The Green Jobs Delusion

Ronald Bailey's fourth dispatch from the Copenhagen climate conference.

Copenhagen, December 17—“It’s all about the jobs,” declared U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her remarks at the Copenhagen climate change conference today. To hear Pelosi talk, saving the planet from climate doom is incidental to making sure Americans are employed making windmills, solar panels, electric cars, and weatherizing houses. Speaker Pelosi is heading up a 20-person congressional delegation here in Denmark, including such luminaries as Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). The monikers of the latter two solons—Waxman-Markey—are shorthand for the American Clean Energy and Security Act cap-and-trade bill that passed the House last June. The bill would require the U.S. to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Joining in the jobs theme, Rep. Markey also declared that the Waxman-Markey bill “is something that is going to create a technological revolution.” At his press conference the day before, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is a co-sponsor of an energy and climate change bill in the Senate, similarly asserted, “Our bill is essentially a jobs bill.” Markey predicted that the scale of the changes sparked by congressional climate change legislation would exceed the telecommunications and Internet booms of the 1990s. So will new climate change policy spark a clean energy revolution?

Given the array of government energy mandates and billions in subsidies poured into cleantech, there is no doubt that those sectors will see increased jobs. The effect on overall employment is far less clear. Cleantech energy is currently more expensive than conventional sources of energy. Many argue that the price difference simply reflects the fact that conventional sources—chiefly fossil fuels—are cheaper because no one is being forced to pay for their externalities, e.g., damaging the climate and health. Once people have to pay for their externalities through, say, a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, then renewable energy sources become more competitive. Fair enough. But either way, the price of energy is going to go up. If people and businesses are paying more for energy that means that they have less left over to buy other products and services, a fact that would tend to reduce employment downstream.

Yet green energy proponents have produced reams of studies that show that carbon rationing leads to more jobs. For example, Bracken Hendricks, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told The New York Times, “We found that you get four times the number of jobs from investing in efficiency and renewables than you get from investing in oil and natural gas.” This is largely because renewable technologies “are more local and they’re more labor-intensive.”

At the Copenhagen conference, I met Nathan Ratledge, the director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, who confirmed Hendricks’ observation. As we rode the metro to the conference, Ratledge and I had a pleasant conversation about the great successes of Aspen, Colorado, in producing green jobs. With the financial crisis, construction jobs in Aspen disappeared. But thanks to stimulus money and tax breaks earmarked for weatherization, unemployed construction workers are now insulating houses. Tax breaks have similarly encouraged a solar power installation boom. When I asked him if solar was price competitive with conventional power without government guaranteed low interest loans and tax breaks, Ratledge admitted that it wasn’t. But he predicted that the price of Chinese solar panels was falling so fast that it would soon outcompete conventional power. I chided him that it sounded like the federal stimulus was actually creating green jobs in China. Ratledge did note one rapidly growing green sector in the U.S.: energy auditing. Of course, people and businesses wouldn’t need to hire energy auditors if the price of energy remained low or if they didn’t have to comply with new energy efficiency regulations.

Other countries have tried to use energy policy to produce jobs. Germany is often cited as an example of how government policy can drive the adoption of renewable energy and produce scads of green jobs. For example, in his opening statement at a May 2009 climate change hearing, Sen. Kerry praised Germany for putting “in place strong policy mechanisms to drive investment in solar power and other renewable energy sources. As a result, renewable energy usage has tripled to 16 percent, creating 1.7 million jobs. By 2020, Germany's clean energy sector will be the biggest contributor to the nation's economy.”

However, a study released in October finds that the German green job miracle is largely a mirage, and an expensive mirage at that. The report, published by the nonprofit German think tank Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), notes that as a result of the German government's energy policies, Germany leads the world in solar panel installation and is second only to the U.S. in wind power generation. Great, right? Actually terrible, says the report. Let me quote some of the report’s sobering conclusions at length:

While employment projections in the renewable sector convey seemingly impressive prospects for gross job growth, they typically obscure the broader implications for economic welfare by omitting any accounting of off-setting impacts. These impacts include, but are not limited to, job losses from crowding out of cheaper forms of conventional energy generation, indirect impacts on upstream industries, additional job losses from the drain on economic activity precipitated by higher electricity prices, private consumers’ overall loss of purchasing power due to higher electricity prices, and diverting funds from other, possibly more beneficial investment.

