Anyone over at Green Inc. see the difference between buying oil and buying capital equipment used to make energy from the wind and sun? Actually, forget that difference. Anyone over at Green Inc. think that we would be better off without Mideastern oil? It would be nice if the folks over at Green Inc. would provide at least a hint that they understand the basic gains from trade and then explain that to their readers.
It gets worse:
Excuse me. I just fell off my chair. Let me clarify: you're saying 20-40 percent more than coal is expensive? You're not counting externalities like air pollution and probable climate change, I presume? Besides, wasn't coal like 100 percent more expensive just 18 months ago? If that's right, wind looks inexpensive to me, but then you're telling me that my eyes deceive me and that wind is actually very expensive? My eyes must really deceive me because then you tell me renewables are getting cheaper very quickly:
With prices tumbling, China’s wind and solar industries are increasingly looking to sell equipment abroad — and facing complaints by Western companies that they have unfair advantages. When a Chinese company reached a deal in November to supply turbines for a big wind farm in Texas, there were calls in Congress to halt federal spending on imported equipment.
“Every country, including the United States and in Europe, wants a low cost of renewable energy,” said Ma Lingjuan, deputy managing director of China’s renewable energy association. “Now China has reached that level, but it gets criticized by the rest of the world.”I can appreciate arguments for more stimulus spending. The first thing to do (so say a great majority of economists I've read) is give money to states so they don't have to continue cutting back on basic public services, laying people off, furloughs, and suffer all the associated negative multiplier effects. They might also build better/larger interstate transmission grids. Or repair our many dilapidated bridges. But preventing trade of this strongly mutually advantageous sort seems like a really bad idea.
There are probably some other tough underlying tensions here, like the fact that China is keeping its exchange rate too low. But there's no mention of that in this article, or in the linked article about Schumer.
I think the New York Times can and should do better.