University of Georgia economics professor Jeffrey Dorfman makes a good point in his op-ed “With the Environment, [Former Economist] Paul Krugman Forgets the Poor,” about how environmentalists and liberals routinely advocate policies that uniformly hurt the poor people that they claim to care about so much:
A fascinating part of the special-interest coalition that makes up the Democratic Party is how many of its groups have aims which are at odds with another coalition partner. Environmental groups advocate a set of policies that uniformly hurt poor people. Environmental protection is essentially a luxury good. If you have enough money to provide food, clothing, and shelter for your family, then you start to care about the environment.
Poor people spend a higher percentage of their income on energy bills, so raising those costs in order to improve the environment means that the poor will feel more pain than those with higher incomes. If we were talking about tax policy, no liberal would forget to mention the poor and how the rich should carry more of the burden. Yet, somehow, on environmental policy most liberals favor policies which hurt the very people they normally want to help.
HT: Warren Smith
Related: A Google search of the phrase “former economist Paul Krugman” produces 29,600 results.