Proponents of renewable energies often regard the requirement for more workers to produce a given amount of energy as a benefit, failing to recognize that this lowers the output potential of the economy and is hence counterproductive to net job creation. Significant research shows that initial employment benefits from renewable policies soon turn negative as additional costs are incurred. Trade and other assumptions in those studies claiming positive employment turn out to be unsupportable.

In the end, Germany’s PV promotion has become a subsidization regime that, on a per-worker basis, has reached a level that far exceeds average wages, with per worker subsidies as high as 175,000 € (US $ 240,000). …

Although Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in the media as setting a “shining example in providing a harvest for the world” (The Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits.

Despite the fondest hopes of Kerry, Pelosi, Markey, and other Democrats in Congress, carbon rationing has not noticeably sparked a technological revolution in Europe yet. One might argue that a cleantech takeoff is just around the corner and that the energy revolution is just at the same stage as the Internet revolution was in 1991. Maybe. But the Internet analogy deployed by Kerry and co. misses the mark in another way—the Internet and cell phone boom took off as a result of deregulation and was largely financed by private capital. By contrast, the Capitol Hill denizens now haunting the Copenhagen conference imagine they can spark a similar technological revolution by passing a massive 1,400-page bill, laden with subsidies, tax breaks, and fine-grained regulations for all aspects of energy production.

It might just be necessary to impose carbon rationing and boost energy prices in order to avoid possibly disastrous consequences of manmade global warming, but doing so will increase unemployment rather than lower it. When Congress tries to pass climate change legislation next spring, Speaker Pelosi may well find out that it really is “all about the jobs.”

An update to yesterday's dispatch from Copenhagen: A total diplomatic implosion remains possible. The U.S. and China are still at loggerheads. As of now, the U.S. is insisting that China must commit to some kind of legally binding emissions obligations. If China refuses, the U.S. will sign no agreement. Who will blink? My guess is that the U.S. will. The conference is supposed to conclude tomorrow afternoon, but the safe bet is that it will actually end, one way or the other, on Saturday.

Update: The AP reports a possible breakthrough at the conference:

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  • ||

    The whole China thing is quite the monkey-wrench in all this. When Kyoto was on, the U.S. could swing the whole world given its vast plurality of the carbon footprint.

    Not so much anymore.

  • Suki||

    The whole China thing was an issue to begin with, like the India thing. In the old fiction, they were not going to play nice. Now? They are not playing at all. No difference.

  • ||

    I could say that people used to think that reducing labor costs by employing less expensive technologies was a good thing for the economy. But I can't. The world is replete with illiterates who believe that the goal of an economy is jobs, not production or consumption.

    The green jobs delusion falls right in line with so many fallacies that are commonly believed: its proponents can't help but be taken at their word.

  • ||

    Frederic Bastiat would agree with you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Bastiat

  • ||

    The world is replete with illiterates who believe that the goal of an economy is jobs, not production or consumption.

    There's also the fallacy that there's such a thing as "the goal of an economy". An economy is the sum total of the interactions between people, all pursuing their own goals.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "If China refuses, the U.S. will sign no agreement. Who will blink? My guess is that the U.S. will."

    Odds on.
    Obama is going there; does anyone think he'll return without a piece of paper to wave around and proclaim "Success!"
    The actual results are irrelevant.

  • The Man||

    You mean "Success in our time."

  • KD||

    That's the same image I had. "Success in our time."

  • Suki||

    OMG, me too.

  • Brian Trust||

    Perhaps a "Mission Accomplished" banner is in order...

  • JB||

    'Weatherize! Weatherize! Weatherize!'

    Obama is one stupid piece of shit. Though that is an insult to pieces of shit.

  • ||

    Ten million people on stationary bicycles bolted to alternators...clean energy jobs program achieved. Kind of like the rowers in Roman galleys.

  • ||

    yeah, really that's one area where efficiency could be improved. Make the gyms "green" by hooking their exercise bikes up to generators.
    I bet it would sell too.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    You know, I'll bet you're right. I can't believe somebody hasn't tried it yet.

  • The Chad||

    It's been thought of. Seattle and Portland have both started experimenting.

  • ||

    Patent that shit...there's a DOE grant in there somewheres.

