"Biden's climate plan will not address gender and racial inequality" is a real headline we're not supposed to think is ridiculous.

Jan 18th

Call me old-fashioned, but if you are going to propose a climate plan, it should probably be a plan that, oh I don't know, addresses the climate?

Of course, it doesn't do that either, but that's a discussion for another day. The problem the authors have with Biden's climate plan is that it does not take into account things that are not the climate.

Focus people, focus.

The specific problem they find with Biden's plan to build a "new green energy infrastructure" is that that would provide way too many jobs to men.

Traditional climate infrastructure investments like those cited in Biden's plan, rest in overwhelmingly male-dominated industries, with women comprising only 3.5 percent of the construction and extraction workforce and 3.9 percent in installation, maintenance and repair.

It gets worse. The money that would go to the solar industry in particular would provide jobs to way too many white men.

Women represent almost half of the U.S. workforce but only a quarter of its solar workforce, while Blacks are underrepresented by a third relative to the full workforce. Moreover, only 36 percent of solar companies even track diversity.

Think about that. An industry dedicated to the production of solar power does not track the race of the people it hires.

Shouldn't we all be thinking about race all the time to be sure we make hiring decisions based on a person's race since that is the most important thing about them?

To do otherwise would be racist!

An indubitably white male-dominated green infrastructure boom would therefore only exacerbate "she-cession" and racial economic concerns.

How do we solve this?

The authors have some suggestions for how the Climate Plan can properly address gender and racial inequality:

First, the Biden administration should expand the federal government's working definition of green jobs to include low-carbon jobs that produce a "double dividend" in non-climate policy priority areas.

We need to redefine "green jobs," to mean something that has nothing to do with the climate.

Why, it's a double-dividend! Somehow.

This strategy approaches the problem from a new direction: instead of channeling historically disadvantaged workers to better-paid sectors,...

The last thing you want to do is to create opportunities for people to enter new and challenging fields in which they can feel a sense of personal accomplishment and their families can prosper. Who knows where that could lead?

...increase wages in underpaid jobs in education and direct care that by their nature contribute significant value to the economy with a negligible carbon footprint.

They want to simply hand more money to people already over-represented in certain fields the better to trap them there and keep them hostages to the largess of the state.

Totally not condescending, if you were thinking that.

They note that there is a problem with attracting more women to a given field.

Evidence from medicine suggests that attracting more women to a given field can reduce its average wage.

Wait, are they saying that increasing the available labor supply in a specific industry without any concurrent marginal increase in demand for that labor appears to lower average wages?

Okay, we just covered the first week of a Freshman Economics 101 course.

Unfortunately, that conclusion is not politically useful. So let's conclude the following instead:

That is, the gender wage gap may not solely follow from excluding women from more highly paid fields, but rather that female-dominated jobs are paid less because they are held by women.

Keep in mind, one of the authors has a Ph.D. in economics. Well, environmental economics. Maybe the laws of supply and demand don't work in environmental economics, and by "work" I mean "result in politically-desirable outcomes."

That, or she got one of those "Jill Biden" Ph.Ds.

They have other proposals as well.

Second, the Biden administration should invest in a circular economy, reducing emissions while increasing employment opportunities in the women- and minority-dominated service sector.

In case you were wondering, a "circular economy" is a mixture of magic and reusing old stuff.

Basically, it's Tatooine.

Finally, the administration should think critically about how to recognize unpaid labor. Estimates show that the value of this heavily female-dominated labor is sizable, worth 20 to 40 percent of U.S. GDP.

"Unpaid labor" are the things you do for your family.

Come to think of it, I haven't been paid to mow the lawn since I was 12.

Who wants to give me twenty bucks?

Progressive proposals that have entered the policy discussion, such as universal basic income (supplemented with other inequality-reducing policies)

"To each according to his needs..."

...or considering alternatives to GDP as a primary measure of wellbeing.

GDP is an economic measure, not a measure of "wellbeing." Wellbeing is a very personal thing, and means different things to different individuals.

That is why the state needs to be involved in defining it for everyone.

A "green-plus" economic recovery should channel significant funding toward the inherently low-carbon care and service sectors,

Green-PLUS "things-I-want."

Here's an idea:

If you want to to make a proposal that you believe would address the impact that government-imposed shutdowns have had on women and minorities, propose that. If you want a "circular economy" where we're doing all our shopping at the equivalent of flea markets and yard sales, or paying people not to work with "universal basic income," or abandoning the idea of encouraging minorities and women to participate in new and exciting fields of employment, how about you run those ideas by our elected representatives who can debate the merits in an open and transparent manner involving input from their constituents.

Wait, that sounds hard.

Okay, let's instead try to achieve political agendas by hijacking totally unrelated bills so as to avoid too much scrutiny.

It's the American way!


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