September 10, 2008
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has a great twofer pitch: "green jobs." It sounds like a winner. In one fell swoop he can promise to end unemployment and fix and save the planet from climate change.
Or so he says.
"I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced," he told the Democratic National Convention.Wow. Five million new jobs. All that work building windmills and creating biofuels are the "green jobs" that will come into existence when wise government creates the industries that will produce the energy and vehicles that will make fossil fuels obsolete.
Politicians always promise that their programs will create jobs. It's used to justify building palatial sports stadiums for wealthy team owners. Alaska Rep. Don Young claimed the infamous "bridge to nowhere" would create jobs. The fallacy is the same in every case: Even if the program creates jobs building bridges or windmills, it necessarily prevents other jobs from being created. This is because government spending merely diverts money from private projects to government projects.
Governments create no wealth. They only move it around while taking a cut for their trouble. So any jobs created over here come at the expense of jobs that would have been created over there. Overlooking this fact is known as the broken-window fallacy.
The French economist Frederic Bastiat pointed out that a broken shop window will create work for a glassmaker, but that work comes only at the expense of the cook or tailor the shopkeeper would have patronized if he didn't have to replace the window.Creating jobs is not difficult for government officials. Pharaohs created thousands of jobs by building pyramids. Our government could create jobs by paying people to dig holes and then fill them up. Would actual wealth be created? Of course not. It would be destroyed.
It's like arguing the hurricanes create jobs. After all, the destruction is followed by rebuilding. But does anyone seriously believe that replacing destroyed buildings creates wealth?Look at Obama's plan. His website says:
"Obama will strategically invest $150 billion over 10 years to accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, encourage energy efficiency, invest in low emissions coal plants, advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America's highly skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world."Note that word "strategically." It is there to suggest that Obama knows how best to "invest" the $150 billion. (Of course it is not his money, and he'll have none of his own at risk, so from his perspective, it won't really be investment.) But how does he know that the things he names ought to get the money? Will he give it to cronies of his campaign contributors? Will he appoint Al Gore to pick grant recipients? Lobbyists will make a fortune steering "green" inventors and promoters to the $150 billion.
Politicians have a lousy record trying to make "strategic investments." President Jimmy Carter's Synthetic Fuels Corporation cost taxpayers at least $19 billion but failed to give us alternative fuels. In the 1950s Japan's supposedly omniscient Ministry of International Trade and Investment rebuffed Sony and was sure the country should have just one car producer.
Neither Gore nor Obama can know how the money should best be invested. Investing is about predicting the future, and the future is always uncertain. We know from experience that people who have their own money at risk -- who face a profit-and-loss test and possible bankruptcy -- are much better predictors than people who play with other people's money. Just compare North and South Korea.
One reason decentralized markets are preferable to government central planning is that human beings are fallible. Mistakes are inevitable. Some investments will be errors. Mistakes in the market tend to be on a comparatively small scale. If one company invests in plug-in hybrids and it goes bust, only a relatively few people suffer. The assets of the bankrupt firm pass into more capable hands.
But decisions by government, especially the federal government, affect all of us. When government makes a mistake, the bureaucracy can't go bankrupt. Instead, it will use its failure to justify increased appropriations in the next budget.
If "green jobs" make so much sense, the market will create them. They will be created by private entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who are eager to profit from winning investments. The best ideas will rise to the top, and green energy will gradually replace coal and oil.
If politicians were serious about creating jobs and cleaner technologies, they would step aside and let the free market go to work.
John Stossel blogs at http://blogs.abcnews.com/johnstossel/. He is an award-winning news correspondent and author of Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know is Wrong.
Will Green Energy Add Five Million Jobs?, Tennessean, November 9, 2008
By Ben Lieberman, The Heritage Foundation
October 4, 2009
No. Green subsidies will create jobs by destroying others.
Don't let the hype about "green jobs" fool you. The global warming bill approved earlier this year by the House of Representatives would destroy far more jobs than it could ever create.
Proponents of the bill's effort to reduce carbon emissions by imposing an enormously expensive cap-and-trade system are finding it a tough sell. Americans simply aren't buying the idea that global warming justifies a blank-check response.
Reality is just not cooperating with doom-and-gloom global warming predictions. No warming has occurred for the last decade. And now the recession has heightened concerns about the economy and jobs.
As a result, proponents of the Waxman- Markey bill -- currently being debated in the Senate -- have changed their sales pitch. Rather than present this big energy tax as a costly but necessary step to save the planet, supporters now claim that it would be an economic boon, a green-job-generating machine.
