Month: May 2019

Liberals want to build their campaign around pharmacare, but ignore where drugs would end up

Fred Roeder is a health economist and the managing director of the Consumer Choice Center. David Clement is the North American-affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center.

Internal documents from within the Liberal Party recently showed that Ontario Liberal MPs want 2019’s election campaign to be built on a national pharmacare plan.

Specifically, the proposed plan would seek to centralize and consolidate the 46 drug-procurement programs that exist in Canada. The goal would be to give Canada as a whole more bargaining power in the drug-procurement process, which would potentially lower the prices Canadians pay for their medicine. Although pharmacare could lower drug prices in the short run, it could also run the risk of exacerbating Canada’s existing drug shortage, and significantly limit patient access in the long run.

If a national pharmacare plan were to work, as advertised, it would help Canadian patients by lowering the price they pay for medicine. Unfortunately, the Liberals are largely ignoring the issue of where much of these low-priced drugs would end up, which is the United States. It is one thing to lower drug prices for Canadians, but that benefit isn’t realized if Canadian patients never actually have access to those cheaper drugs.

Pharmacare would be an attempt to further control the price of drugs. The problem is that Canada already has price-control mechanisms for prescription drugs at the federal and provincial level. Those price controls lead to much lower drug prices compared with the prices paid south of the border. That said, because Canadian drugs are cheaper than in the United States, several U.S. states have begun looking at importing pharmaceutical products from Canada in an attempt to undercut U.S. prices. For example, the Republican Governor of Florida has recently pushed for federal approval for drug importation from Canada, and U.S. President Donald Trump has already signalled his support of this measure.

And while importation from Canada to the United States could mean lower drug prices for patients in Florida, Canadian patients could suffer as a result of worsening access. U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar has publicly stated that Canada doesn’t have the appropriate supply to meet patient demand, and that large pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to increase their supply for the Canadian market. Worsening drug shortages are the most likely outcome for Canadians if the federal government adds in more price controls while having large-scale drug exports to the United States. We know that this is the probable outcome because Canada already suffers from a lack of supply, and another measure to intervene on pricing will simply increase the incentive for American states to import from Canada.

Supply is one problem for Canadian patients, but it isn’t the only issue they face, and it isn’t the only issue that could get worse as a result of pharmacare. In addition to poor supply, Canada is significantly lagging in terms of access to potentially life-saving and innovative medicines. Countries such as Germany, Japan and the United States all introduce, and reimburse for, innovative drugs quicker than in Canada. Here, it takes more than 450 days for a new drug to be reimbursable, while that number is only 180 days in the United States. It can be expected that a pharmacare plan would make this innovation problem worse. It is unlikely that the manufacturers of these drugs will want to roll out innovative medicines in Canada, under various forms of price control, if those drugs can then be resold into other markets, undercutting prices abroad.

For cost, it is important to remember that Canadians have lower drug prices than Americans. At the same time, it is important to be aware that because of price controls, Canada is not a significant market for drug manufacturers, especially when compared with the United States, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of the industry’s global profits. If Canada goes too bullish against drug prices, while at the same time allowing American states to import prescription drugs from Canada, we might run the risk of drug companies leaving entirely, or massively delaying the introduction of new drugs in Canada.

Companies leaving the domestic market entirely might sound like a far-fetched concept, but it is something the Canadian marketplace has seen in other industries. Take Google and the recent issue of political advertising in Canada. Ottawa significantly changed its election advertising regulations, and rather than comply, Google decided that it would leave the political advertising market altogether. Thus, we have a large multinational entity cutting itself out of the political advertising market because conditions aren’t ideal, and because Canada’s market is minuscule in comparison to others.

Everyone wants more competitive and better pricing for patients. Unfortunately, the elephant in the room is where these price-controlled drugs end up, and how industry will respond. Our concern, as a consumer group, is that the pharmacare plan, without addressing export, could exacerbate the already serious issue of drug availability in Canada.

If a provider of vital pharmaceuticals were to pull out of the Canadian market as a result of price fixing and undercutting, it would be Canadian patients who pay the ultimate price. Drug access – especially to new innovative treatments – lags in Canada, and without the foresight to correct some of these blind spots, access could either get significantly worse, or be eliminated altogether under a national pharmacare plan. That scenario should concern all Canadians.

