June 4, 2012 by David K. Sutton
The ‘Job Killing Regulations Argument’ Can Be Right And Still Not Matter, Particularly When Our Future Is On The Line
It’s a common refrain from Republicans that regulations are bad for business and will kill jobs. They need not offer any proof, just like most claims from Republicans, they simply state it as fact. Fine, let’s take them at their word. In fact, I do believe there are some situations where regulations could lead to job losses, but my response is “so what?” Hear me out for a few moments.
Capping carbon emissions is a good thing. If the only result was cleaner air it would still be worthwhile. If it did result in job losses, are those jobs more important than clean air and a healthier environment tomorrow and for future generations? We need to start looking at the long view and stop risking our future survival on jobs and profits this quarter or this fiscal year. My point is that some things are more important than a particular job in a particular industry.
I love those American Petroleum Institute propaganda commercials. You know, the ones with the attractive blonde woman telling us how we should love the oil industry. One of those commercials “informs” us that we own a piece of oil companies in our mutual funds and retirement accounts, which is less about informing the public and more about scaring the public into support of the oil industry. We are supposed to want this industry to survive and thrive so that our portfolios are not negatively affected. To that I say: I don’t care if ExxonMobile’s stock goes to zero if that is what is necessary to have a clean and sustainable future. I’ll take the loss in my retirement account, just as some jobs will be lost to get to that future. On the flip side, new jobs will be created. This is nothing new. It has happened many times before in other industries, but this time the sustainability of the human species on this planet is at stake.