The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Dirty Word


Like most people, economists like to argue.  However, one idea that almost all economists agree with is:  “If you want less of something, tax it.  If you want more of something, subsidize it.”

Otto von Bismarck said:  “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best”

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, understood the French people would use less gasoline, if he taxed it more.  That is true . . . in a perfect world!

In this dirty, messy, imperfect world, it is not possible.  Being right is not good enough!  If he had compromised by saying something like — your gas tax is going up but the tax on your wine is going down — he might be more popular, instead of less.

Sorry, since “compromise” is a dirty word, I apologize to all parents out there!

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