"Make no mistake: this is a jobs bill," the president Obama said as the bill neared a House vote last June. "It will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs."What kind of jobs is the president talking about? The Waxman-Markey bill drives up the cost of fossil fuels -- coal, oil and natural gas -- that proponents blame on global warming. As the feds ration these fuels and make them more expensive, they will be replaced by alternative energy sources like wind and solar. The jobs necessary to bring about this energy transformation are considered green jobs.
Sure, the president can visit wind turbine factories and boast about the few hundred green jobs at each. But the billions of dollars in government subsidies to the wind industry siphon resources and jobs away from other parts of the economy.
Worse, the higher cost of wind-generated electricity and other alternatives kills even more jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector that needs reasonably-priced energy to compete in the global marketplace.
A study by The Heritage Foundation estimates a loss of 1,145,000 jobs from the bill. These are net losses, after any "new" green jobs are taken into account. Three analyses of the bill done by the federal government also predict net job losses.
Green job advocates once touted Spain's aggressive alternative energy policy as a model for America. But, today, unemployment there stands at 18 percent, nearly twice that of the United States. Gabriel Calzada, economics professor at Madrid's King Juan Carlos University, estimates that each green job Spain creates prevents 2.2 other jobs from being created.
The Danish think-tank CEPOS recently studied wind energy in Denmark. CEPOS found than each wind energy job there costs the government $90,000 to $140,000 annually -- much more than the jobs pay. Nor are these jobs sustainable. Once the government handouts end, so do the jobs.
The same lesson can be seen in the U.S. California has led in pursuing a green jobs agenda. Environmentalists often cite it as a national model. But California also stands out as having higher unemployment and energy costs and a weaker economy than nearly every other state.
China, India and other developing nations have wisely stated that they won't accept similar global warming restrictions on their own economies. They know full well that the policies giving rise to green jobs kill many more jobs in the process.
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs
January 10, 2010
“I was impressed as never before by the utter lack of logic of the man, the scantiness of his precise knowledge of things that he was talking about, by the gross inaccuracies in his statements, by the almost pathological lack of sequences in his discussion, by the complete rectitude that he felt as to his own conduct, by the immense and growing egotism that came from his office, by his willingness to continue the excoriation of the press and business in order to get votes for himself, by his indifference to what effect the long-continued pursuit of these ends would have upon the civilization in which he was playing a part.”No, this was not a judgment of President Barack Obama, though the description eerily fits him. It was the view of Raymond Moley, a Columbia University professor and member of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Brain Trust” who often wrote or helped write FDR’s major speeches. FDR’s policies extended the Great Depression for ten years.
Here are some facts worth considering every time Obama calls for an expansion or intercession of the federal government as an answer to the current financial crisis:
Social Security, a cornerstone of FDR’s administration, was established in 1935. After 74 years, it is on the brink of insolvency because Congress gave itself access to its funds.All of these programs were put forth by liberals, now calling themselves “progressives,” initiated by Democrat administrations to advance what they call “social justice.” The Obama administration is hell-bent on “health care reform” that will put one sixth of the U.S. economy under the control of the federal government whose interventions in the free market have been the cause of the previous recessions.
Fannie Mae was established in 1938 to facilitate home ownership. It has been around for 71 years. Congress has had to seize control of it and of Freddie Mac, established in 1970. Together, they presently own or guarantee about half of the United States’ $12 trillion mortgage market.
The War on Poverty started in 1964. One trillion dollars has been transferred to “the poor” and it has not worked.
The Department of Energy was established in 1977 to lessen dependence on the import of foreign oil. With 16,000 employees and an annual budget of $24 billion, the United States has imported more oil with every passing year while denying U.S. companies access to vast national reserves in ANWR and off our continental shelf. It is an abysmal failure.
In 2010, the Obama administration says it intends to relieve the job shortage by creating “green jobs” in the sectors of wind and solar power and biofuels. It has announced a program that will cost $2.3 billion, costing approximately $135,000 per job.
“Show me one other industry that requests and receives a nearly 30 percent taxpayer subsidy,” says Thomas J. Pyle, president of the market-based Institute for Energy Research. “If the President really wants to create an environment that will foster economic growth and job creation, he need not look any further than the domestic oil, gas and coal industries.”In November 2009, a Washington Times editorial said:
“’Green energy’ is proving to be no miracle solution to the nation’s monumental unemployment problems, and it is doing little to help the economy emerge from its deepest recession in decades, economists say.”A large part of the administration’s $786 billion dollar stimulus bill was devoted to green or renewable energy projects, but the rate of unemployment continues to rise, the cost of gasoline and heating oil continues to rise in the face of the coldest winter on record in decades, and real jobs in energy industries are thwarted by Obama administration restrictions on the exploration and development of our national energy reserves.
