Do mandated technological changes cause economic growth? That seems to be the claim in this LATimes article:
That 52-inch, flat-screen television on the family room wall may have a terrific picture, but there's a big drawback: It's an energy hog.
State regulators are getting ready to curb the growing power gluttony of TV sets by drafting the nation's first rules requiring retailers to sell only the most energy-efficient models, starting in 2011...
Increasing TV energy efficiency provides a triple benefit to California by boosting the economy, lowering electricity ratepayers' utility bills and helping the state meet its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 15% by 2020, Larson said. "Every dollar spent on energy efficiency returns $2 in savings," he added.
As John would say: Huh?
How will the economy be boosted? By raising the price on TV's? By decreasing the sales of new TV's? I'm missing something.
I don't know, but my economic senses always tingle when I see claims that new regulation will boost economic growth. The logic seems flawed to me.
And what about the costs?
The industry isn't sure how the regulations will affect it. The Consumer Electronics Assn. presented three scenarios to the commission, showing 10%, 20% and 30% drops in product availability and each of their potential financial effects.
If 30% of televisions fail to meet standards and can't be sold, California could lose $130 million in tax revenue and 15,800 jobs, Shawn DuBravac, an economist with the Consumer Electronics Assn., testified at a Dec. 15 Energy Commission workshop.
So now we ask--will the benefits be greater than the costs?