David Whitehead: Electric vehicle tax incentives
Thomas Elias’ column regarding electric vehicle tax credits did not convince me that California should not extend them.
He argues their unfair effects, and unequal benefits across economic class. He ignores the big picture, instead focusing on economic disparities.
Government tax incentives do much more than “jump start new concepts into public acceptance.” Actually, innovation requires capital, and market signals such as tax incentives can encourage investment in technology that society needs.
In fact, the federal government subsidizes fossil fuels for this reason. A growing market attracts venture capital.
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Today the greater good of society requires market signals such as tax incentives to move essential new transportation products along Mohr’s curve a little faster. Our society faces an environmental threat right now. Our society must accept the imperative to eliminate emissions now. We can’t wait for the market.
Claiming that “the rich” unfairly benefit from tax incentives on electric vehicles ignores the value of this economic class within the automobile market. Wealthy people spend more money. Development of renewable electric transportation propulsion, a set of critical new technologies, must be accelerated.
New technologies in the automobile industry require a market demand to attract venture capital, thereby starting the “virtuous cycle.”
Why fret over issues of fairness in our tax code when our environment is threatened by climate risks that we can prevent?
A wise society would try to reduce huge future losses by taking practical and effective legislative action, such as extending, even tripling, current electric vehicle tax incentives.
David Whitehead lives in Grass Valley.
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