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Home / Tim Worstall /A ban always does mean people want the thing being banned

A ban always does mean people want the thing being banned

Summary:
A ban on the taking of narcotics does, quite obviously, mean that those proposing the ban think some would like to take narcotics. A ban on booze sales after midnight equally means those banning think that in the absence of the ban booze sales after midnight would take place as part of voluntary interactions.It is with this in mind that we can evaluate the ban on petrol or diesel cars by 2030. The government is insisting that the electric, hydrogen, whatever, cars on offer by then will be worse:The UK is poised to bring forward its ban on new fossil fuel vehicles from 2040 to 2030 to help speed up the rollout of electric vehicles across British roads. Boris Johnson is expected to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles this autumn with the announcement, one of a string of new clean

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A ban on the taking of narcotics does, quite obviously, mean that those proposing the ban think some would like to take narcotics. A ban on booze sales after midnight equally means those banning think that in the absence of the ban booze sales after midnight would take place as part of voluntary interactions.

It is with this in mind that we can evaluate the ban on petrol or diesel cars by 2030. The government is insisting that the electric, hydrogen, whatever, cars on offer by then will be worse:

The UK is poised to bring forward its ban on new fossil fuel vehicles from 2040 to 2030 to help speed up the rollout of electric vehicles across British roads.

Boris Johnson is expected to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles this autumn with the announcement, one of a string of new clean energy policies to help trigger a green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

If these new technologies are going to be better - in price, comfort, range, general utility, whatever - then we do not need to be banned from buying the alternative. Because no one will voluntarily buy said worse alternative, that’s not how we humans work.

This is all akin to the point we’ve been making for a couple of decades now about solar and other non-fossil energy sources. Once - if - they are actually cheaper then no planning, subsidy, taxation or regulation is required. Everyone will entirely naturally move to the cheaper energy source.

This point also working in reverse, as with the cars. The very insistence upon a ban, upon regulation or punitive taxation, is all the proof required to show that those proposing the ban - regulation, punitive taxation - themselves insist that the new alternative is worse.

That the government is thinking of banning the sale of new internal combustion engines by 2030 is all the proof we need that the electric, hydrogen, alternatives are still going to be terrible by then.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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