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  • Green Jobs? What Green Jobs?

    Proponents of the $787 billion economic stimulus package said it would be quick and effective. It’s turning out to be neither. And the transformation to a new green revolution is off to a shaky start.

    One of the largest chunks of money from the federal spending is the $25 billion allocated for energy-efficiency. The Washington Post’s Alec MacGillis wrote, “If the New Deal was focused on building new things — schools, courthouses, libraries — then the stimulus is to a great degree focused on retrofitting what’s already there. The $25 billion for energy efficiency, which is the same amount as is being spent on roads and bridges, is split roughly equally among programs for homes for low-income workers, federal buildings, public housing, military facilities and initiatives by local and state governments.”

    Thus far, the effort to create or save jobs hasn’t been successful. MacGillis details several energy efficiency initiatives that have failed to create new jobs. In Baltimore, for instance, stimulus dollars have been spent to patch roads, install newer furnaces and painting rooftops white to conserve energy. According to MacGillis, none of these projects, as well as others, have created a single job. Another example is in the state of Indiana, where companies have “weatherized 82 homes out of its three-year goal of 25,000, and reported zero new jobs from the spending.” Maybe by the time they get to the other 24,918 homes a job will have been created.

    When it comes to quickly injecting money into the economy, nothing could be farther from reality; in fact, many of the projects are just getting started: “The program is sending $394 million to New York, but it had produced only 43 jobs there by early October; Michigan had spent $3 million of the $243 million it received.”

    One of the biggest and allegedly easiest targets for the green stimulus was improving energy efficiency in buildings since buildings in the United States account for 40 percent of the nations’ energy usage. But a number of hurdles are preventing building retrofits and enhancement before the winter hits: “Officials in charge of the spending have become entangled in bureaucratic disputes over federal wage requirements, historic preservation rules and environmental regulations.” And with so much money at stake, another legitimate concern is fraud.

    If the government is good at doing one thing, it’s spending other peoples’ money. The money will eventually be spent and the government will create some jobs to build windmills, solar panels and weatherize buildings. But Christmas didn’t come early this year; that money is not coming from Santa. It must either be taxed or borrowed from someone else and it’s money that could have been spent elsewhere for more productive use. John Stossel agues that the government can easily create jobs, but it’s creating wealth that’s the problem:

    “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 hurricanes create jobs. After all, the destruction is followed by rebuilding. But does anyone seriously believe that replacing destroyed buildings creates wealth?”

    The government is certainly good at destroying wealth, too, and that’s exactly what will happen if cap and trade becomes law. Mandating higher energy prices will slow the economy and reduce wealth by $9.4 trillion from the years 2012-2035. The top concern for most Americans is understandably the economy and jobs. Instead of implementing policy that would reduce wealth and destroy jobs, Congress should focus on tax, energy and spending policies that would allow the market to operate more productively.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Green Jobs? What Green Jobs?

    1. Karen, Seattle says:

      for information on salaries being paid, SalaryFor.com http://www.salaryfor.com/
      has a huge database of real salaries that companies are paying for different positions as well as career advice and job listings. you can post your own salary or view others for free.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      Are these companies subsidized by govie? Or are they standing on their own two feet?

      How about a govie program for people dressing in green, as leprechauns? Playing tricks on the tax payers? Oh wait, that exists, only green and leprechaun isn't required… just trying to help out the "green jobs" mystery.

    3. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      On the lighter side.

      I had to chuckle when my well-meaning neighbor was mowing his lawn with his new environment friendly electric lawnmower.

      He was doing his part although he never quite grasped the fact that the electricity that powered his mower came from somewhere.

      As my little gas-driven mower hummed along, I heard yelling and stopped.

      My friend had run over the electric mower cord. I then did the neighborly thing and finished mowing his yard for him…..

    4. dennis.... florida says:

      Is anyone else getting fed-up with the word GREEN?Or how about GLOBAL WARMING. Or C02? As people in the real world, we learn to survive by sometimes getting ripped-off. We quickly learn to spot a con-job. Everything Washington has been trying to push through congress has been spotted as ripp-off's. Most of these congressmen do not have a clue about real life, nor the American people. They were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Never ran a business, never seen the day when they couldn;t afford a gallon of milk. They believe we are stupid and will believe anything that comes across the news channels. I just roll my eyes and shake my head and ask the question,HOW STUPID CAN THEY GET?

    5. Ross, North Carolina says:

      As an engineer, I just have to shake my head at all the greenies out there who don't even understand the concept of efficiency, and can't fathom that using electricity, when the source of that electricity is dirty fossil fuels, merely transfers the location of pollution, and in many cases, actually causes more pollution overall than if you burned gasoline in your own car (due to the loss in transmitting that power, then storing it in an even more inefficient chemical battery). This "green" stuff has become a religion of sorts, not rooted in the reality of physics.

    6. Ross, North Carolina says:

      As demonstrated on this web site and in many other scientific publications, we should understand that 1) Carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant, but a naturally occurring trace gas in our atmosphere. 2) Water vapor is the main greenhouse gas. 3) Carbon dioxide, in the current quantity, accounts for only 3.62% of our greenhouse effect. 4) Mankind contributes but 15% of the 3.62%, meaning if you killed all humans on the planet, the naturally occurring amount of carbon dioxide would go down to 3.08% 5) The U.N. Report on Climate Change by the IPCC is a political document, not a scientific one. It was put together by some 1800 scientists, but the conclusions were written in many cases by environmentalists and government panels without any expertise in those areas. And the scientists could not change those conclusions, even if they thought their data did not support them. There are more scientists who say that the idea of man made global warming is a hoax than there are who say it isn't. 6) Finally, we have been at this science "game" for only 400 years since Galileo first turned his telescope toward the heavens. We do not yet have a good understanding of how the Earth/moon/Sun/Galactic system really works. We are currently in an interglacial period between ice ages. We have it good. We are the only generation of humans who ever worried about warmth instead of cold. For much of our history, from 128,000 years ago, humanity has shivered in the cold, and almost died out during terrible ice ages. We have ice records and geologic records that indicate changes to climate can occur in as little as decades. Inside these interglacials, there are usually many periods of warming and cooling before REAL ice ages set in. The climate variability we have measured since the industrial revolution are well within the normal variability of the Earth's climate. In fact, there have been cooling periods in the 20th century, most notably in the 1940's – the Winters of WWII were brutal. The point is, we have much to learn, and in many ways are only getting started. To kill our economy based on incomplete information would be stupid, like inflicting a hurricane Katrina on ourselves.

    7. Pingback: Outside the Beltway: $1.2 Billion for Michigan, But No Stimulus Jobs Created | Conservative Principles Now

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