You’ve heard of “green collar jobs.” But what about “glass collar jobs”?
The Heartland Institute just put out a handy little pamphlet called The Cap and Trade Handbook, by James M. Taylor. It debunks various aspects of today’s obsession with fixing the global climate by laying on new restrictions, regulations and taxes. On page 5, Taylor addresses, colorfully, the “green jobs” issue.
Would cap-and-trade create new jobs? The handbook says, “sure, forcing people to buy expensive alternative energy means some new jobs would be created in the wind and solar industry. But even more jobs would be destroyed in the more efficient conventional energy sectors. . . .”
True — new jobs would come at a cost. The pamphlet then considers what would happen if the government hired thugs to break our windows. Sure, “such a program would create a lot of new ‘glass collar’ jobs in the window repair industry.” But employment would not increase on net, and we’d obviously be worse off, not better.
Unfortunately, the big headline on the page insists that “There will be no employment boom in the ‘green collar’ jobs sector.” Not true, as explained.
Just as subsidizing mortgages led to a housing boom this past decade, cap-and-trade policy would likely create a new boom industry that also would not sustain itself. And then explode. Spectacularly. Disastrously.
Financial bubbles break. That’s bad, no matter what color.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.