Patterico's Pontifications

9/15/2011

The Great Leap Forward in Green Jobs

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:15 pm



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

First, let’s look at the micro level, shall we?  At Right Scoop they have audio from the Mark Levin show.  Yes, I grit my teeth at the thought of promoting the guy, but I have to admit he did well, here, getting a person who worked on constructing the Solyndra plant to speak on the show and tell us this:

While we were out there, while we were building it – cause it is a half a billion dollar plant – everyone already knew that China had developed a more inexpensive way to manufacture these solar panels. Everyone knew that the plant wouldn’t work. But they still did it. They still built it.

As Right Scoop notes:

She then emphasized that she isn’t even that high on the totem pole and she knew this stuff. So there’s no doubt in her mind that Obama and the White House knew that it wasn’t feasible.

And then on the same day, we learn this, on the macro level:

A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.

The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy tallies.

So do the math, okay?  Since it says “almost half” let’s round down the amount to $19 billion.  So if you divide that by 3,545, that comes out to $5,359,661.5, or a little more than $5 million per job.  It would literally be cheaper to just pay each of these people $200K a year for five years.

In Right Scoop’s Levin clip, he likens all of this to the Potemkin Village, but I think of another story from Communism: China’s Great Leap Forward.  I won’t recount the full sad history of this chapter in Chinese history except to say that China thought that they could will themselves into greater agricultural production.  Soon local officials in rural China began to report ridiculous levels of production, so much so that people reporting normal levels of production were considered suspicious and likely enemies of the state.  China had always been barely able to feed its people, so moderation was necessary, but based on those false reports, the government began to tell people to eat like as if there was plenty, and quickly what little food was there was depleted.

And one particular story that leapt out at me when studying this was how sometimes people would come to inspect the fields, and the local officials would quickly transfer three to five fields worth of crops into one field, and show the inspector that field, alleging it to be typical.  After the inspector left, however, the transferred crops would quickly die, further reducing the supply of food.

The result of all of this was famine, resulting in death on the scale of the holocaust.

And that is what we are doing today.  Obama is taking what little productivity there is left, and pouring it down into giant holes.  Like those local officials transferring crops, they are taking a bad situation and actively making it worse, in the name of appearances.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

33 Responses to “The Great Leap Forward in Green Jobs”

  1. When jamming their nose in Industry, Government does not pick winners, Government picks favorites.

    S. Carter aka J-Z (8d652e)

  2. This started under Bush, so it is his fault.

    JD (af0807)

  3. Who knew that GWB had such awesome power to impact so many things…and this administration has so little power?

    Simon Jester (c2616c)

  4. Obama should tax the heck out of these $5 million green jobs, cuz that’s where it sounds like all the money is.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. You have been reported to attackwatch, Daley.

    JD (af0807)

  6. Solyndra would have succeeded had Bush approved their stupid business plan! Obama inherited a situation where his hands were completely tied except for that part about not pressuring the OMB to provide a photo op for more money than the average American would earn in ten thousand years.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  7. _________________________________________

    China’s Great Leap Forward.

    One doesn’t have to go even that far — time-wise, geographically and politically — to see the folly, hubris and foolishness of it all.

    instituteforenergyresearch.org:

    AUGUST 6, 2009
    TESTIMONY OF GABRIEL CALZADA ÁLVAREZ, PHD

    My name is Gabriel Calzada Álvarez. I am an Associate Professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (King Juan Carlos University) in Madrid, where I teach Applied Economics at the Environmental Science Faculty. In March 2009 me and two colleagues from the same University, Raquel Merino Jara and Juan Ramón Rallo Julián, released our study on the Spanish experience with “green jobs” with the technical auditing help of José Ignacio García Bielsa, a professional with large experience in the electricity market. Our study (“Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources”) has been provided to the Committee.