Similar green jobs programs in Spain, Germany, and other nations that signed onto the UN Kyoto Protocols limiting carbon dioxide emissions have demonstrated that such jobs cost too much to create and eliminate other jobs in the process.
Following recent Climategate revelations, it is abundantly clear that so-called greenhouse gas emissions do not cause a non-existent “global warming” which was and is a massive science-based fraud.
Despite this, a Cap-and-Trade bill awaits a vote in the U.S. Senate that would impose a huge tax on energy use. At the same time, the EPA is claiming that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that must be regulated.
The lies simply do not stop.
So-called Green jobs depend on two of the most impractical and unreliable sources of electricity generation. Solar and wind farms require backup by coal-fired and nuclear power sources for the blatantly obvious reason that the sun does not shine full-time, nor do the winds blow full-time. These, plus biofuel producers, are parked on the doorstep of Congress to secure the subsidies they need just to be in business; subsidies that are derived from our taxes.
Biofuels divert valuable crops like corn to create ethanol, driving up the cost for a gasoline additive that incongruously produces less mileage and increases the cost of the many food products that utilize corn.
America, the home to centuries-worth of massive amounts of coal, has a President who has openly declared war on the coal industry that currently provides half of all the electricity used by Americans. By contrast, solar and wind provide just over one percent!
When the President talks of “green jobs” he is lying to Americans who need real jobs. The stimulus bill was nothing more than a political “pork” bill and is providing no real surge in job creation. Indeed, the administration has claimed to have “saved” or produced jobs in non-existent Congressional districts.
Meanwhile, the members of the U.S. House and Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 in new raises at the same time they have voted to deny a Social Security cost of living increase in 2010 and 2011.
The job of every voter in November 2010 is to remove from office every Senator and Representative that voted for and supported the Obama administration’s policies who will run for reelection.
Then, maybe, we can put America on an economic footing that will generate real jobs and put an end to the Green Lies about “green jobs,” environmentally inspired legislation, and the existing Green laws and regulations that are currently killing any hope of recovery.
Green Jobs for Whom?, In These Times, February 9, 2009
By Jeepn Dave
Green jobs are all the rage now. How can I go about getting a green career is the big question for a lot of folks that are out of a job right now.
Thanks to the new initiative by the US government to push the job market to grow and grow green, the demand for green jobs and green careers will be on the rise for the next few years as the global economies make a conscience shift towards clean green technologies and business practices.
Quick question though: Do you believe that all this pushing towards a greener way of life and doing business is going to help us out of this recession?
I will not argue that there is a great deal of demand for green careers, and the future of industry may depend on it. Clearly there will be millions of new jobs, and markets for new jobs, that are going to be created in the the next few years.
But what about all the careers and industries that all this shifting to green technology is going to replace? What about all the jobs that are going to be loss in the next few years that are dependent on the use of fossil fuels -- power plants, coal mines and oil refineries, just to name a few.
Nobody really mentions all those people that work in those industries who are going to be phased out of a career thanks to the move to go green. There lies the real rub of all this talk about moving to a cleaner greener way of fueling our lives and the way we do business.
Making that shift to a new way of doing things is going to cost a lot of people jobs that they have spent a lifetime learning and doing. Years of education for an industry that is now being phased out, and now the prospect of reeducation just to keep up with the quickly evolving job market.
Never before has there been such a global shift -- driven by the public demand but more so by governments around the world -- a global shift in the way all companies do business, where everyone is consciously aware of need to do things the green, environmentally-friendly way.
I think it is pretty obvious to everyone by now that the change is coming and that the momentum is building quickly, but at what cost? Millions of careers are going to be created, but how many millions of jobs will be lost to the new green industry; and will the difference be great enough to get the economies out of the mess they are in right now?
Either way, the new path is clear, and the best thing to do if your future career path looks kind of hazy is to jump on green jobs band wagon. The sooner you jump in, the more secure your future and your career may be. We are on the ground floor of a job market that is positioned to really take off in the next few years.
Green jobs for new energy sources like solar, wind, batteries and bio fuels are just a sampling of careers as well as regulators, administrators and lawyers to drive it all forward.Are Green Jobs Too Expensive?, Green Jobs Guide, Knight Center for Specialized Journalism
January 18, 2010
Though the plan to create 17,000 jobs in the green energy sector alone is promising, the plausibility of such a plan is puzzling. At least to some.
