We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. — Hillary Clinton during Sunday night’s CNN town hall.
Yes, she really said that. Clinton claims that somehow she is going to replace those jobs. But she’ll do it — somehow, somewhere — by getting all those people who have spent their lives in the mines spinning windmills or engaged in some other kind of “renewable” fuel production.
That is, Clinton is going to use federal policies to destroy an industry and, using the genius not of the market but of the bureaucracy, find work for everyone booted out on the street. It’s the remorseless logic of government planning, which gives the planners a self-indulgent thrill down their leg but results in misery for those whose lives are being planned for them.
“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country,” Clinton declared Sunday. “And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people,” she continued. “Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.”
How will she stay close to them?
“I am passionate about this, which is why I have put forward specific plans about how we incentivize more jobs, more investment in poor communities, and put people to work,” she said.
That must be comforting to miners in their 40s and 50s who have lost their jobs and lack skills to match the wages they were earning. Intentionally dumped from their employment by “enlightened” policies, you will now find them ringing up your order at Target or desperately trying to make it on their Social Security income.
Since January, six domestic coal producers have filed for bankruptcy, according to the New York Times.
“The decline has taken a heavy toll here in Wayne County and the surrounding area in West Virginia and Kentucky, where roughly one in three of the nation’s 80,000 coal miners work,” the Times reports. “They are at the center of a layoff epidemic that has reduced their numbers by roughly 5,000 annually over the last four years in the two states alone. And the wave of layoffs is spreading.”
Employment in coal mining is at a 20-year low, according to the International Business Times.
A version of this piece also appears on LifeZette.