8.5.17

WE'RE ALL UNDEREMPLOYED COMPARED WITH OUR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS.

But sometimes, the self-styled progressives want to turn back the clock.  Chris Hayes, the opening act for Rachel Maddow, defends clean energy.  "Clean energy is much more labor-intensive! Creates many more jobs!"  (All those exclamation points suggest his account has been hacked by Our President.)  Sally Kohn uses the inconvenient facts circulated by American Enterprise Institute to question their commitment, and by extension, the commitment of conservative-leaning people to good jobs.

We've been here before.  Iron-puddling is much more labor-intensive, and it employs many more people to produce a ton of steel.  But all the huddled masses of all the Balkan countries would not be able to produce the tonnage today's steel mills produce, in much more environmentally friendly ways.
A twin-roll process, much as Bessemer conceived, is already employed by Nucor, a giant American steelmaker. Called Castrip, it is producing steel in two of its plants. A big advantage of twin-roll and belt-casting is compactness. Nucor reckons a Castrip plant needs only 20 hectares (50 acres) and provides a good investment return from the production of only 500,000 tonnes of steel a year. A conventional steel plant, by comparison, may sprawl over 2,000 hectares and need to produce some 4m tonnes a year to turn a profit.
Yes, and ladle metallurgy technologies allow these new mills to use scrap more effectively.

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