[Posted by Karl]
I forgot yesterday was Earth Day. Then again, so has Vanity Fair magazine. I must be in the group that thought electing Pres. Obama automatically fixed the environment. No, wait, that’s Democrats.
The Obama administration is using Earth Day for launching another all-out effort to sell the American public and key lawmakers on “green jobs” as the solution for the United States’ environmental and economic woes.
However, a recent paper by professors Andrew P. Morriss, William T. Bogart and Roger E. Meiners, along with with international law expert Andrew Dorchak, concludes that “green jobs” programs are a scam:
Our review of the claims of green jobs proponents, however, leaves us skeptical because the green jobs literature is rife with internal contradictions, vague terminology, dubious science, and ignorance of basic economic principles. Indeed, the green jobs literature claims resemble the promises of long-term financial prosperity offered by Ponzi schemes. New taxes, increased public borrowing, and government subsidies will be needed to support green jobs programs. We find no evidence that these “investments” in green jobs can support the promised results. Investing taxpayers’ money in developing green jobs as an economic and environmental panacea, are likely, like a Ponzi scheme, to result in empty bank accounts.
Our review convinces us that the real purpose of the green jobs initiative is not to create jobs but to remake society. The sweeping changes advocated in these reports under the guise of greening our economy are intended to shift the American and world economies away from decentralized decision making, in favor of centralized planning. Therefore, instead of allowing individuals to voluntarily trade in free markets in pursuit of their own ends, green jobs advocates would instead discourage trade and allow technologies to be chosen by central planners and politicians, who would determine the choices faced by consumers and workers. By wrapping these policy shifts in the green jobs mantle, those advocating the reorganization of much of life hope to avoid a debate over the massive costly changes they want to impose.
In the Times of London, Dominic Lawson compares “green jobs” to subprime mortgages and has great fun dissecting the idiocy of British plans promoting electric cars, before turning to Obama’s schemes:
The key to a successful, wealth-generating economy is productivity. Saving energy is what businesses have done already, because it lowers their production costs. The problem with any form of subsidy is that it makes the consumer (through hidden taxes) pay to keep inherently uneconomic businesses “profitable”. Meanwhile, diversified energy companies such as Shell, with plenty of speculatively acquired wind-farm acreage, are salivating at the plans by Obama to introduce cap-and-trade carbon emissions targets for American industry.
Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, had some soothing words for US manufacturing companies that complained that the new policy will make them even less competitive with Chinese exporters, since the people’s republic has indicated that it has no intention of inflicting a similar increase in energy costs on its own producers. He suggested that America might have to introduce some sort of “carbon-intensive” tariff on Chinese goods. One of China’s envoys, Li Gao, immediately retorted that such a carbon tariff would be a “disaster”, since it could lead to global trade war.
There’s nothing like a trade war in the middle of a global economic contraction. Obamanomics: it’s like economics, but backwards.