Monday, December 17, 2007

Australia's Baby Breath Tax

There has been more and more talk of downsizing the human population as the Earth's natural resources are recently straining to keep up with the growth- but Australia is the 1st that I know of to propose a tax for the carbon footprint the new family addition will add. The proposal basically says that the first two kids you don't have to pay for, but any kids after that will cost you a $4,400 tax at birth, plus $350 to $700 per year "for the life of the child."

What is the justification? From a letter to the Editor of The Medical Journal of Australia,

Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing, but by the profligate consumption of resources typical of our society.

Does that seem unfair? I'm not sure what I think yet. But on the opposite side of this proposal- people should get carbon credits for using contraceptives, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, condoms and sterilization procedures. Likewise, family planning clinics and hospitals that provide greenhouse-friendly services should also receive a tax benefit.

This will be an interesting topic and trend to follow.

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