• Another good, thought-provoking post (Mancur Olson at the End of History) from Matt Yglesias in his Slow Boring Substack newsletter. Some excerpts:
“So along with all the Ukrainian flag pins, the west ought to be taking action on energy policy:
1. Subsidizing the purchase of electric cars and e-bikes.
2. Raising gasoline taxes and using the revenue to cut payroll taxes.
3. Canceling and reversing planned shutdowns of nuclear power plants.
4. Tearing down regulatory barriers to long-distance electrical transmission lines, geothermal exploration, advanced nuclear, and to permitting new utility-scale wind and solar warms.
5. Either outright barring European imports of Russian natural gas or at least placing stiff taxes and quotas on how much can be imported.”
“But despite a ton of big talk from western leaders, we are so far not really doing any of this.”
“It’s not like there is a single Republican Party elected official who is volunteering to give the Biden administration political cover on gas prices and say “look, we can disagree on abortion rights and government spending while also acknowledging that a surge in energy prices is worth it to beat the Russians.” Nor are Biden’s supporters among environmental groups volunteering to give him a pass on supporting domestic oil and gas production or urging him to go all-in on nuclear. The economic war on Russia is half-assed not because each national leader has independently decided to half-ass it, but because all of our societies are experiencing demosclerosis and simply can’t choose to act decisively on the Russia issue. We lack the capacity.”