    SUMMARY

    President Obama has made clear his intention to follow Europe’s lead in employing state intervention in the economy to “create” what are called “green jobs”, specifically as a path out of the current economic troubles. Europe’s experience actually suggests that this is precisely the wrong approach, and I appreciate the opportunity to comment for your hearing record on our research which put these claims to the test using official data.

    Our study sought to answer the seminal question — what was the price of Spain’s attempt to lead the world in a clean energy transformation. Our research shows that that price was very high.

    Here are some highlights from our study:

    • For every 1 green job financed by Spanish taxpayers, 2.2 jobs were lost as an opportunity cost.

    • Only 1 out of 10 green job contracts were in maintenance and operation of already installed plants, being the rest working positions only sustainable in an expansive environment related to high subsidies.

    • Since 2000, Spain has committed €571,138 ($753,778) per each “green job,”

    • Those programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,500 jobs.

    • Each “green” megawatt installed destroyed 5.39 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

    Spain has already attempted to lead the world in a clean energy transformation. But our research shows that Spain’s policies were economically destructive.

    For a Spanish economist it is hard to understand why a market-oriented country like the U.S. with relatively low unemployment would want to learn how to create jobs from an economically interventionist experiment in a country like Spain – where the unemployment rate is historically much higher (presently around 18% and rising) – that has not help to reduce unemployment but on the contrary has produced a net destruction of jobs.

    Spain might still have some original and efficient policies to show the rest of the world but unfortunately renewables aid is not one of them.

    She then emphasized that she isn’t even that high on the totem pole and she knew this stuff. So there’s no doubt in her mind that Obama and the White House knew that it wasn’t feasible.

    I bet she’s correct. That’s why I think we’ve been punked by Jeremiah Wright’s pal (former or otherwise).

    Mark (411533)

  8. The link I posted on the previous thread, shows
    that Goldman Sachs, was the investment advisor:

    And in tangential news, attached is the just filed engagement letter with which a bankrupt Solyndra will retain Imperial Capital at the cost of $150,000 per month (this is cash that is immediately leaving the estate, thus minimizing recoveries to US taxpayers), a $1 million confirmation fee, a $1 million sale fee (the two are not exclusive), a 1%/3%/5% financing fee (i.e., Imperial arranges follow through financing, although good luck with that), and so on. In other news, should this bankruptcy stretch for more than the usual 1 year period from filing to emergence, US taxpayers will be on the hook for another roughly $3 million, in order to hire a banker whose ultimate value added will be an “orderly” liquidation of the company. What is amusing is that $150k/month was the going rate when bankruptcy firms still had business, and it was a competitive field, unlike now, when even a $10 million debt side assignment gets pitchbooks from Greenhill, Lazard, Rothshild and Blackstone. Perhaps the judge on the case will be so kind to show some fiduciary responsibility when it comes to disbursing taxpayer capital to retain a useless advisor…. even more so that Imperial somehow believes that it should not even be subject to an expense “(including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees, travel, lodging and meal expenses, messenger services, duplicating services and other customary expenditures)” cap: gotta love using those G-VI jets on the taxpayer’s dime.

    ian cormac (ed5f69)

  9. Solyndra green jobs is people!

    Well . . . it’s people’s tax money going down the drain, anyway.

    Icy Texan (b9927e)

  10. … or a little more than $5 million per job. It would literally be cheaper to just pay each of these people $200K a year for five twenty-five years

    FIFY

    ras (be1e0d)

  11. Every time Barack Obama shows his face in public he should be met with overwhelming demands for his resignation. He’s proved he’s unfit to lead the nation over and over again. Obama is bad for America! Demand his immediate resignation.

    ropelight (8e81ca)

  12. No, it’s worse. Obama is saddling our children with debt to those same Chinese. Our children will be their slaves.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  13. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah S.Carter you said cronyism………..Aaaaaaaaaaargh m-my head is about ot explode.+

    DohBiden (d54602)

  14. In 1958, the Great Leap Forward was Mao’s plan to collectivize agrarian economy and move directly into forced industrialization. Before that time, China had been an exporter of rice. The Soviets also played an advisory role.

