Couldn't we do both? An aggressive transition to renewable energy could create a net gain (after subtractin
g dirty energy jobs lost) of 4.3 million jobs. And add $4.7 to the US economy. But 4.3 million jobs are not enough. I appreciate the sentiment of your story, that companies like Koch Industries want to dismantle the EPA because clean air costs the Koch brothers precious money, but it is quite possible for "old" manufactur ing to coexist with robust environmen tal standards. We need to hang on to all of those machinists , tool and die makers, steam fitters, electricia ns, and factory riggers -- all the folks who enable an industrial ized society -- we need to hang on to them and the skills they possess, or we will end up too ignorant to walk back the mistake of giving away our manufactur ing base. The US should preserve the know-how to manufactur e all of the things our society requires. OK, let's have competitio n from abroad, but they have to play by the same safety, wage, pension, health care, and environmen tal standards US manufactur ers do. Or, we slap tariffs on importers that violate those standards. No one has the courage to stop savvy MBA's who cry "free trade" every time they shutter another American plant and sell off its assets for pennies on the dollar -- and pocket a princely commission . If we do not change our trade rules, or at least enforce existing rules, the US will continue it's sad slide into impoverish ed obscurity.
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