.”
If this is indeed the effect, the tradeoff might be worth it with respect to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. According to Charles Komanoff of the Carbon Tax Center, “well over 80 percent of the plan’s targeted reduction in electricity-sector emissions for 2030 had already been achieved by the end of 2016,” so an economy-wide carbon tax is the logical next step. But worrisome is the Climate Leadership Council’s apparently wider scope of reduction of regulatory power of the government, which serves many other purposes unrelated to climate change. And unless the carbon tax is set high enough and is assured of rising regularly, to give away the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions might be a fool’s bargain. The challenge for progressives and environmentalists is making sure that any tradeoff gives us a robust climate fee and dividend.
A deeper question is whether a carbon fee and dividend will stimulate growth. The model suggested here does not give us enough detail, but a similar proposal by Citizens’ Climate Lobby is projected to create millions of new jobs in clean energy, and not inhibit growth. However, as we steadily use up our carbon budget, the level and pace of reduction in greenhouse gases necessary to avert catastrophic climate change may not be compatible with sustained economic growth.
This leads me to question whether the challenge of climate change — more than two decades after the international community became aware of the problem and initiated treaties to address it — can now be addressed through a carbon tax alone. We may also need direct investment in research and development of alternative technologies. We need to make good on our promise in the Paris Agreement to aid poor countries in the transition to a non-carbon future, so that they do not face an intolerable dilemma between economic development and environmental safety. And we may need to manage a scaling down of our consumption in a manner that does not cause widespread misery.
But there should be little doubt that a carbon tax is a key pillar in the battle against climate change, and using the revenue for dividends is an equitable and politically prudent policy. For basic income supporters, it is the closest analogue on the national scale to Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend that we can hope for in the near term.
Reviewed by Kate McFarland
Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 macwagen