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16.6.2007

Staggered car taxation on environmental basis

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:49 pm

Finland has plans to raise taxes on heavier polluting cars, possibly by 2010…

The Ministry of Finance is preparing a bill that would increase the taxation of cars on the basis of the amount of carbon dioxide that they emit. A proposal on the matter is to be put forward to Parliament later this year. The change would mean that the amount of the annual vehicle tax would be determined on the basis of the carbon dioxide emissions that a vehicle produces. The more emissions, the higher the tax.

So that means less polluting cars will see decreased taxes? I seriously doubt that…

“If the car tax goes down, car prices will go down, and more cars will be bought. Studies show that the more households have cars, the more they will be driven, and the less public transport will be used. So if it is implemented in a bad way, the change in car taxation could lead to an increase in emissions from driving rather than reducing them”, Tynkkynen points out.

Decreases in car taxes will mean that those pesky poor people will be able to afford uber-polluting, uber-unsafe tiny old rust buckets (which still cost them “an arm and a leg”), instead of having to schlep their grocery bags and IKEA purchases on the bus like normal.

So I’m betting Finland simply raises taxes on SUV’s, mini vans, and family station wagons, while ignoring the cleaner, smaller automobiles. And I’m also betting that SUV drivers don’t give a damn and drive around their SUV’s regardless, and the extra tax revenues go to some frivolous state program and not towards improving the environment.

  • http://bnss.podshow.com Dave the Slave

    If they do go through with this new tax on polluting cars, I wonder if they will rescind the “diesel tax” on hybrids?

  • http://bnss.podshow.com Dave the Slave

    über is spelled with with a ü.

    If you have a Finnish keyboard, you can find the umlaut next to the “Ã¥” key. Just press the umlaut key, then the letter you want to put it on top of, and presto… “Ãœ!”

  • JG

    If the tax is implemented on the basis of carbon dioxide emissions, it should be “car genre” neutral… i.e. it doesn’t really matter whether you drive a tank or a mini, the tax should not discriminate on that basis if it is truly based on emissions.

    Doubtless it will generate extra revenue, at least in the short term. I am sure in the future cars will become far less polluting, and therefore the revenue will probably shrink. In any case, the extra revenue should be used to fund better and more public transport in my opinion.

    Here in Stockholm, it is very frustrating. In August, the congestion fee for driving into central Stockholm will be reintroduced. However, it is being reintroduced by the new right-wing alliance government. Unlike during the trial period (where funds went to public transport), the alliance intends to use the extra revenue to build more roads! Pretty much defeats the object of the congestion fee in the first place, as more roads have always been shown to generate more traffic.

    I am all for environmentally motivated taxation and fees, but only if the governments use them for environmentally-beneficial programmes. Otherwise, I think it will be almost impossible to gain public support for them.

  • Kristian

    instead of having to schlep their grocery bags and IKEA purchases on the bus like normal.

    But only after waiting 30-minutes at the bus stop. Transportation is a big problem in Finland. Considering the sparseness of the country, it should be dirt-cheap to facilitate movement. I think the Finnish government has made a BIG mistake over the past decades. It’s endless protectionist game (to keep money flowing out of the country) only kept Finland poor. But then again, in a conformist, ideology-based, proletarian society, do people really need to travel anywhere other than between home and work?

    Here again they’ll make a mistake. If they tax cars based on pollution without exceptions, then the older (more polluting) cars will simply find themselves in other countries. No pollution minimized overall. However, the Finnish government will once again shoot itself in the foot, because such a scheme will force Finnish consumers to purchase newer, more expensive cars. Again, money will flow outward—but this time, needlessly!

    Will Finland ever get it right?

  • Mikael

    I think that high taxes on big, heavy and environmentally unfriendly vehicles is a good thing but I think that it should be compensated by low taxes on small and environmentally friendly vehicles.

  • JG

    Considering the sparseness of the country, it should be dirt-cheap to facilitate movement.

    I have to disagree and take the exact opposite view to this. I think it is exactly because of the low population density, that public transport is a difficult thing to organise comprehensively in Finland without costing lots of money.

