Jobs are a cost, not a benefit

A new analysis of government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy, paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year. They employed 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job.

Of course, some jobs are more costly than others.

5 comments on “Jobs are a cost, not a benefit

  1. So it would have been better for the environment just to give them each 100,000 quid and a bunch of bird rescue charity donation forms?

  2. Yes, it’s an odd piece. Neither the pro or anti seem to say how much it costs per watt.

    Now if you put a windmill on land occupied by a subsidised Welsh hill farmer, someone could work out the subsidy per acre to produce expensive lamb and electricity, while simultaneously ruining the view *and* overgrazing the land. Then proudly proclaim “we’re spending

  3. Now if you put a windmill on land occupied by a subsidised Welsh hill farmer, someone could work out the subsidy per acre to produce expensive lamb and electricity, while simultaneously ruining the view *and* overgrazing the land. Then proudly proclaim “we’re spending UK pounds x million per welsh acre”.

  4. Work is a cost. Production is a benefit.

    A job is the combination of the two, and can be either a benefit or a cost depending which is greater.

    What you wrote is the libertarian/welfare economist’s standard formulation but it is wrong.

    This distinction matters because people who know perfectly well they need a job to get by will read it and think you are a swivel-eyed lunatic, thereafter ignoring everything you say. All because of an infelicitous choice of words.

    (For the employer, wages are a cost, and production a benefit. For the employee, work is a cost, and wages are a benefit. Wages cancel, so overall you are left with work and production. And tax.)

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