    The goal was to make China a major steel producer, equal to Great Britain, in fifteen years, by purchasing small mills and diverting farm labor.

    To feed the population, remaining workers were organized into collective farms where the state provided child care, food and housing. Russian “experts” advocated dual planting, at the surface and 6 feet underground, wasting both seed and labor. With farm labor diverted to the cities, collective farms were unable to harvest all the crops. What they did, was shipped to the cities. They depended on good weather; they got bad.

    Crop failures were blamed on sparrows eating seed. Crowds of thousands took sticks and chased the birds until, exhausted, they had to land and were beaten to death. With natural predators exterminated, China had a plague of locusts.

    Industrialization was equally disastrous. The little mills were inefficient and required lots of fuel. Also, they lacked iron ore. Central Planning Committee had assigned quotas in advance and they refused to accept any excuses. Party members cut down trees for fuel and scavenged for pots and pans to melt down. The output was a poor grade pig iron. When the monsoon came, there were no trees left to absorb the runoff, causing floods and mudslides.

    In this Orwellian nightmare, between 23 and 46 million Chinese died.

    Arch (0baa7b)

  15. On top of all that Arch, the pig-iron was of so poor quality, that it was (for the most part) unusable, and was dumped; and IIRC many of the operators of the “back-yard smelters” were executed for “anti-state activities/sabotage”.

    Ain’t Central Planning wonderful?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks ! (5be9ff)

  16. On top of all that Arch, the pig-iron was of so poor quality, that it was (for the most part) unusable, and was dumped; and IIRC many of the operators of the “back-yard smelters” were executed for “anti-state activities/sabotage”.

    I remember reading about when Mao would do his tours of these “mini-smelters,” ChiCom officials would transport Russian-made steel rails to the villages ahead of time to make it seem like they had been made locally. Mao would do the tour, praise the workers, and then leave, and the whole kabuki show was repeated in the next village.

    What also helped lead to the famine was that a lot of farmers were forced to melt down their farming implements, and as AD pointed out, the resulting pig iron was worthless. So even when they were able to grow crops, they couldn’t harvest them and the crops rotted in the fields.

    Another Chris (c04459)

  17. If you want to stack up the 20th century mass murderers Hitler is third behind Stalin who trailed Mao. Sick, evil people all.

    Arch (0baa7b)

  18. stealing that post from Spain to use IRL on some pie in they sky green idiots i know.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  19. China thought that they could will themselves into greater agricultural production.

    It would be more correct to write that

    Mao thought he could will China into greater agricultural production.

    Rich Rostrom (28c1ad)

  20. Delete previous comment with unclosed tag.

    China thought that they could will themselves into greater agricultural production.

    It would be more correct to write that

    Mao thought he could will China into greater agricultural production.

    Rich Rostrom (28c1ad)

  21. Bachmann is an idiot what proof does she have of Perry signing into law a healthcare plan similar to Romneys?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  22. The enviromental movement has always wanted to emulate Mao.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  23. Where are the far-left to slander the MSM as being paid off by Palin because they dared to defend her?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  24. the “MSM” is starting to realize that Sarah Palin may be their only chance of keeping Obama in office I think

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  25. The Environmental Movement needs to be sent to “Re-Education Camps”.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (5be9ff)

  26. She is now at the FCC regulating SkyTerra/Light Squared

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/SatelliteI

    ian cormac (ed5f69)

  27. From the man, who should get a Pulitzer, if it meant anything anymore

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0918-20110918,0,3951633.column

    ian cormac (ed5f69)

  28. Those damn environmentalists are trying to kill us all.
    http://www.israel21c.org/briefs/study-links-led-light-and-cancer
    If it’s not mercury in CFC light bults, cancerous gas additive MTBE thru the ground water, or now .. LED light suppressing the production of melatonin which adjusts our biological clock and is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous properties.
    Next, we will find out that “heavy metals” from solar panels are leaching into the ground water.

    A. Weiner (d1c681)


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