    In a densely populated country like the Netherlands, if you put a bus or train route through a place you know it will have a large catchment area for passengers. In Finland, that is not the case.

    Finland has gone wrong in some areas of public transport planning though, I agree, particularly in rural areas. For instance, a quick look on the website of the local bus company for where I have my house in Finland shows that there are now only on non-school days 2 buses to the nearest town and 3 buses back, which obviously makes public transport very inconvenient, especially as the last bus back leaves the town at 16.35. Back in the day, there were many more journeys available.

  • Kristian

    I think it is exactly because of the low population density, that public transport is a difficult thing to organise comprehensively in Finland without costing lots of money.

    On a €/km basis, that’s true. But if the service is sparse—only a few routes per-day and no nighttime service—then the per-capita cost isn’t necessarily high. Those conditions exist everywhere in Finland, even the Helsinki region.

    And considering these factors, there’s very little hope of convincing people to stop driving cars anyway.

    So, my comment about making transportation dirt-cheap is not only directed toward public transit, but also in regard to cars. Couldn’t people in the northern parts of the country have benefited from owning cars at competitive European prices?

    Of course they could have. But despite the poverty up there, the Finnish government forced them to pay double for cars. How did this help them?

    After all that ripping off (which was supposedly for the common good), they are still poor up there; the overtaxation only limited their mobility and prevented them from growing in prosperity. And they are still paying double for cars.
    Why can’t Finns just own cars for the same price as anyone else in Europe?

  • Anonymous

    How much do private cars actually contribute to the carbon dioxide emissions? Isn’t it more ecological to drive an old polluting car through it’s entire lifespan, than to replace cars every few years with new ones?

  • Anonymous

    After all that ripping off (which was supposedly for the common good), they are still poor up there; the overtaxation only limited their mobility and prevented them from growing in prosperity.

    The state should do what Chydenius suggested; turn Lapland into a nightwatchman state. Then we’d have a prosperous Lapland, or possibly a new Iraq? But libertarians would have to put their money where their mouths are.

  • http://www.finlandforthought.net Phil

    This conversation reminds me of the time Heidi Hautala commented on this blog (http://www.finlandforthought.net/2005/07/30/green-presidential-candidate-responds-on-finland-for-thought/)

    She bragged about the fact that she doesn’t have a car. But she failed to mention the free taxis she gets, taxis having to be the most polluting form of transportation since they wait around with their engines running waiting for passengers, or traveling back to their home city without any fares.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    She bragged about the fact that she doesn’t have a car. But she failed to mention the free taxis she gets, taxis having to be the most polluting form of transportation since they wait around with their engines running

    The Helsinki metropolitan area should introduce tax incentives to turn the taxi fleet hybrid-electric, much like is being done in New York City. Many buses there are hybrids as well. One surprise about the city was how clean the midtown air was! Then again, we were there in March during the spring break.

    I’m a little pessimistic, though. While the environment is a great excuse for politicians slapping more and more taxes on cars, introducing any legislation that would direct use toward more environmentally friendly vehicles is anathema, at least if it would mean reduced tax revenue.

  • Kristian

    turn Lapland into a nightwatchman state. Then we’d have a prosperous Lapland, or possibly a new Iraq?

    Good point. Keeping Lapland (and I suppose all of Finland) poor benefits everyone.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    Good point. Keeping Lapland (and I suppose all of Finland) poor benefits everyone.

    Yeah. Too bad Finland can’t be as rich today as it was in the 19th century when it was a libertarian paradise.

  • Kristian

    The Helsinki metropolitan area should introduce tax incentives to turn the taxi fleet hybrid-electric

    How about tax incentives to bring taxi fares down to normal European levels. Let the rest of Europe (the richer and more densely populated part) worry about hybrid-electric for now. We can switch-over once they’ve done it.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    How about tax incentives to bring taxi fares down to normal European levels.

    With proper incentives the reduced fuel costs enabled by the hybrid transition would trickle down to the consumer. This could be achieved rather quickly, as the lifespan of a taxi isn’t exactly decades.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    We can switch-over once they’ve done it.

