Around Colorado 2/4/09

Seeing Red Over Green Jobs

One more time: transferring money from the free economy to politically-favored jobs does not “create jobs,” it destroys some jobs and replaces them with others. Brad Collins, executive director of the American Solar Energy Society in Boulder, joins the list of those who apparently have never heard of Henry Hazlitt. His famous book is called Economics In One Lesson. Read it.

Collins writes,

During these precarious economic times marked by declining business revenues, widespread job losses and struggling families, we need to identify and support industries that are well-positioned for growth. … Colorado’s share of that impact is $10.2 billion annually, with 91,285 jobs, and the state is now widely recognized as a national leader in the rapidly growing green economy.

Sure it’s positioned for growth: that’s what happens when politicians subsidize an industry while strangling the competitors. But if “green” energy were truly good for the economy, it would succeed on a free market. Only then would the resulting jobs and revenues signal net economic gains.

Wage Controls

Vincent Carroll describes some of the problems with Colorado’s perpetually increasing wage floor. Because the measure was poorly written, it will hammer restaurants harder every year. Carroll is far to kind to the measure, though. Waiting tables is for many an entry-level job requiring no special skills. How many kids pay for college that way? Everyone who voted for the measure voted to throw some of those workers out of a job. There’s nothing understandable or excusable about that. Wage controls hurt entry level workers. Wage controls are immoral, and they should be repealed.

Legislature: Cells, Roads

The legislature is considering “banning drivers from talking on cellphones without a hands-free device.” Never mind the fact that driving while using a hands-free device is just as dangerous. This is about tears, damn it, not logic. Obviously we also need a bill to ban talking to other passengers while driving, eating and drinking while driving, daydreaming while driving…

I’m a little confused as to why Republicans are pushing higher car fees. What happened to the gasoline tax?

Spending Restraints, Shmending Restraints

The Denver Post is positively giddy about the prospects of wiping out Colorado’s restraints on political spending. If the Post gets its way, Colorado citizens will pay increasingly more in taxes into the future.


Face the State has out an article on “transparency,” the move to put all records of political spending online. The Gazette has editorialized in favor of transparency. I fully endorse the move. The costs are trivial relative to the benefit of permitting citizens who pay for the whole mess to look at where their money is going.

Voters should regard this issue as the standard by which they decide whether Democrats stay in power. What’s more Democratic than giving information to the people? If Democrats fail to pass full transparency, for every branch and level of government, we’ll know that they care more about special interests than about the people. It’s our money, and we deserve to see how it’s spent. The only reason to keep that information from the public is if there’s something to hide.

One thought on “Around Colorado 2/4/09”

  1. Ari: oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear currently receive many billions in subsidies, and have been doing so for decades. The marketplace needs a level playing field.

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