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Opinion: Facebook trustbusters motivated by partisan politics, not consumer protection

Channeling the spirit of Theodore Roosevelt and nostalgia for the early 20th century Progressive Era, the latest bad idea being circulated in elite circles is to use the trust-busting power of the federal government to break up the social network Facebook.

The idea has been promoted by such Democratic politicians as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, and Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz. Even Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, has hitched his wagon to the idea, as expressed in his now infamous New York Times op-ed.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, the Facebook’s developer conference, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in San Jose, Calif.
Tony Avelar, AP

But let’s not kid ourselves. We’re not dealing with a corporate monopoly akin to Standard Oil, U.S. Steel or even Microsoft. We’re talking about social media websites and services available on the open web.

No one is forced to use these platforms, and are very free and cheaply able to create their own. This is not a monopoly in the literal sense, or even a figurative one.

There are already plenty of competing social networks that people use for a host of services. Whether it’s Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest or Twitter, there are plenty of services where people connect with friends and share information. Facebook just happens to have “clued in” to the needs of the greatest numbers of consumers. Does that warrant government intervention? No.

Let’s be clear: The internet is the ultimate playground for consumer choice. Government attempts to intervene and regulate based on political considerations, however, will only restrict consumer choice and deprive us of what we’ve thus far enjoyed.

No doubt, some actions by the company have been egregious and they’ll be rightfully punished. The Federal Trade Commission’s expected $5 billion fine on Facebook because of its mishandling of data and consumer privacy is a good first step.

But the movement calling on federal regulators to use their power to break up the company reeks of partisan politics.

Democrats are incensed that users on the platform may have been persuaded to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election due to an impressive outreach effort by the Trump campaign (not to mention alleged Russian front groups). Republicans, on the other hand, decry Facebook’s liberal-heavy moderation that has specifically targeted conservative pages and posts. Its censoring of a post citing the Declaration of Independence because it was considered “hate speech” is just one example.

But from what we’ve learned from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other tech elites, banning individuals or pages are highly complex decisions made by thousands of moderators who follow an internal set of guidelines, whether at YouTube, Twitter or Facebook. The investigative article published on the Verge about Facebook moderators’ workload and stress while removing bad content from the platform speaks to that.

Despite these follies, the overwhelming majority of users are happy with their profiles. They’re able to connect with friends and family around the world, and share images and posts that spark conversations. Millions of small businesses, artists, and even news websites are dependent on these platforms to make their living.

Using the force of government to break apart businesses because of particular stances or actions they’ve taken, all legal under current law, is highly vindictive and will restrict the ability for ordinary people like myself or millions of other consumers to enjoy the platforms for which we voluntarily signed up.

We should hold these platforms accountable when they make mistakes, but not tip our hand to invite the federal government to determine which sites or platforms we can click on.

The government’s role is not to pick winners and losers. It’s to ensure our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, as the Declaration of Independence states. Let’s not use temporary partisan politics to determine the fate of online services and platforms from which we all enjoy and benefit.

Yaël Ossowski is a consumer advocate and deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

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Les jeunes manifestants pour le climat seront les gilets jaunes de demain

Depuis des mois, les jeunes marcheurs pour le climat s’emparent de l’Europe. Leurs récentes déclarations nous montrent ce qu’ils veulent vraiment – et c’est exactement ce qu’on pensait.

Ces derniers temps, difficile d’ignorer dans la presse les nombreuses images de grandes manifestations en faveur de “l’action pour le climat”. On y trouve notamment les signes les plus drôles que tiennent de jeunes lycéens, incitant les politiciens à adopter des actions inspirantes.

Jusqu’à présent, ce que les marcheurs du climat espéraient réellement réaliser n’était pas tout à fait clair.

Pour la plupart, les activistes déplorent simplement que les politiciens et les riches restent les bras croisés alors que la planète tend vers son inévitable effondrement, prévu pour dans 12 ans.

Leur symbole : Greta Thunberg, élève de secondaire de 16 ans, qui a initié le mouvement avec sa “grève scolaire” pour le climat.

Mais à l’approche de ses 18 ans, âge officiellement requis pour se présenter aux élections législatives en Suède, son pays d’origine, il lui est désormais crucial d’avoir un programme politique clair. La question est : que faire exactement contre la catastrophe climatique ?

