Freeman

ANYTHING PEACEFUL

No Subsidies for Nukes!

MARCH 17, 2011 by SHELDON RICHMAN

As Japan struggles to contain the damage to its nuclear-power plants, there’s much hand-wringing in the United States over what the government’s policy toward the domestic nuclear industry ought to be. President Obama supports government subsidies in order to replace carbon-emitting energy sources.

That policy was wrong before the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and it’s wrong now.

Nuclear power in this country has long been a government affair. From the very start, the “private” industry had its accident liability capped through the Price-Anderson Act. The companies said that without help they wouldn’t make the investment. It was corporate-state all the way, part of the the Dwight Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program that was intended to make the traumatized post-World War II world feel better about atomic energy. Given its history of government support, no free-market advocate should look at nuclear power with good feelings.

If the free market void of all subsidies and privileges won’t support nuclear power — and there is good reason to think it wouldn’t — then it should not exist. Period. End of story.

That of course goes for all forms of energy. More details here.

ABOUT

SHELDON RICHMAN

Sheldon Richman is the former editor of The Freeman and TheFreemanOnline.org, and a contributor to The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. He is the author of Separating School and State: How to Liberate America's Families.

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required
Sign me up for...

CURRENT ISSUE

July/August 2014

The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION