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Green jobs stupidity

By Thomas E. Brewton
web posted February 15, 2010

The president's smug assertion that the "science" of global warming is settled turns out to be anther example of liberal-progressive dogmatic closed-mindedness.  His continuing devotion to "green" jobs can only be described as willful stupidity.

Tom Emerson forwarded the Wall Street Journal's European editorial opinion, which recounts the readily available information regarding the wasteful and feckless efforts of the Spanish and German governments to create green jobs.

No matter how one fudges the numbers or rationalizes about environmental benefits, green jobs require enormous government subsidies.  The extra money for those subsidies is forcibly taken via taxes from businesses that would have been able to to use the money for more productive purposes.  Thereby is an economy diminished.  Green jobs, for example, in production of ethanol have raised food prices for the world's poor and used more petroleum energy in production of ethanol than would have been used without ethanol.

The Journal's editorial commences:

As he did for health care, President Obama has turned to Europe for inspiration on the environment. Countries such as Spain and Germany are "making real investments in renewable energy" and are "surging ahead of us," he has warned. In last week's State of the Union speech, Mr. Obama proposed to reverse the trend: "The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy," he said. "America must be that nation."

To say, "The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy," is equivalent to saying that those who waste the most money will become the richest.  To suggest that green jobs will increase the productivity of our economy is nonsense. 

Productivity increases come from discovering more efficient ways to produce existing goods and services, or to create new goods and services that people find useful.  Green jobs reverse the process by making production less efficient and more costly and by producing goods and services that few people, given free choice, will want.

The president's views make sense only under the rubric of Keynesian macroeconomics.  Keynes, during the 1930s Depression, proclaimed that the only way to revive a depressed economy was application of large amounts of government spending.  What the money was spent for was immaterial.  Digging holes one day, filling them then next day, then endlessly repeating the cycle, would work nicely, Keynes thought.

"Green"jobs conform to that senseless paradigm.  Green jobs add little if anything to the goods and services that people outside the rarified enclaves of the Northeast and Beverly Hills will pay for if given the opportunity to choose.  Moreover, the product of green jobs is worth less than the cost to produce it, hence the necessity for government subsidies to producers and to buyers.

Economics is the study of allocating most efficiently and productively the limited amounts of resources available at any one time to a political society.  Green jobs, CO2 regulation, and the whole clap-trap of smarter-than-you collectivist control favored by liberal-progressives is assuredly not economics.  It is a wasteful sacrifice on the altar of the secular religion of socialism. ESR

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog is The View from 1776Z. Email comments to viewfrom1776@thomasbrewton.com.







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