Prior to his employment at Amoco, Mr. Johnston served as an economist with the RAND Corporation, the Institute for Defense Analyses, and the Secretary's Office of the U.S. Treasury. He served on the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.
Mr. Johnston's current research has focused on electric utility deregulation in Illinois and other states; pollution trading under the climate change treaty, Clean Air Act, and the RECLAIM system for the South Coast Air District; and a general theory of regulation, published in the Cato Institute's Regulation magazine.
Latest posts by Jim Johnston (see all)
- Price Controls, Whether For Labor Or Housing, Don’t Work - July 9, 2014
- Adding Economics to the Immigration Debate - May 20, 2014
- Encrypt Everything! - February 3, 2014
Regarding Peter Ferrara’s recent post: I often talk about taxes being the price for government services. The idea was introduced to the profession in 1896 by Knut Wicksell. He added strong advice on how the government should not behave. This was later taken on by James Buchanan. (See Richard Wagner, Buchanan’s student and collaborator, here.)
Take a look at the list of industries in Louisiana. They show that by value, oil and gas production and refining make up the largest part of total industry in Louisiana, followed by fisheries and farming.
Note that the output of oil (and probably fisheries) declined in the wake of hurricane Katrina in 2005. Production has yet to recover and may never in the foreseeable future. That in turn argues for a lower tax price to finance the protection of petroleum and fisheries assets.
This addresses the business part of the Jindal proposal, but it relates the individual tax as well. Since the employment in Louisiana, both direct and indirect, is so much a part of the depressed industries, the government provides fewer and less valuable services to the work force.
Indeed, a switch to the sales tax puts the tax burden on low income residents who are now the primary beneficiary beneficiaries of the government services.