Jobs are a cost, not a benef……do I have to keep saying this?

And it saves money, and creates four times as many jobs per pound invested as building a gas power station, the cheapest on offer.

More jobs means higher costs because opportunity costs.

Grr.

And Lean is of course entirely missing the point:

That is where this week’s row comes in. Under the boringly entitled Proposed Changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations, ministers are consulting on obliging householders who are erecting extensions, converting lofts and garages, installing new boilers or replacing a set percentage of their windows, to spend an extra 10 per cent of the cost on energy-efficiency measures – something they believe will lead to a million more homes installing insulation by 2015.

Crucially, the measures would have to be “proportionate” – such as by draughtpoofing, lagging cylinders, and insulating lofts and walls – and would be eligible for the Green Deal, which means that they should cost householders nothing: indeed, if the repayments of loans were to exceed the expected savings, they could refuse to comply. The original extensions, etc, have to be notified to councils anyway, and it causes less trouble and costs less to do such work when the builders are already in. Oh yes, and conservatories smaller than a generous 30 square metres are exempt.

It all seems a far cry from various claims that a “crippling” tax on “any building project in the home” would “grab from incomes”, make householders apply for special planning permission and force them to “fully insulate” their homes “from top to bottom”, leaving them “tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket”.

That\’s not the complaint. The complaint is that in the middle of a cold snap, if a boiler blows up (which they do occasionally for a not very explosive value of blow up) and needs replacing our shivering granny now has to wait for the council to give her permission to send someone round to B&Q for a new one.

It\’s not the costs being complained about it\’s the stupid bastards with their clipboards that are.

And again not getting the point:

Better still, the Government could, like many of its European counterparts, use money it is getting from carbon taxes. At present the £4 billion it is due to get annually from measures such as setting a new “floor price for carbon” is heading for the Treasury’s maw. Instead – a report by Transform UK, an alliance of green and consumer groups shows – the cash could take 90 per cent of affected homes out of fuel poverty and support up to 200,000 jobs.

The whole idea of carbon taxes is that they are revenue neutral. We move from taxing good nice and lovely things like jobs and profits and instead tax nasty uncuddly things like emissions.

That\’s why the money goes to the Treasury. Because three\’s absolutely nothing about carbon, emissions, climate change or global warming that says that we need to have a tighter fiscal policy, a rise in the general as opposed to specific tax rate nor even that the wankers in Westminster get to spend more of our money. Only that they get to play Onan with a different portion of it, not more of it.

15 comments on “Jobs are a cost, not a benef……do I have to keep saying this?

  1. That works as long as you believe that plant food is evil. It is becoming increasingly clear that the malign atmospheric effects of increasing CO2 are being grossly overstated and that the expected cooling of the Earth is of greater danger than the benign warming over the past 30 years. Whilst making our use of power less wasteful is a good in itself, doing it by granting an elite more control over our lives is most certainly not.

  2. “…there’s nothing about carbon, emissions, climate change…that says …. the wankers in Westminster get to spend more of our money”.

    I thought that was the whole point of the racket.

  3. My favourite bit, “…and would be eligible for the Green Deal, which means that they should cost householders nothing…”

    Ah. The old magic money tree.

    Once again, you nitwit: If the Govt pays, since the Govt has no money, we pay through our taxes!

    How many times does this have to be explained?

  4. I don’t know why you read this man’s drizzle. It only puts up your blood pressure and heart rate without any happy release at the end.
    I’ve grown up and simply turn the page…

  5. “. . . creates four times as many jobs per pound invested as . . . ”

    Ah, I see – creating jobs is the objective?

    As in “jobs” = “labor” = “cost”??

    Well then, it’s far simpler to create jobs by just, you know, paying people.

    Never mind what doing. Doing nothing for all anyone cares. And never mind where the money will come from. Printing presses I suppose. But what does it matter these days? Just pay people for nothing and count the jobs created. Then run for reelection on your economic record.

    That way is not only simpler but more efficient, too – – because it avoids the need for this carbon footprint mischief, not to mention all the other government swindles that creative bureaucrats invent in order to “create” jobs.

