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A tariff, followed by consequences

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It sounds easy. We dream of something we want, something good, a product that does good things in good ways. It may not exist, or be feasible with existing technology, but that only makes it better. We tell government, which takes on the task of “jump starting” an entire industry. It subsidizes research and development, manufacturing and installation, then “stimulates demand” by subsidizing purchases, even ordering consumers to buy if need be.

By the time the subsidies fade, the product will be real and the demand real and we will have a wonderful economic explosion with thousands upon thousands of good jobs for people doing good things. That’s the theory. It’s supposed to work. President Obama and Gov. Jay Inslee say it over and over. “Green jobs” is the executive shorthand.

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