Inequality, Social Resilience and the Green Economy
86 University of Missouri-Kansas City L. Rev. 1 (2018)
32 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2018 Last revised: 11 Dec 2018
Date Written: April 19, 2018
Environmental advocates have rebutted the “job-killing regulation” manta of regulatory critics with evidence showing government regulation produces as many or more new jobs than the jobs that are lost. Many of the workers who lose their jobs, however, are unlikely to transfer to the new jobs generated by regulation. Early environmental advocates were concerned about such distributional effects, and we argue that environmentalists should again focus on these impacts.
Our essay offers a vision of how both the regulatory and welfare states focus on a common purpose of social resiliency, which refers to a populations’ capacity to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of misfortunate and change. The goal of regulation, according to this concept, is to protect people from environmental risks, a protection that builds social resilience. This connection is often overlooked by both environmental and human needs advocates. Both should also recognize address the downside of these protections — the loss of jobs. Regulation can be designed to minimize this downside, but if not, environmental advocates should join human needs advocates in seeking the expansion of human needs programs that address the loss of social resilience.
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