    You mean we should wait until Sweden does it? :lol:

  • Kristian

    I think Sweden has other problems to deal with first…
    http://www.thelocal.se/7305/20070514/

  • pi

    And I’m also betting that SUV drivers don’t give a damn and drive around their SUV’s regardless, and the extra tax revenues go to some frivolous state program and not towards improving the environment.
    – if this is the case the taxes are not set high enough – the taxes will need to reflect true environmental costs.

  • pi

    Sorry meant to say :
    And I’m also betting that SUV drivers don’t give a damn and drive around their SUV’s regardless,
    - if this is the case the taxes are not set high enough – the taxes will need to reflect true environmental costs.

  • Anonymous

    As long as number of cars ain’t decreasing, taxes gonna be raised. But that’s only logical. That’s the concept of elasticity and that’s also a method by which business fix prices.

  • Finnsense

    I believe the carbon tax is coming about as part of an EU directive. Thus it’s not a Finnish plot to get more taxes but a genune market based initiative (supported by Libertarian economists like Phil’s favourite Greg Mankiw) to reduce carbon emissions.

    All the commentary I have heard on the issue suggests that the overall tax burden on cars will not increase. Thus, if the taxes are carbon based, cars like the Prius will become much cheaper while your SUVs will get much more expensive. Speculation that this is not the case is hardly reasonable. Finnish taxes as a percentage of GDP have come down consistently over recent years under all shades of government so the insinuation that Finnish governments will do anything to increase tax revenues is categorically disproved by the facts.

    Still, go ahead and burn your straw men if you’ve got nothing better to do.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    One reason for the increasing number of cars is probably that with the skyrocketing price of living, people have to move further and further to areas with poor public transit (e.g. Espoo). We might face having to buy another car in the near future.

    Hopefully the rising interest rate will introduce some sense to this farce.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    I think Sweden has other problems to deal with first…
    http://www.thelocal.se/7305/20070514/

    I don’t think the circle-jerking tank-”thinkers” are much of a problem, really.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    I don’t think the circle-jerking tank-”thinkers” are much of a problem, really.

    As long as only a few young Swedes, instead of getting a real job, opt to start a “free-market think-tank” and concentrate on posting crap on the internet quoting each other, the effect on the Swedish economy and society remains marginal. If this becomes a widespread phenomenon, then we (or the Swedes) have cause for concern.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    So, sorry, but everyone wants to social engineer, a none problem (Global warming is the lastest fad to hit your pocket) to death, and guess what? When you do that your econemy takes a hit.

    The real answer, is to stop the social enginnering your neighbors Hummer, and let the free market work.

    But then again, my uber nose held high at my neighbors Hummer would then show so well.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    Whacha say, winnie? No compute. I wayve the French white flag of surrender.

  • ARR

    Next comes the breathing tax you loco Finnish scallywaggers!

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Note the Russian 5 year plans, all failures, but they lied to show what they produced?

    Note the social engineering plan called Kyoto, and its huge failure, but they lied to show what they produced? Heck I can sell you all a scam called Carbon Credits it you like?

    Thats where we are going again, and again, and again. No french flaggie thingie here.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    winny, I don’t understand but I get the music. I’m getting down, wayving my French white flag.

  • Kristian

    With all those otherwise unemployable immigrants, you don’t think Sweden needs a dose of free market thinking?

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    With all those otherwise unemployable immigrants, you don’t think Sweden needs a dose of free market thinking?

    Every society benefits from thinking, certainly. Just not when it comes from a septic tank.

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ Fred Fry

    This whole thing is a load of bull. This is already accounted for in the gas tax. heavy-polluting cars already pay the price by needing much more gas, which is heavily-taxed to discourage consumption.

  • Kristian

    Why do you think it comes from a septic tank?

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    This whole thing is a load of bull. This is already accounted for in the gas tax. heavy-polluting cars already pay the price by needing much more gas, which is heavily-taxed to discourage consumption.

    Fred, you are right. The car tax should be abolished along with the diesel tax and the fuel tax increased, perhaps doubled. With the current state of affairs there really is no incentive to use public transit once you’ve “invested” in a car.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    Why do you think it comes from a septic tank?

    Isn’t crap what’s usually found in septic tanks?