  • Suki||

    I saw stories about that when I was a kid. Smaller scale. People doing it at home to run a television.

  • Suki||

    All of that CO2 pollutant coming out of their mouths? Need scrubbers in the plants.

  • Misanthrope||

    Humans are a virus! I hate me!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Civil Defense distributed stationary bicycle powered ventilation fans for use in fallout shelters.

  • MNG||

    It's always been a disingenuous claim imo that addressing AGW will create jobs. Maybe addressing AGW will be worth whatever economic costs it will result in, but it's pretty incredible to believe it will create jobs.

  • Old Mexican||

    How else do you want politicians to sell this exuberant profligacy?

  • Suki||

    where do you want to live? In a flooded, hot AGW world or Gaza?

  • Old Mexican||

    Can I choose Malibu?

  • Chris||

    I wanna live in Partisanland. Where I am not required to apply any critical thought to any of my political positions. Thinking hurts. All I have to do is read/watch my favorite political media, parrot their talking points, and I am relived of the difficult process of evaluating thoughts and ideas on their merits.

  • ||

    You don't have to be a liberal, Chris.

  • ||

    It's all a varient of the broken window fallacy.

    The idea is that if you make everything less efficient, more people will be employed doing it. Ignoring the fact that the workers are not actually producing any more goods and services than they were before.

    Producing energy less efficiently is no different. Just because you're employing more people to produce a killowatt of energy, does not increase the total amount of energy supplied.

    In fact, with green energy, less energy is generally produced anyway, driving up energy prices and reducing overall economic production that depend on energy consumption. More people are employed producing energy, but fewer people are employed doing other things, like making goods or providing services that immediately impact the quality of life.

    Ultimately, it's what we make with the energy that makes our lives better, so less energy = less stuff, regardless of how many people employed in the energy sector.

    We could send all those workers to make useless widgets or dig ditches, or fix broken windows, and it would have a less negative impact.

  • ||

    This is analogous to societies where a high percentage of the population has to feed the remaining percentage. You know, subsistence agriculture.

  • ||

    Yes, subsistence agriculture is exactly where many Greens would like us to be. Ideally, they wouldn't even want people plowing fields with tractors, it would all be hand weeding and horse-drawn plows. Lots of job creation there - for agricultural laborers. But no net increase in the standard of living.

  • CatoTheElder||

    You understate the zealousness of the Greenies.

    They do not want to revert back to subsistence agriculture. They want to go all the way back to hunter-gatherer survival mode.

  • ||

    Well, just "gatherer". Most of them seem to hate hunting.

  • ||

    "Yes, subsistence agriculture is exactly where many Greens would like us to be. Ideally, they wouldn't even want people plowing fields with tractors, it would all be hand weeding and horse-drawn plows."

    The more radical ones would rather see humans pulling the plows.

  • Suki||

    The idea is that if you make everything less efficient, more people will be employed doing it.

    That is true. If you are less efficient you need more employees to do the same thing. However, you are right (I think), less people per task is more efficient and the Stalinists are doing it all wrong.

  • ||

    That's because Hegel, upon which Marx based his philosophy, saw labor as the primary purpose in life. Not enjoyment. You start with Hegel saying "labor is the meaning of life", and you end with a philosophy in which you try to maximize the amount of laboring going on in your society.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Hazel, you are correct but I think something else is at work here.

    The enviro-socialists are effecting a Kuhnian paradigm shift in the socialist model. This revolution in socialist science derives from their discovery of an essential aspect of socialism that Marx and his intellectual heir could not have known until recently.


    Marx thought that communism would bring about universal material prosperity, but a century of experience demonstrates that socialism results in widespread material poverty. In the mid-20th century, the Frankfurt School explained the failure of the proletariat to embrace Marxism due to a “false consciousness” brought about largely by the material success it enjoys under capitalism. However, this explanation hardly inspired the workers to throw off their chains.


    The contribution of the enviro-socialists is that they discovered that widespread poverty isn’t a bug in socialism; it’s a feature.

  • ||

    widespread poverty isn’t a bug in socialism; it’s a feature.

    This doesn't seem likely to inspire the workers to throw off their chains either.

    I don't think the enviro-socialists fully grasp this fact yet. They get play off of the resentment of the poor towards the wealthy, but then they launch into insane rhapsodies about the nobility of living poor and close to the land, in harmony with nature.