Ces jeunes gens voudront commencer “doucement”, en exigeant simplement que toutes les émissions de carbone cessent immédiatement. Un exemple ? Annuler l’expansion vitale de l’aéroport de Copenhague, dont la jeune fille suédoise parle dans un tweet.

tweet de Greta Thunberg

“L’erreur la plus dangereuse que l’on puisse faire quant à la crise climatique est peut-être de penser que nous devons ‘réduire’ nos émissions. Parce que c’est loin de suffire. Nos émissions doivent cesser si nous voulons rester sous les 1,5/2° de réchauffement. Cela exclut la plupart des politiques actuelles. Y compris l’extension d’un aéroport.”

Une combinaison parfaite

La fin du monde approche et les jeunes nous rappellent que nous devons agir. C’est la combinaison parfaite pour l’activisme : comme vous n’êtes pas soumis aux normes politiques des adultes, vous avez une sympathie instantanée, et le facteur médiatique est énorme.

Tout le monde peut se sentir vertueux en applaudissant la foule de jeunes marcheurs pour le climat… jusqu’à découvrir ce que cela signifie dans la pratique.

Le nombre de pays participant aux manifestations “Fridays For Future/vendredis pour l’avenir” n’est pas négligeable, mais ce sont des militants allemands qui ont été parmi les premiers à publier une liste complète de revendications qui fait écho aux sentiments des gens de la rue.

Le document exige le respect des objectifs de l’Accord de Paris sur le climat de 2015 pour ne pas dépasser la barre des 1,5°C d’augmentation de la température.

Pour ce faire, l’Allemagne (un pays qui dépend fortement de la production industrielle et du commerce international) devrait atteindre l’objectif de zéro émissions nettes d’ici 2035, d’une élimination complète de l’énergie au charbon d’ici 2030 et d’une utilisation totale des sources d’énergie renouvelables d’ici 2035.

Rappelons que l’Allemagne a commencé à éliminer progressivement l’énergie nucléaire après l’incident de Fukushima, au Japon, en 2011, et s’appuie davantage sur le charbon et le gaz pour maintenir la stabilité énergétique. Cette Energiewende (transition énergétique) a entraîné une augmentation des prix de l’électricité.

Le retour de la taxe carbone

Au-delà d’un simple changement dans la politique énergétique du pays, les marcheurs réclament une taxe carbone lourde, qu’ils fixent à 180€ par tonne de CO2. Même l’économiste Joseph Stiglitz, qu’on peut difficilement qualifier de défenseur de l’économie de marché, estime que ce montant ne sera que de 40$ à 80$ l’année prochaine et ne représentera que la moitié de cette estimation en 2030.

Le magazine allemand Der Spiegel a calculé ce qu’un prix de 180€ par tonne de CO2 signifierait en pratique pour les consommateurs. En voici quelques exemples :

1 litre d’essence : émissions de CO2 de 2,37 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 0,43 €

1 litre de diesel : émissions de CO2 de 2,65 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 0,47 €

1 an d’électricité, ménage moyen de trois personnes dans une maison individuelle sans production d’eau chaude sanitaire, mix électrique 2017 : émissions de CO2 de 1 760 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 317 €

1 kilogramme de bœuf (aliments congelés) : émissions de CO2 de 14,34 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 2,58 €

1 litre de lait : émissions de CO2 de 0,92 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 0,17 €

iPhone X (2017) : émissions de CO2 de 79 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 14,20 €

Vol direct Düsseldorf-New York et retour, classe économique : émissions de CO2 de 3,65 tonnes. Frais supplémentaires : 657 €

Vol Francfort-Auckland via Dubaï, aller-retour, classe économique : émissions de CO2 de 11,71 tonnes. Frais supplémentaires : 2 107 €

L’augmentation du prix du carburant devrait particulièrement attirer l’attention. Y a-t-il eu pareille tentative de taxe de la part des politiciens récemment ? Oui… et même eux n’ont pas tenté une politique fiscale aussi radicale.

Bref.

L’estimation la plus élevée possible des coûts potentiels d’une tonne de CO2, l’explosion des prix à la consommation qui en résulte, montrent le véritable visage de l’écologie : des personnes sans connaissances financières qui ne cherchent pas à trouver des solutions innovantes, mais plutôt à réduire la consommation tout court.

Si vous êtes de la classe moyenne supérieure, 17 centimes de plus par litre de lait ne sera pas la fin du monde. Mais comme ces coûts s’additionnent, les ménages à faible revenu ne pourront bientôt plus se permettre certains produits.

