The Great Green Jobs Flimflam

Some people learn from their mistakes. It appears Barack Obama is not one of them.

Immediately, after assuming the office of president of the United States, Obama began clamoring for an unprecedented $787 billion dollar stimulus package. It was necessary, he told us, in order to put Americans back to work and arrest the rising rate of unemployment at eight percent.

A year later, the unemployment rate is hovering around 10 percent, but when you add to the list the number of discouraged workers or those working only part time, the rate is a staggering 17.3 percent.

What went wrong?

Central to the president’s plan was his pledge not simply to create jobs, but to create “green jobs.”

After one year of this, we’ve seen four million more jobs evaporate, but the president’s answer to this problem, incredibly, is more green jobs.

Last week, Obama demonstrated that he is in serious denial by proclaiming, “The Recovery Act has been a major force in breaking the trajectory of this recession and stimulating growth and hiring. And one of the most popular elements of it has been a clean energy manufacturing initiative that will put Americans to work while helping America gain the lead when it comes to clean energy.”

Obama announced that he plans to use another $2.3 billion from the stimulus for tax credits for American manufacturers of clean energy technologies and he wants Congress to chip in another $5 billion. Obama marveled that he had “far more qualified applicants than we’ve been able to fund.”

No surprise here. When the government is handing out money there will never be a shortage of people willing to accept it.

Now, I have nothing against green energy, but in a free market economy, it is not the government’s place to pick winners or insure losers.

Obama isn’t the first president to throw money at green energy. He is simply building on the mistakes of his predecessors. In fact, our subsidies have become so attractive that in 2008, BP and Royal Dutch Shell announced they were abandoning their plans to build wind farms in Britain in favor of the United States. Lucky us! Doesn’t that prove that renewable energy is viable only where there is taxpayer support or mandates?

Nevertheless, our president remains wildly enthusiastic claiming this latest initiative likely will generate “17,000 jobs” and the roughly $5 billion more that we’ll leverage in private sector investments “could help create tens of thousands of additional jobs.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

Most of the president’s assumptions are based on myths created by a plethora of special interest groups. In fact, there are seven major myths that have been created by these groups.

Andrew O, Morriss and William T. Bogart, senior fellows at the Property and Environmental Research Center, PERC, have produced a study on these myths along with colleagues Andrew Dorchak and Roger E. Meiners.

The seven “green jobs” myths are as follows:

  • Everyone knows what a “green job” is.
  • Creating green jobs will boost productive employment
  • Green jobs forecast are reliable
  • Green jobs promote employment growth.
  • The world economy can be remade by reducing trade, relying on local production, and lowering consumption.
  • Government mandates are a substitute for free markets
  • Wishing for technological progress is sufficient.

Yes, you may think that you know what a green job is but it seems there are as many definitions as there are interest groups.

Green jobs are a lot like art. They are in the eye of the beholder. Your idea of a green job is another man’s boondoggle or another man’s trash, literally.

According to this PERC team, the biggest gain in green jobs in one study were secretarial positions; management analysts, bookkeepers, janitors and lawyers. Still another study counts government administrators. Furthermore, these studies consistently ignore the millions of jobs that will be destroyed by the restrictions imposed by governments on disfavored products and technologies.

It may surprise you to learn that the green jobs literature essentially dismisses nuclear power, which is clean, cost effective and essentially carbon free. This calls into question the expressed concern of “green power” advocates which is to reduce carbon.

Bottom line: Either this president is gullible or he is in the pocket of these green jobs special interest groups, and he is willing to run our economy into the ground in order to do their bidding.

2 thoughts on “The Great Green Jobs Flimflam

  1. THE SOURCE OF NEW JOBS!
    New jobs begin with pebble droppers, people making waves and wakes, the entrepreneurs who start business ventures. The “soil” must nurture them, not discourage them. Pebble droppers must be saved and admired for the service they provide. Instead, they are envied by the few, taxed and punished by government whose only purpose is to protect all people against injustice. SAVE PEBBLE DROPPERS & PROSPERITY defines a pebble dropper and the environment that is best to encourage their success. Today’s politicians are dismantling the American ideal of a prosperous, free nation. The 2008 election did seek “change,” but made community interests superior to individual interests. What has happened to the voices who believe in the importance of the individual? That is why America differs from the rest of the world. If “change” is inevitable, will we lose that which sets us apart from the Old World. Claysamerica.com

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  2. Ms Chastain:

    Some people learn from their mistakes. It appears Barack Obama is not one of them.
    Mistakes! What mistakes? Does Obama know what he is doing is a mistake? I think that is the main reason the Liberal never learns is because they never make mistakes and you must recognize a mistake if you are going to correct it.

