I agreed with a lot of what the OP had to say here. But let's move on from carbon taxes.
Part of what a "carbon tax" is supposed to do is distract the people who want to take drastic action to 'save the environment.' A good example of
what they want to distract you from is AN ENVIRONMENTAL TARIFF:
If you won't read the wiki article, it's not hard to sum it up: a system of environmental tariffs means we look at how much air pollution, ocean
pollution etc a nation really produces. We compare that to what it costs our companies to comply with our own environmental pollution standards. And
then we charge foreign companies who want to create cheaper products by polluting, for access to our markets. We charge them to balance it out, so
that pollution doesn't make them more competitive, at least not in our own markets.
Such a system is illegal, because of the GATT and the WTO. Would such a system work? I'm not sure, I don't think it's been discussed enough yet.
But carbon taxes have. They're done; they are a junk idea which was even hijacked by thieves.
Pollution is real. Clean air and clean oceans matter. There is nothing nebulous about breathing in gallium, no matter where it comes from. That
garbage island in the Pacific - guess what, it's mostly not because of the US.
Climate change is always happening. I think a lot of the hysteria has to do with the way science is funded. Given our lack of a comprehensive
understanding of climate, and the importance of understanding it when there are ~6billion+ people on the earth, we really should invest in the science
of understanding what is really happening. Yet what gets you the grant money is alarmist cries of 'wolf.' And the point of the admonishment against
crying wolf is not that there is never a wolf at the door, of course. The point is that it undermines all calls to alarm, and that rather seems like
the state of environmental policy now eh?
Now about that economic stuff...
"Consumption" pretty much has to drive the economy, no matter what sort of "consumption" it is. We would not be better off it was government
consumption, or corporate consumption, instead of private consumption. As the GDP article at wiki will illustrate, there are other ways of looking at
GDP, but no economy could exist without 'consumption.' The important thing is that our markets serve us well, not the other way around. Nominal
progress must reflect real progress, and sometimes that requires regulation to correct market failures.
Libertarians, of both big L and small l: do not believe the lies of the Marxist academics of the 20th century. Liberty is not anarchy. An undefended
market is not a free market. A free market is not the state of nature. The state of nature is the Jungle. Liberty can and must tax, liberty can and
must build, and liberty can and must regulate. The liberty to choke to death is obviously not really liberty. These notions were undermined to
sabotage liberty to make a clear path for a new tyranny based on seductive Marxist lies.
Also, those top 5 companies by income are just the current 5 best at re-capturing money. A list by industry might be more relevant. Based on 2007
data, some Swiss physicists calculated the 10 financial companies that had wielded the most influence over world financial markets...I could list them
but please read the whole thing:
I wouldn't mind seeing a 2009 data version given the shake out of 2008. But the point is, Marxism, Socialism, Communism, central planning, whatever
the heck you want to call it, is all a lot closer to describing the global oligarchy we have than free market, free enterprise capitalism.
If you want to achieve a post-scarcity world, you must support a return to free market, free enterprise capitalism, and then defend them.