At odds is whether Barack Obama's green jobs plan will work, if at all, against the backdrop of the country's worst recession since the 1930s.
Skeptics challenged that the Obama administration is investing in green technologies unlikely to be profitable and, therefore, the investment would amount to unsustainable taxpayer-funded jobs at most.
Obama late last week announced his plan to boost employment by providing 2.3 billion U.S. dollars in tax credits for the creation of green jobs. The president is also urging the Congress to approve investment of another 5 billion dollars in over 180 green energy projects.
The announcement caused a kerfuffle over figures, as arithmetic-minded critics divided the special fund into a 100,000-plus-dollar annual salary for each of these 17,000 would-be job holders, way above the median annual household income in the country.
Some conservatives went so far as to doom Obama's plan.
"The clean jobs approach is a dead end and even counter-productive," said Ben Lieberman, senior policy analyst for energy and environment at the Heritage Foundation.Nathan Hultman, professor of public policy at the University of Maryland and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, echoed by saying that there is always a danger that the government could espouse technologies that later prove to be duds, wasting large sums of taxpayer money.
"The antidote to this concern of picking winners is not to pick nothing, but to provide incentives for a broad portfolio of technologies that will push the economy in the right direction," the professor added.Quite some scholars joined Nathan Hultman's wagon and they contended that the government should choose goals and not the vehicles to reach goals.
Supporters of Obama's plan, however, argued that such green energy investment is crucial to maintaining long-term U.S. economic competitiveness as more countries move toward clean energy. If done right, clean energy initiatives can be self-sustaining, but require a great deal of government commitment, as well as public-private partnerships, Nathan Hultman pointed out.
Bracken Hendricks, fellow at the Center for American Progress, said that because prior administrations did not promote investment in green energy, there has been an under-investment in the low-carbon economy relative to other countries.
President Obama has repeatedly said the United States could fall behind other countries in producing a clean energy economy.
Indeed, Japan, China and European Union countries are investing heavily in clean energy, and the United States may find itself lagging if the government fails to take actions now, some experts warned.
Technological competitiveness aside, employment in the green energy sector is expected to generate more jobs than from fossil fuel energy sectors.
"You get more than three times amount of jobs as investing in oil and gas and four times more than in investing in coal," Hendricks said of low carbon jobs.The scholar explained that many jobs encompassing a broad array of wage levels will come from Obama's overall green jobs strategy. That includes not only jobs in engineering, design and project management but also skilled blue-collar jobs such as in sheet metal fabrication, Bracken Hendricks added.
Still, critics maintain that Obama's efforts to promote a low carbon economy will do nothing to boost sustainable job growth and, in the worst-case scenario, could even harm the economy by spending government funds on unproven technologies.
Technologies should be allowed to compete in the open market, where they will live or die without government intervention, they argued.
Ben Lieberman even drew a correlation between struggling economies and investment in green energy.
Countries such as Spain, Denmark and Germany and such U.S. states as California are struggling with higher unemployment partly because of green job policies that were not grounded in the economic fundamentals, he said.That, Ben Lieberman explained, is because many clean energy policies make energy more expensive, which kills jobs.
"It's putting environmental goals ahead of economic goals. It's an attempt to pretend there's a win-win situation but the administration is hurting the economy," he said.
February 1, 2010
In a last-ditch effort to save climate legislation this year, a consortium of clean-energy groups met today in Washington and kicked off a week of intense planning and lobbying.
The notion of Clean Energy Week was born only a few weeks ago, when several groups realized they had planned events in the capital at the same time. Hasty organization didn’t prevent speakers at an opening press conference today from hammering on a consistent message: that the United States might gain 1.9 million jobs in the next decade if some version of a cap-and-trade bill is passed this year.
One participating group is the Coalition for the Green Bank, whose co-founder, Reed Hundt, said:
“As the president made clear in his State of the Union address, a focus on green jobs is the immediate focus for the clean energy sector, and in fact by promoting the double whammy of clean energy generation and transmission along with energy efficiency, literally millions of fine new jobs can be created over the next several years.”Organizers have high hopes for a “Business Fly-In” on Thursday, when 200 CEOs of clean-energy businesses arrive to meet with swing legislators and put a face on the possibility of jobs creation.
Other events include RETECH, a three-day conference between business, nonprofits and government on renewable energy.
Prospects for a climate bill retreated two weeks ago when the Democratic Party lost its filibuster-proof majority in the Senate with the special election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. However, President Obama’s repeated emphasis on clean energy and jobs in his State of the Union speech last week has invigorated advocates that an agreement might still be won.
