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I hate it when economists get drawn into the mistake of treating jobs as a commodity.

In the U.S., about a few hundred thousand workers are in the coal industry (according to Sourcewatch.org). A 40% reduction of 300,000 is 120,000 lost jobs. Is the clean industry sector so labor-intensive that about 120,000 jobs will be replaced by millions of new jobs (creating a net increase in jobs of millions) in order to supply the same amount of energy?

What happened to the ideal of producing efficiently–using the minimum amount of resources available to get what we need and want? It is a common mistake for politicians to sell a policy with the promise that it will create jobs, but it is unforgiveable for an economist.  

A better way to sell green energy would be to promise that energy from coal and petroleum requires us to work harder than if we get it from the sun and wind.

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