Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised by this, but I take no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so.’
The long delays typical with environmentally friendly projects — combined with reports of green stimulus funds being used to create jobs in China and other countries, rather than in the U.S. — appear to have killed the administration’s appetite for pushing green projects as an economic cure.
After months of hype about the potential for green energy to stimulate job growth and lead the economy out of a recession, the results turned out to be disappointing, if not dismal. About $92 billion — more than 11 percent — of Mr. Obama’s original $814 billion of stimulus funds were targeted for renewable energy projects when the measure was pushed through Congress in early 2009.
Only about $20 billion of the allotted funds have been spent — the slowest disbursement rate for any category of stimulus spending. Private analysts are skeptical of White House estimates that the green funding created 190,700 jobs.
The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States.
Whip out your calculators: 82,000 into $20 billion means those green jobs cost about $243,902 each. Let’s hope they pay well. The high cost per job should come as no surprise; despite the hype from green groups and the administration, cleantech jobs generally require enormously expensive subsidies.
For example, back in January, the administration was touting the $2.3 billion in manufacturing tax credits as creating 17,000 jobs — or about $135,294 per job. Even that tally proved to be overly optimistic, given the fact that many of those jobs went to other countries.
Sad really. Michigan, the state that entered a recession long before the rest of the country because of its shortsighted proclivity to put all its financial eggs in one basket; the state whose economic well-being hinged on the success or failure of the automobile industry has repeated its mistake. Ironically, both industries owe their ultimate failure to the same thing: government.
The automobile industry had been on an unsustainable path of union submission for years, when government policies allowed them to inflate the costs of automobiles beyond what would be affordable to the average person’s wages. Easy credit to anyone who could fog a mirror allowed people to purchase cars well beyond their means for years. (Sound like the housing market? That’s because it is an identical situation.) The unions continued to ask for more and the auto companies found it easier to capitulate because of the stupidity of government policy. They relied on this unsound and untenable strategy until it ran them into the ground. Then what did they do? They turned to the government for a bailout of their unviable financial strategy, which bailout was handed out by the government for the ‘good of the unions,’ to all but one notable exception: Ford Motor Company who so far, has gone it alone in the private sector. Only time will tell if they are able to work their way out of the situation they got themselves into.
As the automobile industry sat up with their collective hands out, Michigan government was busy trying to jump onto the next stupid federal policy: green jobs. The State of Michigan itself, hoping to grasp onto more government cheese, decided to play ball with the new administration’s push of green energy for furtherance of its Cap & Trade policies. Since that time, we’ve watched as the fraud of that scheme has been exposed from everyone to Al Gore and his Chicago Climate Exchange to the outing of the falsifying of data on the original science of ‘global warming,’ which fanaticism started the prospect of the new Ponzi scheme.
Despite watching this unfold, Michigan continued to pour money (much of which it didn’t even have in the first place) into investing in green energy jobs. The cost of such jobs being, as cited above, somewhere around $200,000 each. That is not to say they PAY that much, but that’s how much the State of Michigan spent to obtain each one. Over the past two years Michigan has almost exclusively invested its entire future into this federal government-invented scam.
Yes Michigan, you are a sucker. There is no such thing as a free lunch and continuing to pursue it is nothing less than pure folly. True wealth lies in production of goods and services that people can purchase at a price sustainable with the wages from own production and hard work – not from that which is artificially maintained with unsustainable government policies. The entire country is about to get a lesson in what true production means, too bad Michigan had to be the first in line to step up and take the bait.