Skip to comments.The Myth of Green Energy Jobs: The European Experience
Posted on 02/21/2011 3:35:30 PM PST by Nachum
With $2.3 billion in Recovery Act tax credits allocated for green manufacturers, President Barack Obama and other Democratic politicians have high hopes for green technology. But their expectations clash with both economic theory and practical experience in Europe. Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created, while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create almost five jobs in the general economy. Wind and solar power have raised household energy prices by 7.5 percent in Germany, and Denmark has the highest electricity prices in the European Union. Central planners in the United States trying to promote green industry will fare no better at creating jobs or stimulating the economy.
Key points in this Outlook:
* The Obama administration, its allies in Congress, and the environmental community champion the benefits of green technology and the creation of green jobs to alleviate unemployment. * Green jobs merely replace jobs in other sectors and actually contribute less to economic growth. * Experiments with renewable energy in Europe have led to job loss, higher energy prices, and corruption.
Green is the new black, in both the United States and Europe. Virtually everyone on the left has thrown on the green pants, green shirts, and green cloak of what we are assured is the future of life on earth as we know it.
President Obama regularly references the green economy in his speeches. The Obama/Biden New Energy for America document released in 2008 focuses on green jobs, green technology, green manufacturing, green buildings, and even green veterans. In a speech to the Democratic National Committee in September 2010, Obama boasted, "We'd been falling behind and now we are back at the forefront of [research and development].
(Excerpt) Read more at aei.org ...
Here's how a liberal looks at this equation:
By denying the private sector the ability to produce 5 new workers not dependent on liberal social programs, we created one new job entirely dependent on liberal social programs, plus two-point-two new unemployed, also dependent on liberal social programs! It's a win-win-win! We're in heaven here!
These are silly comparisons. The automobile industry killed jobs in the horse-and-buggy industry too. 30 years ago no one was burdened with a monthly bill for internet service of a phone that fits in your pocket either.
I’m fine with discussing renewable energy on the basis of technology or business model sustainability. Some of it makes sense, a lot doesn’t. But the fact that Obama gets it wrong doesn’t justify using equally crappy logic.
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
The automobile industry killed jobs in the horse-and-buggy industry too.
This is a viable example of a natural technological progress. As in the case of cell-phone technology, governments had nothing to do with that progress. "Green" energy, in contrast, is shoved down the throats of a majority by a vocal minority by means of the coercive force of government. It is for this reason that your counter-examples do not apply.
The article, moreover, does not address the question of whether we should use green energy. It points to a lie perpetrated by some government, namely, that funding will help reinvigorate the job market. It is indeed a lie, the same lie that was used by Roosevelt: while telling the public that he works on the recovery of the economy, everything he did was directed instead at reformation of the economy (from the capitalist to a fascist model a la Mussolini). Pointing to the negative net contribution to the job market is therefore relevant and logical on the part of the author.
In your reply you appear to defend green energy on unclear grounds against a nonexistent attacker.
The automobile industry killed jobs because people wanted the product and the use of automobiles drove the technology not vice-versa and I would say the same is true of the Internet.
The Juan Carlos University study has been debunked and even the Wall Street Journal said the study used crappy logic
By contrast, the drivers for most “green jobs” are massive government subsidies, and government mandates. No investors would step forward, without “investment” by governments, using funds coerced from their citizen taxpayers. Few consumers would step forward to purchase the “green products”; if they were not either bribed (subsidies) or coerced (mandates) to do so.
When government's use their coercive powers to take resources from the productive private sector (whether through taxes, or through mandates); they destroy productive jobs. The comparisons are not silly — they are simply based on standard multipliers applied to the resources that various governments have diverted to “green” industries.
“When government’s use ....” = “When governments use ....”
The problem with that statement is that the renewable standards are being set at the state level and were set before Obama came along. For example, Texas set their first renewable standard in 1999.
And what we see coming over the hill from Congress is not renewable standards but clean standards, which, in addition to renewables, includes Nat Gas, Nukes, and clean coal. 80% by 2035
It’s a sequel to Carter’s synthetic fuels boondoggle. If green energy technology was simple or cheap, someone would be doing it. The fact that these green technologies cannot survive outside of niche markets (without government subsidies) proves their economic viability, or lack thereof.
I’m addressing your “debunk” assertion: http://biggovernment.com/chorner/2009/09/28/grande-gobierno-obama-uses-feds-to-protect-his-green-jobs-story/#more-9722
The problem with that is, on the ground, renewables are moving forward. Does Breibart have the wisdom of the Gods and those dumb asses putting up windmills down in Texas don't know what they are doing?
I'll tell you a major componant missing from Juan Carlos, AEP, and Biggoverment.com is the royalties. So if you go to Abilene or Sweetwater, its not just the jobs from the windmills, but the royalty money that is pumping up the local economy.
Because they're economically feasible? Or because they are massively subsidized?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.