But surely this is a recipe for disaster, reducing demand even further in economies already critically short of it. Not necessarily, retort Simms and Potts; indeed, it could bring jobs. Homes and commercial buildings, for example, already have to be made much more energy-efficient, a very labour-intensive process, as is recycling. Improving and increasing public transport, making cycle lanes, and urban farming would also create jobs and wealth.
“Embracing a new materialism could have profoundly positive effects,” they insist. There would be “huge growth in services that will boost the number of plumbers, electricians, builders, farmers, carpenters, and engineers as much as upholsterers, seamstresses, sports coaches and storytellers”.
As usual they’ve got this entirely the wrong way around. They’re saying that the creation of jobs, the expenditure of more human labour, is a good thing. When, of course, anyone with an IQ greater than a carrot knows that this is nonsense.
Expending more human labour is a cost of a lifestyle, not a benefit of it.
Imagine, as in the Friedman story, we desire to have a ditch. We’ll not use machines but instead wallahs with shovels. In order to create jobs you see. But why have shovels? Why not create even more jobs by using teaspoons?
Quite, it becomes ridiculous.
And we can go further. Imagine that we have 100 people able to work. We have two possible technology/labour intersections. In one we use 10 people to perform our ditch creating task. In the other 100.
Nef is saying that the second makes us richer. When obviously the opposite is true. For if we only use 10 to produce the ditch then the other 90 can go do something else. Change nappies, tell stories, sup a pint, smile at the little kiddies or hunt for the cure to cancer.
The second option obviously makes us richer by the number of dry babies smiled at. We do not want to increase the amount of human labouir used to perform a task. We want to reduce it.
For jobs are a cost of a scheme, not a benefit, you ignorant, ignorant, sodding fools.