    See, those who actually do live poor recognize it as the soul-destroying misery that they are desperate to escape, and "harmony with nature" as death.

    I actually had an argument with someone the other day who insisted that the poor in the third world would be better off as subsistence farmers than working in "sweatshops". I ask him, if that was so, why the hell these people choose to work in the "sweatshops" in the first place. He didn't have a real answer.

    The enviro-socialists belief that poverty is somehow noble and "good for you" is never, ever, going to appeal to the actual poor.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Once again, you are entirely correct.

    However, the enviro-socialists don't give a damn about the real struggles of the world's real poor. Enviro-socialists come in two varieties: 1) those who know what they are for and why and 2) the clueless who make up a large majority. Most in Group 1 would like to eradicate a large part of the world's population for the good of the planet. Others in Group 1 aren't so cold, but recognize how to make a buck or garner power from the enviro-socialist world order. Group 2 is, well, so clueless that they can be made to believe that obesity, diabetes, and nicotine addition are markers of poverty. Their "not giving a damn" doesn't mean that they are heartless, it's just that Group 2 is too ignorant of the real world to constructively give a damn. But Group 1 needs a critical mass of useful idiots in Group 2 to bring about enviro-socialist revolution.

    The actual poor aren't insane and would never buy into the enviro-socialist agenda.

    Always a pragmatist, Lenin never tried to persuade the kulaks. It was easier to eradicate them if they didn't fall in line.

  • ||

    Considering the US military is pretty much a subsidy to the big oil companies, claims that the current petroleum costs are “low” is delusional at best. I would have thought that any article slamming the costs of green energy would at least have the intellectual honesty to compare apples with apples and provide a real comparison. Perhaps it is just to hard to calculate in the actual cost of the bodies sacrificed to fill up the tank. However until you do, you are really not going to be taken all that seriously by anyone that bothers to think the comparison through.

  • ||

    steve|12.17.09 @ 7:59PM|#
    "...Perhaps it is just to hard to calculate in the actual cost of the bodies sacrificed to fill up the tank."

    Or perhaps it's just too ridiculous.

  • Suki||

    Thank you for getting to that 12 hours before me.

  • ||

    If the real monetary costs of obtaining hydrocarbons were included in the gas-pump bill (i.e. withdraw the Fifth Fleet, let Iran run the Persian Gulf, and let the Middle East arms race begin...watch the prices rise) two things would happen:

    1. The government would watch gas prices rise while saving money...unprecedented.

    2. Given the rapid rise in prices, talk about shock to the system. Such a economic shock combined with cost and capacity issues would favor natural gas...in the USA anyways. Windmills and such would still be uncompetitive given the disparity of capital input vs. wattage output.

    That solution won't happen though, for the simple reason that the whole idea there means less political meddling...both overseas and at home.

    Less money and power for politicians is never a solution politicians voluntarily discover as a solution.

    Strategic benefits would be tremendous for the USA. China (and the world at large) would no longer enjoy the vast American subsidy of energy security through force. The Europeans could no longer afford to be disengaged from their own backyard (the Middle East...or as the Romans called it: Parthia, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor). It would be fantastic. Japanese already get their Texas Tea from the Iranians anyways, so they I am guessing will be fine.

  • ||

    TheZeitgeist|12.17.09 @ 8:26PM|#: "If the real monetary costs of obtaining hydrocarbons were included in the gas-pump bill (i.e. withdraw the Fifth Fleet,..."
    As opposed to, well, drilling off the west coast?
    Sorry, your supposed 'equivalence' presumes far too much with 'way too little evidence.
    I'm no fan of the US being the world's cop, but equating oil to the defense budget is hogwash.

  • ||

    Fact is we're plugged into the Middle East because of oil. If you look at our foreign policy in the Mid East over the past forty years it's been this sort of inadvertent Schlieffen Plan: First we're buddies with the Iranians for all that oil (and they hated commies). That shit went south so we moved next door to Iraq. That kinda fell apart so we moved over to Saudi Arabia. Post 9/11 we've run out of countries farther west to sleep with for oil, so we figured what the hell, let's "make" a friend over there...hence Iraq again. Each adventure with each country has heightened our military adventures and cost (first was Carter's Very Special Forces Ops, then flaggin Kuwaiti tankers, then liberating Kuwait and building bases, then turning Iraq into one big base, etc.).