C’est là le véritable objectif final : surtaxer les pauvres pour qu’ils arrêtent de consommer. Que cela vienne d’une génération de nantis qui résident en Allemagne et dans de nombreux pays scandinaves est d’autant plus stupéfiant.

L’avion consomme de moins en moins de carburant et les gens sont de plus en plus conscients que polluer est un problème à la fois esthétique et environnemental. Il n’est pas possible de s’attendre à des changements considérables immédiatement suite à l’indignation des jeunes et, surtout, cela nuira aux ménages à faible revenu qui ont déjà du mal à joindre les deux bouts.

Le jour où ils auront réalisé ce qu’impliquent leurs prescriptions politiques, ces marcheurs du climat mettront leur gilet jaune.

Read more here

#JunkScience is entering courtrooms at expense of consumers

One of the most notable features of modern politics is how much easier it is today to be ‘involved’ in one way or another. That’s great. I’ve personally spent much of my energy in the past couple of years campaigning for better political education and other policies which do exactly that. Today, you can reach thousands of people through social media and have genuine influence with a single vote being cast for you – or by having any real-life experience in the areas you criticize, writes Matt Gillow.

One of the dark sides to that, however, is that much is commented on instantaneously – and people are encouraged to think with their gut in a split-second. That’s what gets retweets. All too often, lawmakers are basing their judgement on emotion and how social media will react, rather than cold, hard evidence and scientific fact.

The recent European Court of Justice ruling, which obliged the European Food Safety Authority to release a wealth of commercially sensitive data on the pesticide glyphosate, is the perfect example of split-second decision making which fails to pay heed to the evidence. Whilst encouraging greater transparency for consumers to make decisions is a good thing, the ruling raises intellectual property issues, acquiesces to lobbyists, and ignores the fact that many companies – which produce and sell products with pesticides like glyphosate – actually voluntarily release much of the information requested anyway. To top it all off – the ruling is based on junk science espoused by lobbyists and demonises safe products – to the detriment of the consumer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer was instrumental in the verdict by adding glyphosate to a list of things considered carcinogenic. IARC’s list of carcinogenic products include chemicals found in carrots, celery, lettuce, jasmine tea and aloe vera – to name a few. The US House Committee on Space, Science and Technology, which has stated the IARC finding on glyphosate is an “affront to scientific integrity that bred distrust and confusion,” requested that (now former) IARC Director Christopher Wild appear before the Committee. Wild refused to testify, and his successor, Elizabete Weiderpass, has not responded.

The fundamental problem is that IARC misrepresents the relationship between hazard and risk. Risk is the hazard in question, paired with the degree of exposure to that hazard. In a practical example: a road is a hazard to pedestrians because while crossing it, you can get hit. However, identifying the real risk implies knowing whether people actually cross this street, and depends on the level of care they take while doing so.

For the agency, the best risk management process is to remove all hazards, even if their exposure doesn’t make them risky. Yes, residues of glyphosate is found in beer, but for beer to become a risk factor in relationship to glyphosate, you’d have to drink 1,000 litres a day. We’ll take it that in that particular case, it still won’t be the pesticide that will be your biggest concern.

According to science blogger The Riskmonger – Scientists working with toxic tort law firms are compelling IARC to produce monographs for the purpose of increasing their lucrative opportunities as litigation consultants. Collusion between tort lawyers and agencies such as the IARC for lucrative payouts is not only disconcerting and corrupt – but sets a horribly dangerous precedent. Any scientific innovation could soon fall victim of this procedure.

So not only has IARC become a front for junk science and peddling of bad news, but it has become a tool for trial lawyers seeking cancer findings by IARC which they then leverage in US courtrooms into multi-million dollar verdicts. In the case of school groundskeeper Dwayne Johnson vs. Monsanto, the judge ended up setting punitive damages at $39 million. By confusing hazard and risk, IARC has declared herbicides as carcinogenic when they are not.

The fact of the matter is that consumers are being peddled lies by junk science organisations, and crooked get-rich-quick litigation consultants are getting payouts off the back of dodgy opinions from IARC – with scientific research that is not backed up by their peers.

Junk science and split-second judgements based on a headline are infiltrating and harming commerce and courtrooms – and harming the consumer and taxpayer at the same time. But a move away from evidence-based policy making isn’t confined to science. In politics, legislators are increasingly voting on sentiment instead instead of taking a scientific approach.

