I'm sure you've all heard about the Green New Deal. It's the idea that we'll just print a load more new money then spend it on lovely things like building green houses, lagging and insulating those that already exist and by doing so we'll create lots of high paid jobs and boost the economy. Plus, of course, reduce CO2 emissions.
I'm afraid it's not going to work though :
At the beginning of the year, Ian Hodgkinson's main aim was to keep his business alive. But in the last four months he has gone from ticking over to overwhelmed. His bricklaying firm has been inundated with demands as Britain's building industry has begun to boom, boosted by the government's Help to Buy scheme for first-time house buyers. The scheme, announced in April, has started a chain reaction that has seen the construction industry facing labour and materials shortages that have pushed up prices and lengthened supply delays. Bricklayers can now earn more than £40,000 a year and brick deliveries that were being fulfilled in two days can now take 10 weeks.
The reason it won't work is that we don't have the skilled labour nor the production infrastructure to make it work. Boost housebuilding/repairing beyond what it is now and all we'll end up doing is sucking in more immigrants and more imports. Not that there's anything wrong with more of either but pumping yet more stimulus into a sector already overstretched is not one of the wisest ideas around. Indeed, good Keynesian demand management would indicate that a sector so stretched should probably have a bit of fiscal austerity applied, not stimulus.