11 February 2020

Britain’s Industrial Strategy Council is calling for industrial policy to address the twin objectives of environmental sustainability and better employment: “The most important economic challenge confronting contemporary societies is … to ensure that new technologies being developed by the advanced sectors of the economy serve society at large. That in turn requires the active steering by governments of prevailing production and innovation systems in two specific directions: toward green technologies and toward employment-friendly technologies. … The first of these imperatives is perhaps more widely understood in view of climate change and the vast environmental externalities at stake. … The second challenge — ensuring that our economies create a sufficient number of ‘good’ jobs — may be less existential, but it is also of great importance. … [T]he shortfall in good jobs is … a gross economic malfunction that impairs the proper functioning of a society. As recent studies have shown, communities that fail to produce good jobs experience a wide range of social ills… These are all costly externalities. Governments must induce private-sector decision makers engaged in production, investment, and innovation to internalize these somehow.” Sounds like a Green New Deal.