Friday, August 19, 2011

Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises

You know that it had to have been horribly painful for the New York Times to print this...
In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.

“I won’t say I’m not frustrated,” said Van Jones, an Oakland activist who served briefly as Mr. Obama’s green-jobs czar before resigning under fire after conservative critics said he had signed a petition accusing the Bush administration of deliberately allowing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a claim Mr. Jones denies.

A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.

In war, Helmuth von Moltke said that "no plan survives contact with the enemy." (Ok, that's a pithier Engish version of the actual German quote, but work with me, here.) That's the case for liberal economic plans and reality, too. Any plan, the success of which is dependent on people not responding to incentives and disincentives, and economic realities ceasing to function, is doomed to failure. And they don't care. Their intentions are good, so that's the important thing. They want to create "green jobs," and they're willing to spend other peoples' money on it, and therefore, the "green jobs" should materialize!

The world doesn't work that way.

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