Soundbites have infiltrated policy-making. In order to protect ordinary people and improve their daily lives – it’s absolutely essential that we make a return to evidence-based policy making when it comes to science. Instead, politicians, commentators and activists are pandering to their support base and their ideological tribes. People deserve better than policy-makers refusing to look past the headlines.

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It’s time to let Europe go supersonic

When France built its high-speed rail network, it revolutionised the way we looked at train traevl. What takes 4-5 hours by long-distance bus from Brussels to Paris can now be completed in just over an hour with a Thalys train. Dumping slow regional trains for fast and futuristic new models has brought more comfort and time-efficiency to consumers.

In aviation however, the opposite is the case. Since the 1960s, air travel hasn’t gotten any faster. According to Kate Repantis from MIT cruising speeds for commercial airliners today range between about 480 and 510 knots, compared to 525 knots for the Boeing 707, a mainstay of 1960s jet travel.

The reason for that is fuel-efficiency, which translates into cost-efficiency. While pilots have attempted to find the most efficient flight routes, it is slowing flights down which has effectively reduced fuel consumption. According to a story from NBC News in 2008, JetBlue saved about $13.6 million a year in jet fuel by adding just under two minutes to its flights.

But slowing things down doesn’t need to be the only alternative, and it will certainly shock passengers to learn that flight times are actually longer than 60 years ago. We can look at it this way: old regional trains are less electricity-consuming than current high-speed trains going at over 300 km/h, but there is precious little demand to bring travel times between Paris and London back to seven hours. In fact, as we use high-speed rail continuously, the technology improves and energy consumption is reduced. The same dynamic ought to work in aviation.

Supersonic planes have been out of the discussion in Europe for a while, but new innovations should make us reconsider our approach to this technology.

For long-distance intercontinental flights, supersonic planes cut flight time by more than half.  For instance, London-New York would go down from 7 hours to just 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Granted, the fuel-efficiency of current supersonic models isn’t yet ideal, but for a (re)emerging industry the only way from here is up. When considering the evolution of regular planes, which have become 80 per cent more efficient than the first airliners, there are good grounds for optimism about supersonic planes. What’s more, producers of supersonic planes are also supportive of alternative fuel use, a key part of the UN’s 2020 plan for carbon-neutral growth.

Faster flight times for consumers who like innovative solutions to environmental problems. What’s not to like?

The biggest catch is noise levels. As someone who grew up in a town neighbouring an airport, and having lived there almost 20 years, I know the differing views on airport noises. Many in my home village would defend the airport for economic reasons, while others would rally in associations of concerned citizens, fighting the airport one plane at a time. Over the years, their demands have found less support, because as planes became more efficient, they also made less noise.

Here is where supersonic planes aren’t starting from scratch either. While these aircrafts are louder on landing and take-off, new models, like Boom’s futuristic looking Overture,  are 100 times less noisy than the Concorde was. Furthermore, it would be important to compare those things that are comparable, in the same way that wouldn’t equate a regional jet with a large A380 with over 800 passengers. So yes, supersonic planes would be, at least for now, noisier. At the same time, the trade-off would entail faster travel times and the promise of lower emissions down the line.

The least we can do to increase consumer choice in this area is give supersonic a chance. Current regulations are not supportive of the fact that supersonic planes are fundamentally different than regular, subsonic, aircraft. There is a balance that both consumers and concerned citizens can strike, which looks at the questions of A) what we can realistically achieve in terms of reducing noise, and B) the advantageous trade-offs we’d get as a return of allowing Europe to go supersonic.

Les jeunes manifestants pour le climat seront les gilets jaunes de demain

Depuis des mois, les jeunes marcheurs pour le climat s’emparent de l’Europe. Leurs récentes déclarations nous montrent ce qu’ils veulent vraiment – et c’est exactement ce qu’on pensait.

Ces derniers temps, difficile d’ignorer dans la presse les nombreuses images de grandes manifestations en faveur de “l’action pour le climat”. On y trouve notamment les signes les plus drôles que tiennent de jeunes lycéens, incitant les politiciens à adopter des actions inspirantes.

Jusqu’à présent, ce que les marcheurs du climat espéraient réellement réaliser n’était pas tout à fait clair.

Pour la plupart, les activistes déplorent simplement que les politiciens et les riches restent les bras croisés alors que la planète tend vers son inévitable effondrement, prévu pour dans 12 ans.