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    “This is already accounted for in the gas tax.”

    no it is not. Its called social engineering, and I am going to tax you until you do things my way.

  • Kristian

    Franklin,

    I don’t see why you are so opposed to his writings. As a “freshly minted entrepreneur”, you of all people should understand that Sweden needs to make changes to provide opportunities for everyone.

    I don’t think it’ll ever get to the point where assistance to the poor and needy is drastically cut. And, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be. Nevertheless, some corrections need to be made.

    Sweden, though declining in its relevance, is still a good trading partner to Finland; its success helps Finland and perhaps also your own business endeavors. Its failures will only hurt you in the long run. So any writings that help stir debate should be considered good.

  • Kristian

    So any writings that help stir debate should be considered good.

    Same thing with taxes in Finland. Sure, they’ve declined over the past decades, but that was unavoidable considering competition from the global marketplace and perhaps also due to ideological reasons.

    They’ll continue to decline for the same reasons. Nevertheless, it’s much too easy for greedy politicians to empower themselves by controlling as much of your money as they can. So any writings that cause people to hold their elected officials accountable should also be considered good.

    Ultimately, it doesn’t only concern Finland; it also concerns the EU and beyond. If people of other countries start letting their respective governments stall their economies by controlling even more of their earnings, then who’ll be left to buy Nokia electronics—or Nokian tires for that matter?

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Lets recap some points on this post

    JG thinks “as more roads have always been shown to generate more traffic.”. Well duh, the traffic is generating national wealth, so lets ban it

    Kristian thinks “Transportation is a big problem in Finland.” And hits the nail on the head “But then again, in a conformist, ideology-based, proletarian society, do people really need to travel anywhere other than between home and work?”

    Mikael just wants “high taxes on big, heavy and environmentally unfriendly vehicles” as his solution to world hunger. No market based reality here, just more Government by Mikael.

    Kristian hit the nail again “despite the poverty up there, the Finnish government forced them to pay double for cars.” And understands the Government is the problem.

    Anonymous is for old polluting cars.

    Phil waxes on “free taxis she gets, taxis”, thus the free stuff we all want.

    Freeridin’ wants the government to run your lives completely green.

    Kristian wants “rest of Europe (the richer and more densely populated part)” to go hybrid-electric first, then copy.

    Freeridin responds with more government “With proper incentives”, a standard left wing answer to all problems. Forget the market based approach that really works.

    Pi “taxes are not set high enough” just wants higher taxes. Left wing solution again.

    Finnsense knows a carbon tax is coming.

    Freeridin’ then thinks a high interest rate will be his salvation to the result of the Government action he wants that will make interest rate climb. Truly clueless.

    Kristian keeps hammering “Sweden needs a dose of free market thinking?” that free market flagie thingie again.

    Fred will just social engineer with the “This is already accounted for in the gas tax.”

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    So the count is 8 for Government completly running you lives, and only 2 of us for a market based approach that really works.

    Kristian, we have our work cut out for us. The old soviet union thoughts are alive and well in Finland.

  • Anonymous

    Why all libertarians seem to have an opinion about the global warming, like it’s a political question? It’s a scientific one, and the vast majority of scientist agree that the phenomenon exists, and that humans have an effect on it.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, not all. Bill Maher “believes” in global warming, for example.

  • JG

    Winter JG thinks “as more roads have always been shown to generate more traffic.”. Well duh, the traffic is generating national wealth, so lets ban it

    I have nothing against generating national wealth. However, the difference between many of us on here and you Winter, is that there is a balance for us. You demand a free market without any restrictions regardless of the effect. I dare say you would sell your own mother if someone would give you €10 for her.
    I don’t believe that the generation of money is always the most important thing and in any case, look towards the UK government’s Stern Report which shows that it will actually cost more to rectify our environmental problems as we leave it longer.
    There is a bigger picture than just economic growth.

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews/stern_review_economics_climate_change/sternreview_index.cfm

  • Kristian

    I don’t think that Libertarians are necessarily anti-environment. For example, although I wouldn’t be considered a radical Libertarian, I do consider myself an environmentalist. And I don’t want to see the roads of Europe occupied by large passenger vehicles.

