I've been wondering along a variant of the same lines as Izogi. With a massive amount of early voting (voters who then, as I understand it, can't legally be polled) wouldn't that have the potential to massively skew the opinion polls if this early voting was inclined disproportionately to one party?
For example, if (as we're told) Labour voters are particularly fired up now, then isn't it possible that their keeness means they're voting early in higher numbers than supporters of other parties. Because these early Labour voters would then be excluded from opinion polls, then the polls would record this as a *drop* in Labour support (since the remaining pool of voters available for polling would be skewed disproportionately away from Labour) --
even though the opposite is true?
All hypothetical of course, but I wonder what pollsters do to account for such an obvious (though not necessarily likely) possibility that would make a nonsense of their polling?
Very best of luck with your new gig, Rob! And thank you for all your debate-engendering posts on Public Address.
How utterly depressing.
See, Russell tells people it’s MY fault. Lying cock-sandwich.
Perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me. It does certainly sound like the sort of thing that would be all your fault, now that I think of it…
And give a special wave to the Titirangi Public Library.
Years and years ago, when Public Address first went on the internets (late 1990s? Early 2000s), it was banned at the Titirangi Library on the basis of RB’s bad bad language. Maybe he mentioned that Doug Myers was an aresehole or similar.
At any rate, I complained in writing to the powers that be at the Titirangi Library about unnecessary & inappropriate censorship. I never heard back but your comment makes me now wonder if there’s been any policy change…
Many thank for your very interesting and helpful comments, CCH!
I really appreciate all those links. Not being a tax expert myself, I don't know the jargon, and it's hard to even identify the correct search terms for the literature.
There's a lot to digest in both your comments and the papers you've recommended, so I'll go away and have a good read and spend some time thinking through everything...
Thank you for your thoughts, Moz. I’ve altered your third quote above to include the full text (which I feel is an important part of what I said).
I do appreciate your comments, and they’ve certainly highlighted various parts of my blog where I’d made assumptions about pre-existing knowledge. Many thanks!
Ian Dalziel wrote:
While tropical forests continued to decline, a remarkable change is happening: tree cover on agricultural land has increased across the globe, capturing nearly 0.75 Gigatonnes carbon dioxide every year.
Just to be clear, Ian, I’m certainly not saying that atmospheric carbon isn’t sequestered in trees – but rather that I don’t think that a carbon tax refund (or a PGST refund in my demonstration proposal) is necessarily a good way to manage it.
The usual criticism is that it could be used to delay the transition to clean energy. Imagine a coal thermal power station being subject to an emissions tax – but being also able to have that tax refunded by cheaply planting trees. That removes some of the price signal that would otherwise be transmitted to consumers, and allows the coal thermal power station to operate economically further into the future than otherwise – which, in turn, delays the implementation of clean energy alternatives to coal thermal power plants.
Also often cited are issues with land use for food. Given our finite land area then carbon sequestration via permanent forests is not a permanent solution to continued emissions of fossil fuels. At some point, it’s argued, land used for carbon sequestration via permanent forests will encroach on land used for food.
None of this is really in my field of expertise. But I know enough to realize there are potential problems.
I did have a section on this in an earlier draft of my blog (related to the ball park calculations) but it seemed that it was too much of a distraction from the main message. However given that several people have now brought up the subject then it probably does need to be mentioned. I’ve added a brief sentence in my blog that hopefully will be helpful in this regard:
A PGST scheme could also, in principle, be used via a tax refund to encourage negative emissions, e.g. atmospheric carbon dioxide sequestered as carbon in forests. Various counter-productive results might be possible with such an approach, however, and careful analysis would be required prior to implementation.
but you are expecting to be allowed to apply tariffs to imports which is just as difficult.
No I’m not, Bart. A consumption tax is not an import tariff.
GST is a consumption tax (i.e. not an import tariff) as well – hence we can change the rate of GST (or even decide to take it off fresh fruit and vegetables) without recourse to changing trade agreements. As I said in the blog:
It is important to note, however, that PGST is not an ‘import duty’ since—as with the GST that it would replace—it is also applied to goods and services produced within New Zealand.
How would you modify your PGST to encourage negative emissions? Why have you not done so?
I’m not sure as to your definition of negative emissions, Moz. Some researchers describe the conversion of a dairy farm to crops as a negative emission – but I (and a PGST) would see this as an improvement in energy efficiency. Crops would attract less PGST than dairy and so that would therefore be incentivized.
As I said elsewhere there is a finite amount of land in New Zealand that can be converted into permanent forest – and I’m very suspicious of the current approach of buying a photograph of forest regeneration in Uzebekistan and calling it a negative emission for New Zealand.
Also, as I said elsewhere, this is most easily dealt with by a separate system in my opinion (which perhaps could also deal with sequestration of carbon dioxide as carbon compounds in soil if this approach pans out.)
[EDIT: Of course, from an administrative point of view it would be trivial to refund PGST for carbon sequestration. I’m just explaining here why I didn’t include it in my demonstration proposal, i.e. because it opens up a whole complicated kettle of fish.]
I think all your proposed differences from a conventional carbon tax can also be applied to a conventional carbon tax – border controls, including agriculture and arbourculture, wholesale vs retail. The conceptual differences seem to disappear in practice. What have I missed?
Well only that in New Zealand no-one is suggesting a comprehensive carbon tax that takes into account embodied dirty energy. Hence why I’m pointing it out here.
And, as I’ve said ad naseum, in my demonstration proposal I’m only suggesting the “ingredients” that such a system would need. The PGST as discussed in the blog is supposed to be a helpful “thought experiment” not a ready-to-implement scheme. (Obviously it hasn’t been helpful in your case, however – sorry about that!)
Your proposal has a significant time delay built in while the details are tidied up, the relevant treaties are renegotiated, and new legislation drafted. How is your suggestion distinguishable from the “deny defer delay” position in practice? Viz, how would we know whether the government is adopting your suggestion purely as a way to delay action another decade, or with the intention of taking the most effective action as soon as possible?
As I’ve said, I don’t believe that international treaties have to be renegotiated (indeed the whole raison d’être of my demonstration proposal is to show what can be done in absence of binding international agreements).
At the moment we have a half-arsed ETS that does the opposite of what it’s intended to do (as far as I can see). That’s our starting point. There’s no more time delay here than with any other proposed solution (and much less than some).