I heard this bit of logic on NPR the other day on the drive home from work:
But critics of the GOP’s push for deregulation insist that the benefits of the EPA’s rules far outweigh their costs. Rena Steinzor, who heads the Center for Progressive Reform, says tougher environmental regulations are good not only for the nation’s health, but also for the job market.
“We require factories to control pollution by putting scrubbers on smokestacks or cleaning wastewater before they dump it in a river,” she says. “And people make that equipment and install that equipment.” (Click here for the full transcript.)
Wow, it seems that Ms. Steinzor has solved America’s jobs crisis for us! If one smokestack scrubber is a job creator, why not require that every smokestack in America have two scrubbers? Or three or ten? Imagine all of the jobs making and installing all of those smokestack scrubbers!
Oops. All of the companies that use smokestacks just went out of business or moved their factories overseas. Now, not only are the smokestack-scrubber builders and installers out of work, but so are all of the people working in the factories that just closed. Oh no, what are we to do?!?
Never fear, Ms. Steinzor’s logic can save us again. Now we will need to hire more people to work in the unemployment offices to handle all of the new unemployment claims, and that will create more jobs. Further, we can require everyone working for the unemployment office to stop using computers, telephones, and faxes, and instead require that everything be done by courier and in face-to-face meetings, which will of course create even more jobs!
Aw, will the jobs boom from government regulation ever end?
(In case someone missed it, this is a sarcastic post.)