    But I’m not convinced that environmentally-based taxes will help in this case. That’s because those with enough money will simply buy whatever vehicle they want, regardless of cost.

    And those who have less money—or are interested in saving—will be relegated to driving cars that are smaller and less safe.

    So, is the system fair, and does it promote safety?

  • Kristian

    Then again, maybe the silver lining is that fewer young drivers will own such large weapons (insofar as automobiles can be seen as weapons)….unless they borrow dad’s Hummer on Saturday night :-/

  • Kristian

    What if a Finn drives through Europe on holiday. Must he drive the smallest, least safe car…just because he’s a Finn?

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    I don’t see why you are so opposed to his writings. As a “freshly minted entrepreneur”, you of all people should understand that Sweden needs to make changes to provide opportunities for everyone.

    They want to provide opportunities to 0.01% of the population. The rest should starve. The 19th century is their ideal and they’re quite candid about it. You’re right that I have a personal interest in the continued economic success of Sweden. I oppose anyone who wants to make it a 3rd world country.

  • Kristian

    That’s a bit extreme. Even for you Franklin.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    That’s a bit extreme. Even for you Franklin.

    Extreme or not, there’s the “free-market” agenda in a nutshell.

  • Mikael

    Mikael just wants “high taxes on big, heavy and environmentally unfriendly vehicles” as his solution to world hunger. No market based reality here, just more Government by Mikael.

    And you’re suggesting that the oil industry is completely market based with all oil cartels and special interests that regimes in, for example, the Arab world, Russia, Iran and Venezuela are driving? Oil is definitely the exception in the economic sphere as no market can adjust to the will of leaders and regimes who have no other interest than imposing their will on other people using other nation’s thirst for oil as their weapon.
    Very effective, we pay for their regimes and no one will stand up and say enough, just sometimes beg them to put through democratic and open market reforms.

  • Hank W.

    My car is from 1973, I already paid 120% tax on it. With the current road tax it means my car is just tax painted over, with some rust.

  • Kristian

    Franklin,

    If Sweden hadn’t been such an ideological ass for all these years, then it wouldn’t have the problems that it’s now experiencing.

    At some point, it has to regain normalcy. Should they keep going in the same direction and invite even more immigrant crime?

    And it’s hardly fair to those immigrants who’d like to succeed. Unfortunately, in a largely proletarian society, it’s hard to get people thinking politically in terms of what is needed to encourage business and competition.

    Maybe they are using ‘shock treatment’ as a way to prepare the populace for the comparatively milder-than-threatened changes that will actually be implemented.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    “oil industry is completely market based” well you got one right, as it is. Duh.

    you even hit the nail on the head by showing it was “the Arab world, Russia, Iran and Venezuela are driving”

    Look when you rant against the market based world oil, at least don’t put in all the top market leaders and then try to say its not market based.

    Now just because you don’t like the cut throat market world, and it is, then thats another story. Just ask Microsoft how cut throat their market is, and what it takes to be a market leader.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    JG does not like “the generation of money is always the most important thing”

    come one, get real, thats what the world lives for. And by the way my Mum, is richer than me, so I guess I am lucky she is not sellin me off for a $1

  • Anonymous

    #4 “It’s endless protectionist game (to keep money flowing out of the country) only kept Finland poor.”

    I do not know where Kristian get these “facts”. What if you check http://www.bof.fi/en/julkaisut/tilastojulkaisut/suomen_maksutase_v/

    or see statistics from

    http://www.bof.fi/NR/rdonlyres/55422BA7-7C63-479C-AF78-DE2BA4031A6B/0/Mtvuosi0703.pdf

    You can compare the figures e.g. to
    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/

  • Mikael

    Look when you rant against the market based world oil, at least don’t put in all the top market leaders and then try to say its not market based.

    I have always lived under the impression that cartels weren’t, or rather: shouldn’t be, part of the market based world.

    Now just because you don’t like the cut throat market world, and it is, then thats another story. Just ask Microsoft how cut throat their market is, and what it takes to be a market leader.

