Pentagon Spending Is a Poor Job Creator

here they go again. Against strong evidence to the contrary, the Trump administration is touting weapons spending as the best way to bolster the American economy. Its persistence in doing so has more to do with an unwillingness to invest in other forms of job creation than with the economic benefits of Pentagon expenditures.

These realities did not prevent Peter Navarro, President Trump’s chief adviser on trade and economic matters, from taking to the pages of The New York Times to praise arms production as a boon to employment in advance of Trump’s visit to an Army tank plant in Lima, Ohio. Navarro’s central claim was that the Trump military buildup will create “good manufacturing jobs and good wages.”

TheNation.com

Turning off the lights and promoting clean energy could save money — and lives

Turning off light switches and unplugging appliances could be all it takes to save almost 500 lives and prevent some 127,000 asthma cases annually, according to a new study on what can be saved, besides money, with increased energy efficiency.

Many of those health improvements are based on a projected 12% increase in summertime energy efficiency clustered around states like Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Those states had populations near power plants now using coal, the new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology, found.

Marketwatch.com

A missed opportunity in Virginia to embrace renewable energy

Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive. More and more American companies are demanding renewable energy options to power their businesses. You can be sure that these demands are motivated by economics, not philanthropy.

In Virginia, job creators from every corner of the commonwealth support state policies that enable greater customer choice for renewable energy. In fact, access to low-cost, clean energy was a key siting criteria for Amazon’s selection of Arlington for its second headquarters. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Post.) Of course, companies from a variety of industries, not just the technology sector, understand that clean energy makes economic sense and has a positive impact on their bottom lines. Leading American businesses want the choice to run on cost-effective, renewable energy. However, many businesses in Virginia do not have access to these resources.

The Washington Post

Industry Clusters Are More Valuable Than Any Corporate Tax Break

It’s rare for relatively arcane tax practices to get national attention. Buteverything involving Amazon and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to make national news. So it perhaps shouldn’t surprise us that after Amazon announced that it would back out of a deal to build one of its HQ2 sites in Long Island City, in large part because of opposition from local politicians (including AOC) to tax breaks offered by the city and state, we’ve seen a renewed debate over the practice of offering tax incentives to corporations looking to relocate. In the wake of Amazon’s announcement, we’ve seen an uproar over a similar tax incentive…

Do Corporate Tax Incentives Work? 20 States, and Most Cities, Don’t Know.

SPEED READ:

  • Boeing has received roughly $1 billion in tax incentives and credits from Washington state over the past four years.
  • Washington is one of 30 states that regularly evaluates corporate tax incentives.
  • Only a few cities regularly track and assess these business deals to see if the promised results were achieved.

The aircraft manufacturer Boeing has received roughly $1 billion in tax incentives and credits from Washington state over the past four years. That includes tens of millions of dollars for activities in 2017 related to production equipment for the 737 MAX jets, all of which have been grounded in the past week after two fatal crashes.

Governing.com

Why cheat your way into college, when well-paying jobs in manufacturing are plentiful?

By now we’ve all heard about the cheating and fraud that wealthy parents, college coaches and others have engaged in to get kids into prestigious universities through the “side door.” Those of us in the manufacturing industry are puzzled by this obsession parents have of getting their kids into a four-year college, literally, at any cost.

We know the number of good jobs out there that go wanting for lack of skilled workers. It’s a situation that only gets worse with each passing day as some 10,000 baby boomer workers retire. The industry needs not only people with skills but with a “work” mentality—the drive and ambition to learn from those who’ve been in the industry for decades and are willing to pass along their knowledge to the new kids on the block.

PlasticsToday. com

Deer Park fire reignites crisis of confidence in TCEQ [Opinion]

Not again.

That was my first thought Sunday after a large fire at a petrochemical storage facility sent a thick plume of black smoke over Houston. It started less than 24 hours after a blaze at ExxonMobil’s Baytown refinery.

Sadly, this March madness is a never-ending story here. The Houston Chronicle in 2016 reported that the region has a chemical fire or explosion every six weeks on average.

I am sure someone will dismiss this as the unavoidable byproduct of being the nation’s petrochemical capital. That is simply not true. Chemical fires and explosions are largely preventable. So why do they continue to happen?

It is because the state agency responsible for ensuring chemical plant safety is missing in action — unable or unwilling to protect the health and well-being of Texas families.

Houston Chronicle

The waters are rising, the floods are coming. What are we doing to save ourselves?

Houses on stilts. Floating buildings. More parks to absorb water. Better maps to warn those at risk.

City planners, builders, engineers and scientists are racing to find new ways for people to make a home as climate change brings increased heavy flooding, dangerous weather conditions and extreme storm surges.

Events in recent days have made clear how urgent the problem is. Heavy flooding that began last week from Minnesota to Missouri has killed at least four people, caused more than $1.5 billion in estimated losses and damages and destroyed more than 2,000 homes. The National Weather Service says flooding in South Dakota and Iowa could soon reach historic levels. In southern Africa, more than 350 people were killed this month after a cyclone and related flooding devastated parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

USA Today

Are the Midwestern Floods a Natural Disaster?

Historic flooding in the Missouri River and Mississippi River basins has ravaged much of the Midwest in recent days. Nebraska and Iowa bore the brunt of the devastation, but rivers in six states at more than 40 locations have reached record levels. The swollen rivers have made short work of the levees that surround them, blasting through or over the tops of 200 miles of earthen barriers in four states. At least three people have died, and hundreds of homes and structures have been destroyed. The Nebraska Farm Bureau estimates farm and ranch losses up to $1 billion in that state alone.