“Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow. The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder.”
That was Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, writing in the Financial Times on Nov. 29 on the new Paris climate treaty.
Here, Modi explains why India and other developing economies should be given unfair economic advantages over the West as a matter of treaty law, and why the Paris agreement should treat his country differently than ours.
Not that anyone can blame him. The treaty stinks.
And yet, no more concise explanation of the current state of the global economy exists. Global climate pacts, like that being negotiated in Paris, or even trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are designed with one intention: To redistribute wealth globally.
That is, to hamper growth in the West by continuing to increase the cost of doing business, and continuing to shift production to so-called developing economies like China or India.
There may not be much more to it than that.
Sure, it is shrouded in all sorts of happy talk like saving the planet or creating jobs, all the while carbon emissions targets are never met and the jobs are still nowhere to be found.
Global emissions will still increase 25 percent in the next 20 years based on continued growth in emerging markets, the BP Energy Outlook 2035 finds.
Meanwhile, the employment-population ratio in the U.S. of the working age population — 16 to 64 years old — still has not recovered from the last recession, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.
In 2007, the percent of the non-seasonally adjusted working age population with jobs averaged 71.8 percent. Today it stands at 68.9 percent, representing 6.4 million potential jobs that have been lost in the past 8 years alone.
The U.S. via the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal government agencies is one of the most heavily regulated economies in the world. Rules have been put forth with the singular intention of restricting coal-fired electricity plants, to reduce our output on the grid. In the process, electricity becomes more expensive. In the meantime, labor cost here are prohibitively high. Why build a factory here?
All because world trade rules and these silly climate agreements grant favors — special and differential treatment — to developing economies like India.
Why would we continue with an approach that already subsidizes foreign competition with unfair rules, and then offer them even more subsidies on top of that? Because “justice demands it”?
Yes, it creates an opportunity for lower cost investment in certain quarters, which, if you know the right people or where to look, could be very lucrative from an investment standpoint.
But with the loss of productive capacity and the ability to employ one’s own citizens to do jobs, it is insane from a national standpoint to continue making these bad deals.
Sometimes if something sounds like a scam, or too good to be true, it usually is. This is a scam through and through that will saddle the U.S. with a higher cost of business and fewer jobs, and redistribute wealth overseas. Why would we do that?
This is all about knocking America down a notch. Nothing more.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.