    I have no problem with Microsoft – they’re the best at what they’re doing and have developed systems that have moved the modern societies forward at a greater pace than it would have without Gates and Co.
    I do neither have a problem with oil producing countries like Norway, Canada and Azerbaijan, for example, as they are clearly not using our thirst for oil as a weapon for influence like vast parts of the Arab world, Russia and Iran. Therefore I think that is in our interests, both our social and our economical, that we rely on these countries as little as possible.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    “I think that is in our interests, both our social and our economical, that we rely on these countries as little as possible.”

    and yet you keep saying its a global oil market, that in reality nobody controls? You say one thing, then explain it away.

    Sad, you have not clue on how the world operates.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Just to give you a clue, if Iran shuts its Oil off, they starve. Not much of a power lever in that senario.

  • Mikael

    and yet you keep saying its a global oil market, that in reality nobody controls? You say one thing, then explain it away.

    I have a couple of times already said that I don’t like these countries as I think they control the market. What are you trying to suggest? Is this in some way an attempt to give yourself the upper hand by turning my words upside down?

    Just to give you a clue, if Iran shuts its Oil off, they starve. Not much of a power lever in that senario.

    Iran will most likely, with the leadership it has, turn towards India and China when energy resources become more and more scarce, not because of business but because of politics.

  • winter, “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    You keep saying “they control the market”? Then you show friendly countries with lots of oil also in the market? You can’t have it both ways, either they control the market or they don’t.

    Just because you don’t like them, does not change the way a market works. They are in a vast oil market, not the ones like Russia who can turn off the taps on the coldest day of the year, and actually survive alone.

    Just because they sell to china, does not mean they are not in the global market. Please get a clue.

    If you want to see fun, wait 20 years and as the oil runs out, they turn into dust. They are not investing, so they will have nothing.

  • Mikael

    Here’s something that we might not agree on because of the openness in the market. Honestly, what would the world market be like if different cartels ruled the market? When Putin made his trip down to the Arab world to discuss Gas-cartels then that should really be a wake-up call for everyone after Russia having closed of oil to Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia and Belarus for various reasons – normally claimed by Russia to be a different one than the politically obvious one.
    As I see it there would be no problem if Russia was behaving like the USA or Norway, but as Russia is clearly driving it’s own interests at a state sponsored level. I doubt that the USA, if an American company was selling oil through pipelines to Canada, that the government would make sure that the oil is cut off if an election isn’t taking the direction Washington would have prefered.
    Driving businesses of any kind in Finland would be hard if say Russia was cutting off oil supplies whenever the Finnish politics weren’t in line with what Moscow wants.
    Therefore I think that the policy of the Finnish government should be to drastically reduce the use of oil in Finland.

  • winter, “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Policy of the Finnish Government?

    So just what would the Gov do? they already have a high gas tax, so thats out. Would you then build 5 new Nukes? maby copy what france did?

    Again, its not the Gov that makes the final decision, its the consumer, and they will always go with the economic decision, not your PC Correct political decision. Just ask Carter and his Billions spent on coal to gas conversions plants in Colorado. Just your type of answer that never works.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    Kristian:
    If Sweden hadn’t been such an ideological ass for all these years, then it wouldn’t have the problems that it’s now experiencing.

    And what, exactly, would those problems be? A GDP growth rate in 2007 exceeding the land of milk & honey by 1 %-unit, perhaps? Sure is a problem for those clowns at Timbro and other “free-market” stink-tanks. As someone whose company might have business in Sweden, I’m all too happy to keep that booming growth going and not let some ideologue bozos screw it up.

    And, sensationalist reporting from biased sources aside, Sweden’s crime problem is a far cry from the aforementioned wonderland. Stockholm continues to be a beautiful, safe city. Heja Sverige!

  • Mikael

    Again, its not the Gov that makes the final decision, its the consumer, and they will always go with the economic decision, not your PC Correct political decision. Just ask Carter and his Billions spent on coal to gas conversions plants in Colorado. Just your type of answer that never works.