Stimulus Jobs: Alison's Job Searching Blog
If you’re looking for job security, benefits, and a decent salary, consider working for the federal government. President Obama’s stimulus plan will create 200,000 new jobs over the next three years. Monster has a good overview of stimulus jobs, including who's hiring, where the jobs will be, and the types of jobs available.
Find green in the new green job market
Green Jobs Forum for Our Youth
In a JOBLESS Recovery Think 'Green Jobs'...to Get Back in the Black
The HOT title of today is "Sustainability." Companies have a Chief Sustainability Officer. Although, I prefer the title I created: Chief Green Officer (CGO), who is the executive who initiates corporations "green" efforts with its customers, vendors and the public... Even President Obama "had" a Green Jobs Czar--and he recently got the axe, in part because of Glenn Beck-- so there's one possible opening right there. Send your resume to the President! Green is here to stay. It's not like the "paperless" efforts we have been hearing about for years, but everyone I know is still drowning in paper! Companies, big and small... are busy formulating their plans to be sustainable or "green."
Federal Policy and the Stimulus Package: Green Jobs Guide
Mr. Prentice said the "dramatic change" in U.S. energy policy under the Obama administration will have major implications for Canada because the country's resources sector, a large emitter of carbon dioxide, will be forced to find cleaner ways of production to meet U. S. import standards. Canada is therefore keen to negotiate a North American cap-and-trade system and, even in this economic climate, adopt carbon-capture technologies.
The Green Wind of Destruction
What Will 'Green Jobs' Look Like?
Will Green Jobs Become the New Greenwash?
Does Green Energy Add 5 Million Jobs? Potent Pitch, but Numbers Are Squishy
Will green energy 'explosion' clear way for new jobs?
The Environment Report: Will Green Collar Jobs Pay Off?
The Green Jobs Report is funded by the Union Nations Environment Programme as part of its Green Jobs Initiative with the International Labour Organisation and the International Trade Union Confederation.
Green jobs, brown economy?
How much green will 'green' jobs cost?
'Green' jobs not worth their hefty price tags
First Annual Conference on "Good Jobs, Green Jobs"
Highlights from the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference
Second Annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference
National Cap-and-Trade Program is Inevitable
Glenn Beck-Green-Collar Economy (Video)
Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act becomes law
Ontario's Green Energy Act Alliance: Will green energy 'explosion' clear way for new jobs?
UK: We will green up to 25 million homes
Australia: Green jobs subtract value
Uganda has adopted a blend of taxes meant to protect the environment
Will the Green Jobs Sector Cure the Ailing U.S. Economy?
Will green tech be the next investment bubble?
Will Green Government Suffocate Trucking?
European road toll rulemaking for trucks, called the 'Eurovignette' directive, is being updated to reflect impact on environmental damage and external costs. Problems including pollution, climate impact, noise, accidents, and congestion are all fair game for increased truck tolls on Euro roadways. Proponents claim that taxpayers unfairly pick up the tab for these issues and the industry should burden a higher direct share via a per-kilometer road use tax fee.
1,000 Word Summary & Summarized List of Sources for Green Job Development in the US
Will the Green Agenda Fade?
WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index (tracks stock prices of clean-tech companies)
Can Obama's Stimulus Plan Spur Green Jobs in the U.S.?
Obama plans to set ambitious targets for reducing emissions that cause global warming—and to invest $15 billion or more per year in energy efficiency, renewables like wind and solar, biofuels, nuclear power, and "clean" coal. Beyond the environmental benefits, says the President-elect, the investment "will also help us transform our industries and steer our economy out of this economic crisis by generating five million new green jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced."
Stimulus Creating Green Jobs Abroad, Does Nothing for Energy Independence
How the Stimulus Will Help Green Jobs and Green Businesses
GM Gets a Fresh Start — Will Green Innovation Rise From the Ashes?
Barton, Walden Ask Chu, Solis to Define, Estimate Number of New Green Jobs
What the "green collar" economy means for you
$100 billion investment in green programs would create about two million jobs over two years. About 750,000 green jobs already exist, according to a 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors' report.
There are 350,000 green jobs in Pennsylvania
Illinois to Receive $6M for Green Jobs
Labor Raises Questions About Green Energy Jobs
Obama’s federal government can weatherize your home for only $57,362 each
Who could forget the $5 billion in Obama administration stimulus money that was going to rapidly create nearly 90,000 green jobs across the country in these tough economic times and make so many thousands of homes all snuggy and warm and energy-efficient these very snowy days?
Green Jobs Training Competitive Grants Provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act