Leur symbole : Greta Thunberg, élève de secondaire de 16 ans, qui a initié le mouvement avec sa “grève scolaire” pour le climat.

Mais à l’approche de ses 18 ans, âge officiellement requis pour se présenter aux élections législatives en Suède, son pays d’origine, il lui est désormais crucial d’avoir un programme politique clair. La question est : que faire exactement contre la catastrophe climatique ?

Ces jeunes gens voudront commencer “doucement”, en exigeant simplement que toutes les émissions de carbone cessent immédiatement. Un exemple ? Annuler l’expansion vitale de l’aéroport de Copenhague, dont la jeune fille suédoise parle dans un tweet.

tweet de Greta Thunberg

“L’erreur la plus dangereuse que l’on puisse faire quant à la crise climatique est peut-être de penser que nous devons ‘réduire’ nos émissions. Parce que c’est loin de suffire. Nos émissions doivent cesser si nous voulons rester sous les 1,5/2° de réchauffement. Cela exclut la plupart des politiques actuelles. Y compris l’extension d’un aéroport.”

Une combinaison parfaite

La fin du monde approche et les jeunes nous rappellent que nous devons agir. C’est la combinaison parfaite pour l’activisme : comme vous n’êtes pas soumis aux normes politiques des adultes, vous avez une sympathie instantanée, et le facteur médiatique est énorme.

Tout le monde peut se sentir vertueux en applaudissant la foule de jeunes marcheurs pour le climat… jusqu’à découvrir ce que cela signifie dans la pratique.

Le nombre de pays participant aux manifestations “Fridays For Future/vendredis pour l’avenir” n’est pas négligeable, mais ce sont des militants allemands qui ont été parmi les premiers à publier une liste complète de revendicationsqui fait écho aux sentiments des gens de la rue.

Le document exige le respect des objectifs de l’Accord de Paris sur le climat de 2015 pour ne pas dépasser la barre des 1,5°C d’augmentation de la température.

Pour ce faire, l’Allemagne (un pays qui dépend fortement de la production industrielle et du commerce international) devrait atteindre l’objectif de zéro émissions nettes d’ici 2035, d’une élimination complète de l’énergie au charbon d’ici 2030 et d’une utilisation totale des sources d’énergie renouvelables d’ici 2035.

Rappelons que l’Allemagne a commencé à éliminer progressivement l’énergie nucléaire après l’incident de Fukushima, au Japon, en 2011, et s’appuie davantage sur le charbon et le gaz pour maintenir la stabilité énergétique. Cette Energiewende (transition énergétique) a entraîné une augmentation des prix de l’électricité.

Le retour de la taxe carbone

Au-delà d’un simple changement dans la politique énergétique du pays, les marcheurs réclament une taxe carbone lourde, qu’ils fixent à 180€ par tonne de CO2. Même l’économiste Joseph Stiglitz, qu’on peut difficilement qualifier de défenseur de l’économie de marché, estime que ce montant ne sera que de 40$ à 80$ l’année prochaine et ne représentera que la moitié de cette estimation en 2030.

Le magazine allemand Der Spiegel a calculé ce qu’un prix de 180€ par tonne de CO2 signifierait en pratique pour les consommateurs. En voici quelques exemples :

  • 1 litre d’essence : émissions de CO2 de 2,37 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 0,43 €
  • 1 litre de diesel : émissions de CO2 de 2,65 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 0,47 €
  • 1 an d’électricité, ménage moyen de trois personnes dans une maison individuelle sans production d’eau chaude sanitaire, mix électrique 2017 : émissions de CO2 de 1 760 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 317 €
  • 1 kilogramme de bœuf (aliments congelés) : émissions de CO2 de 14,34 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 2,58 €
  • 1 litre de lait : émissions de CO2 de 0,92 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 0,17 €
  • iPhone X (2017) : émissions de CO2 de 79 kg. Frais supplémentaires : 14,20 €
  • Vol direct Düsseldorf-New York et retour, classe économique : émissions de CO2 de 3,65 tonnes. Frais supplémentaires : 657 €
  • Vol Francfort-Auckland via Dubaï, aller-retour, classe économique : émissions de CO2 de 11,71 tonnes. Frais supplémentaires : 2 107 €

L’augmentation du prix du carburant devrait particulièrement attirer l’attention. Y a-t-il eu pareille tentative de taxe de la part des politiciens récemment ? Oui… et même eux n’ont pas tenté une politique fiscale aussi radicale.

