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View Diary: Shutdown of 150th coal plant reminder that so-called 'war on coal' must not be war on coal workers (118 comments)

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  •  Equality of opportunity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093

    We want to provide opportunity to all - if it starts with workers displaced in favor of the environment - I have no objection.

    It is unfair to do nothing for anybody because we cannot do everything for everybody.

    •  Yes to opportunity for all (0+ / 0-)

      If you want opportunity for all, which I do, you start by providing assistance that actually can be available to all.

      You don't start by carving out the deserving and leaving out the rest.

    •  Why focus... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobtmn

      ...on coal though? If job retraining and/or relocation assistance is appropriate for workers in coal, why not for every other worker, regardless of industry, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own as a result of progress?

      It's unrealistic to believe that the areas where coal happened to be are ideal for other industries (I'm sure some are, in which case one would expect those areas may already have such industries).

      Some of the areas that host "coal towns" have low education levels. Most modern industries require a healthy dose of well educated workers. If there are too few such potential workers in an area, it's just not an attractive place for modern industry to settle. The education problem takes decades to "fix", long beyond the timeframe of those currently affected by reduction in use of coal.

      Relocation is really the most realistic long term answer for workers in many of these towns. Yes, many of these communities will die -- just as many communities relying on a high labor content in agriculture died as mechanization reduced the number of workers need to toil in the fields. But that's just the nature of progress and it's better to get the next generation raised in areas with a need for workers and with strong educational systems.

      •  Dunno what the solutions are... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, 6412093

        There probably are no one size fits all solutions.  A town suffering from economic dislocations will need solutions that fit its circumstances.  Of course, any program is to be aimed at people, not at a geographical location.

        If we're willing to have a carbon tax why not dedicate the proceeds to fund programs for displaced workers?

      •  My focus on coal has to do with what's... (4+ / 0-)

        ...happening specifically in that industry and why. But I made clear that the best Just Transition policy is one that includes everyone, not just coal workers.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 05:32:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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