• Surely the criterion for a “green job” is

    (1) that it produces a good or service that people actually need, that is, a good or serevice that they don’t have to be “hard-sold” into buying as a status symbol, or something they have to buy out of guilt in order to keep anyone else employed (who otherwise wouldn’t be),


    (2) that doesn’t significantly erode our finite stocks of natural capital or reduce biodiversity in the process of meeting human needs.

    Green jobs, thus defined, will pay adequately, I would argue if

    (1) the pool of people seeking them is appropriately- sized relative to the derived demand for green goods and services by slow or even zero rates of human population growth
    (2) skill levels are kept high by high levels of social investment in the quality of human capital
    (3) a significant number of people assume the role of entrepreneurs
    (3) rent-seeking pseudo-entrepreneurs are prevented from monopolizing access to natural capital stocks at concessionary prices
    (4) tax policies place a high incidence of tax on the “importation” of low-entropy matter into the human economy from the “wild” ecosystem outside it, and a correspondingly low incidence of tax on the application of human labour to such low-entropy matter, where labour is applied for the purpose of adding value to the final product.

    I can’t cite empirical evidence for my view, since policies like this have barely been tried (the Nordic countries, perhaps are a bit further in this direction than most, but have only just begun the journey). I would think, a priori, however, that it makes sense to stimulate productivity growth in the factors that are ultimately, most limited in their long-run supply to the human economy, not in the one factor that has increased in absolute physical supply, without stop now, for at least two centuries, and which may only peak (if we are very lucky) by 2050 or later.

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