Trade-offs: The revealed preferences of statocrats

One would think that if “climate change” (after global warming, the previous hole in the ozone layer, and the population bomb of the 1960s) represented a major challenge to mankind, if time could be of the essence, the trivial consideration of domestic protectionism would be an infinitesimal in policy decisions. will play a role. But apparently not. The financial bar NOTE (“Biden’s problem with EV subsidies: Hardly any cars will qualify,” Aug. 23, 2022):

The law signed by President Joe Biden last week immediately requires any EV sold in the U.S. to be assembled in North America to qualify for the credit. Requirements will become stricter in 2024, when eligible EVs must contain battery components that are not manufactured or assembled by a “foreign entity of concern,” which includes dominant battery producer China.

In 2025 those batteries must exclude “critical minerals” extracted, processed or recycled from the same foreign countries. An increasing share must be from North America or selected trading partners.

The basic economics are simple: Unless more foreign competition is restricted, any amount of US government subsidies will increase the supply of EVs. So, if we believe the official line, carbon emissions will decrease and mankind will survive.

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