Bref.

L’estimation la plus élevée possible des coûts potentiels d’une tonne de CO2, l’explosion des prix à la consommation qui en résulte, montrent le véritable visage de l’écologie : des personnes sans connaissances financières qui ne cherchent pas à trouver des solutions innovantes, mais plutôt à réduire la consommation tout court.

Si vous êtes de la classe moyenne supérieure, 17 centimes de plus par litre de lait ne sera pas la fin du monde. Mais comme ces coûts s’additionnent, les ménages à faible revenu ne pourront bientôt plus se permettre certains produits.

C’est là le véritable objectif final : surtaxer les pauvres pour qu’ils arrêtent de consommer. Que cela vienne d’une génération de nantis qui résident en Allemagne et dans de nombreux pays scandinaves est d’autant plus stupéfiant.

L’avion consomme de moins en moins de carburant et les gens sont de plus en plus conscients que polluer est un problème à la fois esthétique et environnemental. Il n’est pas possible de s’attendre à des changements considérables immédiatement suite à l’indignation des jeunes et, surtout, cela nuira aux ménages à faible revenu qui ont déjà du mal à joindre les deux bouts.

Le jour où ils auront réalisé ce qu’impliquent leurs prescriptions politiques, ces marcheurs du climat mettront leur gilet jaune.

Read more here

European Union Specializes in Nicotine Prohibition

Consumer Choice Center policy analyst Bill Wirtz wrote at the end of 2018 that the findings of the European Court of Justice were nothing but political due to a history of policy that prioritizes certain tobacco products over others. The FDA’s approach to regulating e-cigarettes is that the agency is down an aggressive regulatory path not too far off that of Europe’s.

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Google & US chipmakers pull the plug on Huawei’s Android phones after Trump blacklist

“Outright bans by country of origin should only be the last resort for policy makers. Bans risk getting the global economy deeper into costly trade wars,” said Fred Roeder, managing director of the Consumer Choice Center.

The non-governmental organisation campaigns against restricting consumer choices by prohibitive laws and protectionist measures among others.

“Closed systems have a much higher likelihood of hiding vulnerabilities. Hence more open systems and open source approaches can really help consumers, and governments, trust the security promises of 5G providers,” he added.

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Google cuts off Huawei from Android ecosystem

Fred Roeder, managing director of the Consumer Choice Centre, a consumer activism group based in Arlington, Virginia, said that outright bans on technology equipment based on country of origin should only be a last resort for governments, and suggested open source might actually be a good route forward. “Bans risk getting the global economy deeper into costly trade wars. Consumers benefit from competition and the fast rollout of new technologies such as 5G networks,” he said.

“At the same time, we are worried about vulnerabilities and potential backdoors in equipment and software. Closed systems have a much higher likelihood of hiding vulnerabilities. Hence more open systems and open source approaches can really help consumers, and governments, trust the security promises of 5G providers,” added Roeder.

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Trump’s 6-Month Window To Limit Car Imports Might Lead To A New Trade War

Washington D.C.: President Trump will give the EU and Japan six months to agree to a deal that would “limit or restrict” imports of automobiles and their parts into the US. It is claimed that car imports threaten national security since they have hurt domestic producers and their ability to invest in new technologies.

In response, Consumer Choice Center Deputy Director Yael Ossowski warned that by making such a treat, President Trump asserted his intention not to proceed with a cooperative solution. Where there is no political will to cooperate on trade, there’s an increasing possibility of a trade war.

“First and foremost, claims that car imports hurt domestic producers and their investing ability are ignorant of the interests of American consumers. Should Japan and the EU limit their supply of cars, consumers in the US will have to bear the costs in the form of higher prices. Protecting an industry at the expense of domestic consumers has never made any country better off,” said Ossowski.

“Trump’s decision will, ironically, hurt the ones it seeks to protect. The US car industry is heavily dependent on imports of car parts. If the EU and Japan limit their supply of car parts to the US market, the domestic sales and production will be restrained. The consequences will be numerous and damaging, and all Americans will have to bear them.

“Chances are high that Trump’s decision will spark a new trade war and impede international cooperation. Trade wars are always lose-lose. They must be stopped in the early stages and prevented altogether. If President Trump cares about the welfare of consumers and producers in his own country, it is high time he learned that free trade is the only way forward,” concluded Ossowski.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

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