14 comments on “Putting an end to the “green jobs” lie

  1. OK, Mr. H.C.,

    For the sake of your argument (a good one, I’ll admit), we’ll go with the premise that going green will not boost the economy in the way it needs to. It will not lead to the job creation needed to buttress the declining middle class workforce.

    Now what?

    What’s the solution then? Do you propose that we sit back and do nothing? Do you think cement infrastructure is the answer? Do we toss our hands up in surrender? Our dear friends in the GOP simply want everything to revolve around corporate tax cuts…trusting they will take their massive profits and create jobs. But so far that has produced diddly.

    The government sucks at being innovating capitalists. We get that. But what else is supposed to be done to try to fix things, to put more Americans back to work while also doing wonders for the economy? In short, what are we supposed to do?

    Maybe THAT should be the subject of your next post.

    • Hey Mr Mike, (We’re being so proper here suddenly, but since I like and appreciate manners, let’s go with it.),
      You don’t have to wait for my next post, I’ll give you some answers right now. Certainly we don’t sit here and do nothing. First, we allow fossil fuels to help fill the void for now. Fracking is one good answer to pursue. While certainly not perfect, natural gas extraction is a proven method that can only harm a small section of any land it’s on. The examples of polution caused by fracking have been relatively easy to fix and it’s certainly better than having a gulf spill or a nuclear accident. Also, a great deal of our homes are heated with LP gas which is produced by fracking. Increasing supply will keep prices down helping the average homeowner with one of their biggest costs (LP has gone up 400% in the past 20 years) Second, we allow drilling for oil here in the U.S. with as much oversite as possible. I personally like the idea of harsh punishment for violations over these “catch me if you can” regulations. Third, we pursue bio fuels such as algae fuel and all the solar and wind power by supporting research in our universities and government structures not by pumping money into manufacturing of products that aren’t ready for market. Lowering the cost of fuels will free up money that your average american will then use to stimulate the economy without taxing. The fear of global warming is the roadblock to all of these ideas and I believe it is being done at an extremist level. How many of Al Gore’s prophecies have come true so far? Can we control other nations like China or India or Russia even IF he’s right? We can’t even control OUR companies. I believe we have time and need a long term rational energy program that gets us off fossil fuels slowly and not a “We have to change immediately or we’re all going to die” approach.

  2. No argument there, HC. One of the reasons I was so wary about purchasing a hybrid vehicle when they first came on the market was because of the newness of the whole concept. A few years later, the novelty still hasn’t quite worn off for me. So if I have so much trepidation about a single decision to purchase, I’m especially concerned about basing an entire economic movement on similar initiatives. I think a green economy DOES need to emerge, just not with as much head-on force as the Obama administration is advocating at this point. A forward charge on that hill could lead to some pretty devestating results.

  3. Mike :The government sucks at being innovating capitalists. We get that.

    I don’t think I entirely agree, Mike. The government has been pretty inept lately in spurring job growth. But I’d hardly say they’ve been completely crappy investors in innovation. I mean, you’ve got the Internet, transcontinental travel, infrastructure, the space program, etc. There are plenty of examples of where the gub’ment had to take risks that paid off nicely in the long run.

    • Well said Dre,
      I believe that for too many people government is the answer to everything or the answer to nothing-we need to get out of that mentality. Government has, and does some things well and some things horribly.

  4. Interesting argument, HC. I think you’re correct in one sense, but not all across the board. Migrating over to a green economy will be expensive at the outset. But just like anything else, things get less expensive down the road. So the figures you presented – while daunting – would more or less be temporary.

    • Hey J.Alex,
      I agree, but to what extent? Could that money have been spent wiser? Will it really create many jobs when China or India can produce them so much cheaper? Those are the questions I have. I think we could be

    • lol, they have been happier than normal. At least it got them off the whole “we’re all going to hell” thing.

  5. This argument is pretty disingenous, if you ask me. Who – including President Obama – ever said green jobs were the ONLY investment we should be making to fix the ecomony? And pointing to one or two failed companies doesn’t suggest to me that the entire green initiative is something we should abadon. Rethink, maybe. But not abandon. The way I see it, we should be using the green initiative for the following purposes: (1) retrofitting every building and home in America to be energy efficient, and the management, supply chain, transportation, tools, etc, installing wind turbine and solar power facilities, increasing hyrdopower production, carbon sequestration, and using more biofuels. Nuclear power shouldn’t be taken off the table either.

    There is so much opportunity to be had here. But if we waste our time using partisan cheapshots to push certain agendas and attack others, we won’t get anywhere.

    • Hey Darren,
      I certainly hope you don’t think I was engaging in any partisan cheap shots, that was not my intent. I am a registered Dem, although I consider myself an independent. I don’t look at it as “pointing to one or two failed companies” but rather looking at some very bad investments done on my behalf as a taxpayer. Much like the billions poured into Haliburton by G.W. and his crew. My suspicion is that it may have been done as political paybacks, and that’s the part that really bothers me when those billions could have been spent in (IMO) better ways. We definately shouldn’t be abandoning green energy, I’m just dispelling the myth that these green energy jobs can stimulate the economy in any meaningful way. It’s not all or nothing, it’s seeing it for what it is at this point in time.

  6. *MISTAKE ALERT*
    In the line from my post “If all 4.7 million jobs in Michigan were subsidized this way, it would cost Michigan $113.74 trillion to have a labor force.”, the word “trillion” should have been “billion”. Sorry for the mistake. However, since the total tax revenue in all of Michigan was only $43,643,900,000,(http://house.michigan.gov/hfa/PDFs/source0610.pdf) it still would have taken over twice our entire revenue to subsidize every job. Thanks to everyone who pointed that out. My goal is to inform, not decieve.

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