    Is there actually a green job? Or is it in the same category as a green hand? Some practices have been harmful to our environment and these practices have been modified when they were recognized. This was more by private initiative rather than government edict.

    Under Carter we got involved in alternate fuels. The Chinese tallow tree is a weed tree here is SW Louisiana but bears an abundance of white seed that will burn with a pretty blue flame. It produces a heavy crop of tallow and oil and I got involved with harvesting some of the seed for experimental purposes and learned quite a lot, including mechanical harvesting that had potential and then the support ended and that was as far as it went. It could not compete with other sources of oil and gasoline. There is still potential and, if the government gets out of our pocket it will probably be funded.
    > Bottom line: Either this president is gullible or he is in the pocket of these green-jobs special-interest groups, and he is willing to run our economy into the ground in order to do their bidding.
    He is ignorant, neither is he open to instruction. That is arrogant producing pride. He has no clue as to what constitutes a job. He has his eye on money and his heart on the love of money, neither of which has a bearing on prosperity. As R. G. LeTourneau like to say, “Men can have what men produce.” No amount of money will secure what is not available. Money is a product, not a source of wealth. It is very important in commerce but actually has nothing to do with the commerce. This is the part that Obama misses.

    When you consider this passage in Deuteronomy there was no commerce on the order of what we have today but there was money, yet I don’t believe this passage has money in mind when it speaks of borrowing or lending. Neither is it speaking to a group but the individual. Just like when you speak to a crowd you are not speaking to the collective crowd but to the collected individuals. Government has no part in this.

    De 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
    8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
    9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
    10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
    11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

    These blessings evidently has reference to the increase in their harvests that there will be adequate harvest to sustain the giving and other requirements that are associated with this passage.

    What would you do without a market? You have been producing something that is in demand and it is employment. However the most primitive in the middle of New Guinea is employed. Otherwise he would not eat. It is no different if you are at the top of the list on Wall Street. You still have to eat. Therefore, whether you are self-employed making your own wages or a captain of industry it is all the same except for volume. Whether your income is from profit or wage makes no difference since both require an increase. Obama may be playing to the unions but the unions have been exploiting the laborer and Obama is trying to exploit everyone.

    Pr 16:26 ¶ He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

    Ec 6:7 ¶ All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

    Here we have a reason to work and also the observation that we are often not satisfied with a full stomach. We will labor for the TV, the Microwave, the washing machine, etc. These all do the work that servants used to do so we don’t have the demand for servants in the home but we have room for employees on the job to produce those things that are in demand. But it takes the individual to conceive and produce those things. There is no demand for servants in our day of gadgets but there is a demand for those gadgets and they require a slew of workers to put them in our hands. A job is not for the pleasure of the employee but the need of the employer. When the employer has a product that is in demand he also has need of labor to produce that product and move it.

    Somehow Obama gets confused about the function of money. It is true that we trade money for gadgets and we trade time and effort for money. It is a natural system that has always worked. The stimulus package cannot work because it does not generate income but uses investment capital extracted from our industry — as comprehended in production — and wastes it on non-productive ersatz jobs masquerading as green employment. As we lose the inertia of productive energy we collapse into lethargy and want. Poverty is the end result.
    >
    > The seven “green jobs” myths are as follows:
    >
    > * Everyone knows what a “green job” is.
    > * Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.
    > * Green jobs forecast are reliable.
    > * Green jobs promote employment growth.
    > * The world economy can be remade by reducing trade, relying on local production and lowering consumption.
    > * Government mandates are a substitute for free markets
    > .
    > * Wishing for technological progress is sufficient.
    >
    * “Everyone knows what a “green job” is.” Yes, it take the green out of your pocket, keeps the bureaucrat in business.

    * “Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.” Yes it is productive … of graft and corruption.

    * “Green jobs forecast are reliable.” Just like Global Warming:?

    * “Government mandates are a substitute for free markets
    .” Since when was substitute synonymous with replacement?

    * “Green jobs promote employment growth.” Especially in bureaucrats.

    * ‘The world economy can be remade by reducing trade, relying on local production and lowering consumption.’ That works like putting an orifice in your fuel line to reduce fuel consumption. Of course it will restrict your highway speed.

    * “Wishing for technological progress is sufficient.” Last I heard it was individual vision and initiative.

    We can go green but not that far.
    Richard L. Whitford

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