A recent EPA study estimated that just one law — the Clean Air Act — prevented 230,000 deaths, 3.2 million lost school days, and 13 million lost work days a year in 2010. The benefits of this act, including savings in medical expenses and increased worker productivity, are 30 times greater than its cost of implementation, and the benefits of regulation, more generally, also have been shown to exceed costs [PDF].
The right-wing noise machine has mastered the art of repeating a few key nonsensical messages over and over again until some people actually believe them. It has much in common with the sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, who repeat the pigs’ perversion of the original principles: “Four legs good, two legs better!” or “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
And so in the Orwellian world of the right-wing, the word “rich” is out and “job creators” is in. There simply are no more rich people in the Tea Party fantasyland. Of course, no jobs are being created, and the rich are simply sitting on their billions, accumulating a staggeringly disproportionate amount of the wealth to shame the Gilded Age — the richest “400 people have more wealth than half of the more than 100 million U.S. households,” Politifact was grudgingly forced to agree that Michael Moore’s statement was correct. So one would have to be a sheep to keep calling them job creators.
Oh, but wait, say the sheep, the reason the job creators aren’t creating jobs is because of the “job-destroying EPA,” a phrase repeated as often as “job creator” is. In a sane world — I know, I know, another counterfactual, but bear with me — everyone would call it the “life-saving EPA.” But that would require a president with coherent principles and messaging skills to lead the way, as opposed to one who caved on the life-saving ozone rule — even though a National Bureau of Economic Research study found “robust evidence that ozone levels well below federal air quality standards have a significant impact on productivity: a 10 ppb decrease in ozone concentrations increases worker productivity by 4.2 percent.”
In the interest of continuing to set the record straight, what follows is a post by Elizabeth A. Stanton, a senior economist with the Stockholm Environment Institute-U.S. Center, via TripleCrisis (and Grist).