Green Jobs: Do They Exist?

A couple of weeks ago, I wondered whether President Barack Obama would even mention green jobs in his new jobs plan, considering the “green economy” has been more boom than bust. Many people thought he would still put something about green jobs in his plan.

Clean energy was sold as the means by which our economy would be saved. Companies received generous government subsidies and the (un)stim…

  1. david foster

    Especially bizarre is the idea of “green jobs training,” as if the work of a welder in a solar-thermal plant was substantially different from the work of a welder in a gas-fired or or coal plant.

  2. raycon and lindacon

    It’s leftist politics as usual.  Where’s the surprise??

  3. tabula rasa

    Mollie:  You haven’t been listening.  Now that those 1,100 employees are receiving unemployment benefits, job creation will now kick in full swing.  Obama had to get those folks employed so they could be laid off so that his real stimulus plan could get to work.  [Just writing that made me feel a bit insane].

  4. Jimmy Carter

    Do they exist?

    Only in libs’ utopia.

  5. tabula rasa
    david foster: Especially bizarre is the idea of “green jobs training,” as if the work of a welder in a solar-thermal plant was substantially different from the work of a welder in a gas-fired or or coal plant. · Sep 1 at 7:01am

    It’s mind conditioning.  While the greed welder welds, he dreams of the seas lowering and the planet healing.  The regular welder thinks about beer and the NFL.

  6. The Great Adventure!

    A small part of me wants to laugh at the latest pie in Obama’s face.  The much bigger part, however, wants to cry as I watch my tax dollars swirl around the bowl.

  7. Cobalt Blue

    These people will never learn. They are so enamored by their own smarts, they think they can simply brush aside market forces with their sweet sounding words of how great the future will be. And Republicans aren’t immune from this type of conceit either.

    This story should be front and center in next year’s campaign – it’s got it all: incompetence, waste on a huge scale, cronyism, and maybe, just maybe, if it makes a big enough impression, we’ll be able to drive a stake through the heart of the money-sucking “green jobs” vampire so future administrations won’t be tempted to similarly destroy wealth.

  8. Steven Zoraster

    How about real jobs designing and building nuclear power plants?

  9. King Banaian

    Mollie, the question I have still is, “what’s a green job?”  A couple years ago a data collector for a state agency called me to ask that question.  If they don’t know…?

    Under this administration, everyone wants theirs to be a green job, to attract government largesse.  Should we take seriously a job definition that is lobbied?

  10. flownover

    It occurred to me a couple of years ago that mandates made things alot easier when selling things than the actual hard work involved in marketing. Maybe I was wrong. Once again the Chinese ruin a market by commoditizing products. Can we have Al Gore “Made in China” ? 

    The MSM is sweating now, they are busily digging a big hole to bury this story in. My local paper had it on page eight, tiny headline, barely noticeable. 

    This is another 24k carat nail in the coffin of environmentalism. Uh oh, is that racist ?

  11. Kennedy Smith

    It takes special talent to go bankrupt in a subsidized industry.  Team Obama seems to have gotten its business acumen from the movie Brewster’s Millions.

  12. KC Mulville

    Job creation is like love; if it isn’t someone’s personal choice, it isn’t really love.

    Consider a government stimulus to be like an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage …

    • The fact that the parents arrange the marriage implies that the spouses aren’t themselves attracted to one another.

    • The parents force a marriage, mostly for their own motives.
    • The parents hope that in the interim, the spouses will “develop” a love for each other.

    With a stimulus …

    • The fact that the government has to stimulate a business implies that entrepreneurs aren’t themselves attracted to the business.

    • The government forces an investment, mostly for the government’s own motives.
    • But they hope that in the interim, entrepreneurs will “develop” a love for the business.

    The problem is the same in both cases, because the success of the marriage/business still depends on love/profitability. If the spouses really don’t love each other, the marriage will flop. If entrepreneurs don’t really see a profit, the business will flop.

    Green jobs are arranged marriages for ugly investments.

  13. Hang On

    In business, there’s only one kind of green and that’s profitable.

    There are upstream and downstream components to technology. The upstream part is basic research and development and the government does and should have a role in this area. The downstream part is taking the basic research and development and turning it into products that people can use. The government’s role should be much more limited – to set ground rules for the markets to operate. Getting those two parts right is important and the Obama administration is clueless.

    Solar energy is probably going to be a winner just as some web-based businesses have been.  That doesn’t mean every company is going to be a winner, however. There are going to be lots of companies and designs that fail. We went through an internet bubble in which lots of companies failed. Solar energy has not built up the kind of bubble that e-businesses did. The key difference is that the internet boom and bust was with private money. These solar energy companies are with public money financed by borrowing thanks to the Obama administration.

  14. Mel Foil

    Renewable energy is just the newest product in the subsidy mining business. In agriculture, they used to call it “farming the mailbox,” or “farming with a pencil.”

  15. James Of England

    “The promise of clean energy isn’t just an article of faith — not anymore,” Obama told Solyndra workers then. “The future is here.”

    “I’ve seen the future and it works” 1921, Lincoln Steffens, regarding Lenin’s USSR.  It’s not just perceptive lines that bring insight from the past.

  16. C. U. Douglas

    If Solyndra had been cost-conscious, they wouldn’t even had built in the Bay area.  Instead they built a top-of-the-line facility in one of the most expensive areas to build and maintain a business.

    Once you start spending someone else’s money, you stop being careful how you spend it.

    As I’ve noted before, the market for solar isn’t there, not yet.  There’s little standardization — even within a single company as products change drastically in six months.  It’s expensive to install and returns on costs take decades to see it worth anything.  The biggest customer for solar has been the government.  We have subsidies going in and going out for a product that’s unwanted.

  17. Mole-eye

    What if the gummint had just given the 14 people in Seattle the $20 mil? That’s 1.4 mil each with 400 thou left over: say the 400 thou is used to pay a courier to write and hand-deliver the checks from D.C. to Seattle.  Whether the recipients save the money, use it to start a business of their own, or just blow it on toys, wouldn’t that stimulate the economy and ultimately employ more people than 14 fake jobs?!  (Not even talking about the lost opportunities to the folks who had to/will have to provide the gummint the $20 mil to give away.)

    Speaking of fake jobs, how many of those 14 do you suppose actually did any work, and how many “administered” the program?

  18. flownover

    Anybody gonna ask George Kaiser where the money went ?

  19. Joseph Stanko

    Yes, Green jobs exist — in Red China.

  20. ctruppi

    Green jobs exist in special factories built on magical meadows, where lollipop trees are fertilized with unicorn manure! 

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