    I actually read an article, some time ago, about the steps taken against coal-plants and the use of coal during the Bush 1st administration and I don’t think anyone views Bush senior administration as too interfering with the business life in general, and they managed to cut down on the use of coal. This was however, as I understood it, mainly because of health- and environmental reasons and not because of security policy.
    The business life will always go along the cheapest and easiest line and it will never take measures to protect the society in which it’s doing business – the should be the Government’s job.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    “business life will always go along the cheapest and easiest line and it will never take measures to protect the society”

    what tree hugger rubbish. Businnes is bad line.

    Ask most businesses and they exceed gov regulations. Now I don’t mind the Gov setting guides, as most business follow them quite well.

  • winter “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    I had to work a management report on why the Boston river was so polluted. It turned out that Business had long ago cleaned up.

    So who was left?

    Government run Universities. All exempt, as they are not businesses.

    And guess what? None wanted to clean up. Only public publication of the facts changed their ways.

  • Mikael

    I wonder what part of this was really the “tree hugging”-part as my concerns were about the Finnish national security and that I think that the best way to protect ourselves would be to cut down our dependency on oil – starting with private car-ism.

    I admit that claiming that “all” companies are only interested in just protecting their own interests is wrong, however, regarding the use of oil in Finland and in Europe; the companies haven’t managed to overbuild the need for oil and big, private cars are sure not helping us to cut down on our use of oil (if we in the future have solar cells on our vehicles, the I don’t mind if people want to drive around in solar-cell-powered tanks) – rather the opposite, making us depend more and more on oil from unreliable nations – which I definitely find hard to put a positive spin on.

  • winter, “Yea, Proton Power, now in remission”

    Its a ballace, oil or solar, that the consumer need to make, not some Gov desk jock who loves trees.

    You keep up the thought that Big Gov can solve this, yet the evidence shows otherwise.

    You keep up the thought that oil is bad. Well guess what SOLAR has numerous bad environmental effects as well. Besides the cost is way against it.

    No, the real solution will be in the marketplace, not in some tree huggers mind.

  • luki

    I do not understand why Finland and other nordic countries have car taxation when they are part of EU?
    Why are EU produced cars taxed?It just don’t make any sense!
    Cars outside EU should be taxed!I do not see what good it is when EU countries are taxing goods produced in other EU countries.
    Germany is producing cars enough for all Europe, why do we have to buy japanese/south korean cars instead of EU/German cars?
    Why such a small country as Finland is caring about polution when big countries like India, China and Brasil do not care almost at all?

  • Poochie

    I don’t understand either as I have never seen an offical reason why it is so. Has Anyone ever come across text describing the reason why car taxes are so high? There’s a lot of conjecture on this topic and the verbage is on permanent spin cycle. Correction to your rant, but we don’t “have” to buy Jap/Korean cars – it’s our free choice. Contrary to this we’d be back in Soviet times when there were only Russian/soviet made cars available to consumers, Lada, Volga, Zygoli, Moskvitch, etc.,

    Finland will try to milk the high tax cow for as long as it can. I couldn’t see them overturning the taxation voluntarily now, could you? Nothing ever rafical happens in Parliement either. Everything is status quo and it’s the same policies and box thinking, party after party.

    Embedded in the notion of high tazes is something called greed! Last year I rec’d some quoted to get the windows tinted in Finland. Prices were about 350 euros. On a trip to Russia, I paid 90 USD. Go on, tell me it’s about taxes…

  • Poochie

    Typo… “radical”, not “rafical” just to preempt.

  • Mara

    Poochie, I propose a hypothesis: car taxes are high because both politicians and bureaucrats prefer to rule over a large budget rather than a small one. The same applies to all taxes in Finland.

    It is lucrative for the politicians and bureaucrats to design the tax incentives so that people spend a maximum part of their money on heavily taxed consumption, while still refraining from moving out of country, sending their money out of country, or spending their money out of country.

    I’d very much like to see a “reverse-engineering” study where all details in Finnish tax system are designed towards one goal: to maximize the proportion of national money flow that goes thru the public sector. There would need to be only two practical constraints: 1) limiting the probablility of open tax revolt below 0.5 and 2) not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    My bet is that the result would greatly resemble the current real Finnish tax system. However, I’ve posted earlier on this site why I do not believe it is wise for any Finnish social scientist to do such a study.

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