Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Green" Jobs Are Just Unicorns

It's not that I'm glad these jobs didn't materialize--I wish they had. As a conservationist I would like nothing more than to have our current standard of living with even less pollution. It's just that government is notoriously bad at things like this, and this outcome was easily predicted:
Pipe dreams eventually are revealed for what they are – unrealistic, wishful thinking. It didn't take long for Spain's touted green-job revolution to be revealed as a financial disaster, siphoning taxpayer subsidies and destroying 2.2 real jobs for every green job created.

Domestic green-job pipe dreams similarly drain U.S. taxpayers' money into economic sink holes. The millions of so-called green jobs promised by President Barack Obama and other champions of taxpayer-subsidized energy schemes not only haven't materialized, many that did, already are disappearing...

Overall, estimates the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner, $30 billion in green handouts in the stimulus bill cost taxpayers about $475,000 per job.

Almost no amount of tax subsidy can make consumers purchase something they don't want. When they don't, the enterprise is doomed to fail. Rather than prop up such failures with tax money, governments at all levels should allow taxpayers to find productive uses for their money.
Adam Smith's "invisible hand" does far better at meeting the needs of the market than does a bureaucracy. Command economies never work, the most obvious one being that of the Soviet Union.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

Well Obama said he wanted us to emulate Spain. We've done so well that we have a nearly 20% unemployment rate and have managed to destroy American jobs while "green" jobs subsidized by the government continue even when there's no work to do.