  6. “Do I have to keep saying this” – no you have to stop.

    The need for work to be done is a cost. The benefits of that work are a benefit.

    A “Job” is the package of the two, not just one or the other.

    Thus whether it is a benefit or cost depends which is greater.

    Now, granted, the stupid greenwankery diversitological hole-digging-and-filling jobs created by politicians are wasteful, but that is not to say all jobs are net costs.

    Jobs can be looked at either from the third party view as above, or from the point of view of an employer or employee.

    Breaking it down into the employer/employee relationship:

    For the employee, the need to do work is a cost, the wages received are a benefit.

    For the employer, the need to pay wages is a cost, and the value of the work are a benefit.

    So a job can be a benefit to the Employee (presumably must be or there will be nobody employed) without necessarily being a benefit to society as a whole, if the employer is being bribed and/or coerced into creating said job. This creation of artificial jobs which would not arise naturally from people’s desires is the thing you are criticising, and you are right to do so. But it is NOT the same thing as saying “jobs are costs”.

  7. Ben,

    I’m really not so sure. The Utopian economy would include no work (e.g. everything is made by robots, so a high-tech slave economy) and thus no jobs.

  8. Ben,

    Don’t forget all those unseen costs in your analysis. The ones we are seeing now like higher fuel bills which is likely to cause deaths in the winter and also the unseen costs like companies going bust and others not setting up here.

    What really gets me goat is when those same greenies complain about high energy costs for the average person and “fuel poverty”.

  9. Perhaps he meant that per £x pounds spent 4 times more jobs are created here as opposed to spending money on gas or something.
    Which obviously would be a benefit

  10. The complaint is that in the middle of a cold snap, if a boiler blows up (which they do occasionally for a not very explosive value of blow up) and needs replacing our shivering granny now has to wait for the council to give her permission to send someone round to B&Q for a new one.

    ie the complaint isn’t real, it’s completely fictional.

  11. Another issue is profiteering by local councils.
    In 2008 I applied for Building Control for approval of an extension (£280 +VAT) This year I applied for another extension of similar size (£530 +VAT). (This was permitted development, no planning permission required, thank god – more extortion)

    They ‘were minded to refuse’ because they were applying the wrong section of the myriad Regs.
    Now I await half a dozen visits by a man in hard hat and wellies, who will mooch about, suck his teeth and then say “Yeah, that’s OK”, before pissing off again.

    I have never had any competent advice from BC and I resent the extortionate fees they charge for wielding the rubber stamp. They don’t appear actually to check loading calculations or other dangerous stuff, just cite complicated U-value charts and the requirement for safety glass in ‘critical zones’. They have even hidden away the timber span tables that were actually useful, and could be used by the layman.

    The sheer number of things that require BC approval (rubber stamp approval, that is) has become ridiculous.

    Then factor in the profiteering by Gas Safe, ELECSA…

    Sorry, BC really gets me started 🙂

    It is terrible that this poster has come true – except in the last line; the Conservatives are every bit as bad – don’t vote for them.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Socialism_Would_Mean.jpg

  12. No, Ben is wrong and evidently Tim really does need to keep correcting this “jobs” McTwattery.

    For centuries nearly everyone in civilisation had “jobs” in agriculture. Now there are hardly any jobs in agriculture. Yet civilisation has more agricultural output, more people, more wealth, longer lives, etc, etc. How can this be without all the “benefit” from those jobs?

    Because the benefit doesn’t come from jobs, it comes from work done. And if enterprises can do more work with less jobs (efficiency) then (except for a few people in the very short term) everything becomes better. More productivity, cheaper goods, more profits for investing in new enterprises that make even more efficient use of liberated human resource – and on and on in the thing called “growth”.

    As in – what happened over the last couple of hundred years in those parts of the world that realised that jobs are a cost not a benefit.

  13. PJF, from the point of view of the person employed, the job is a benefit. That’s the other part of the equation. What you say is quite right, and irrelevant to this.

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