The response was predictable; as soon as word got out the president would be making a speech about reducing carbon pollution Republicans flipped back through their folder of poll tested pre-election talking points to “W” for “War on Coal”. Update a few numbers and there you have it – President Obama is slowing ruining America and killing jobs with his obsession with having clean, breathable air.
Apparently to these Republicans nothing is more sacrosanct than jobs. And while lives trumped jobs back in the days of lead paint, mercury, and asbestos – at this point it seems the estimated 13,000 lives lost each year due to coal power are less important than the potential 16,000 jobs the president’s new initiatives could eliminate.
Of course if Republicans are really serious about increasing employment regardless of the costs, there is plenty of good news available. Outside of passing the American Jobs Act that the president proposed the congress could also reverse the hiring trend in the public sector that has cost the economy over 600,000 jobs since 2009. Additionally it is estimated that the sequester cuts, which are starting to impact the employment status of many, especially those in the defense industry, will eliminate some 750,000 jobs this year.
But even beyond government jobs there are plenty of other opportunities to boost the economy that Republicans should support if jobs are our number one consideration. The recent gay marriage ruling by the Supreme Court for instance will induce hundreds of millions of dollars of new economic activity, as well as increase tax revenue. Perhaps being gay is an abomination in the eyes of the lord but it still creates jobs.
Since 1982 the US has shut down over 1,000 abortion clinics. Obviously the closure of these facilities due to government regulations and red tape, restricting abortions across the country, have cost jobs which we could easily restore with some common sense changes that loosen government restrictions. This may lead to an increase in aborted fetuses but really what’s more important here?
We should also consider ending the War on Drugs. According to a report by the Cato Institute the legalization of cannabis alone would generate tens of billions of dollars in additional tax revenue for states. Maybe millions of people will become addicted to drugs they would have never had access to before but personal responsibility right?
And while it may lead to more crime and human trafficking, legalizing prostitution is certain to boost employment and add to government coffers. I think we can all agree that safety should take a back seat to increased work opportunities.
Clearly these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to job creation but if we are serious about fixing the economy, the only possible way to accomplish this goal is to completely abandon the “good of the people” meme that our government currently operates under and expand job prospects where ever possible. Otherwise we stand to lose valuable jobs like those in the coal industry that the free market can’t just magically replace simply because a demand exists.