    We can drill off the West Coast, East Coast, whatever. Fact is the cheapest source of hydrocarbons is the Arabian Peninsula, and its why were there more than anywhere else militarily in the world.

    And its really expensive, a cost borne mostly by the United States for a benefit that everyone in the world enjoys (stable prices and supply of crude). That isn't hogwash at all.

  • jester||

    starve the beast.

  • Kryton||

    Don't respond to anybody with a username that includes the word Zeitgeist; you're dealing with Alex Jones Lite.

  • ||

    Who is Alex Jones? This guy? http://www.infowars.com/

    No affiliation...swear to God. Never heard of him.

  • ||

    Control of the oil supply isn't merely an economic interest, it is a militarily strategic one. It takes lots of oil to power tanks and helicopters, aircraft and aircraft carriers.

    It's always been more about military dominance, primarily over the Warsaw Pact, than about economic dominance.

  • Suki||

    A lot of our involvement there is based on interpersonal relationships and longstanding national relationships. Most all of it emotional.

  • ||

    Oh come, on you really buy that shit about how King Fahd and GW Bush were the bestest buddies since childhood?

    It's not like they shared a treehouse. Bush doesn't even speak Arabic.
    This is like saying that if you meet some friends of the family at a big picnic lunch once when you are 9, that you're going to be locked in the eternal bonds of friendship with them until the day you die.

    Get real.

  • ||

    f the real monetary costs of obtaining hydrocarbons were included in the gas-pump bill (i.e. withdraw the Fifth Fleet, let Iran run the Persian Gulf, and let the Middle East arms race begin...watch the prices rise

    Actually, if we pulled all the US forces out of the middle east, whoever ended up in charge of the oil would still be selling a fungible commodity into a world market. The idea that our military budget is necessary to maintain the price level of crude oil is complete hogwash.

    -jcr

  • Old Mexican||

    Considering the US military is pretty much a subsidy to the big oil companies, claims that the current petroleum costs are “low” is delusional at best.

    That's an interesting notion, considering the fact that most of the oil the US imports comes from Canada.

    The price of oil is a direct result of supply and demand. Even if the US Forces were defending a particular region of the Earth, oil is ubiquitous and oil companies DO have options.

  • Chris||

    Well that explains the Texaco logo on my new uniform.

  • Old Mexican||

    I don't buy my gas at Texaco.

    Isn't Texaco part of Chevron now?

  • CatoTheElder||

    Perhaps that Chris inadvertently indicated just how clueless he really is?

  • Suki||

    You work at a gas station and you are trying to argue with these people?

  • ||

    No matter where the oil comes from, price matters and is an international phenomena. Since like what, half the world's oil transits the Straights of Hormuz, problems there mean higher prices here...Canuck oil or not. If the price of oil goes up, it goes up everywhere, including for the USA.

  • ||

    Its interesting to note that the most profligate energy consumers tend to be the richest, most powerful societies in total, and societies with the most profligate energy consumers per capita tend to be societies with the richest citizens.

  • ||

    TheZeitgeist|12.17.09 @ 8:01PM|#
    "Its interesting to note that the most profligate energy consumers tend to be the richest,..."
    Care to defend that claim with evidence? And please define "most profligate".

  • ||

    Can't define "most profligate." But I mean "highest consuming" I suppose.

    For stats, I recommend nationmaster.com

    Due to link limitations, I can only give one example. National GDP (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gdp-economy-gdp) vs. National Electricity Consumption http://www.nationmaster.com/gr.....onsumption).

    Its not tit-for-tat, but the usual suspects are in both lists. Play around with the stats, nationmaster is fun that way.

  • ||

    Damn links. Just copy and paste.

  • ||

    "Profligate":
    "1. utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute."
    Which is the reason I asked.
    The "richest" tend to be pretty efficient with energy, as they are with most resources.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: TheZeitgeist,

    Its interesting to note that the most profligate energy consumers tend to be the richest, most powerful societies in total[...]

    I also heard they are the biggest consumers of breakfast cereal. There are lots more equally interesting and equally trivial (and unimportant) statistics available through the wonderful power of Google/Bing/Ask.com.

  • wackyjack||

    You mean rich people use more energy than poor people? Astounding insight.

    Oh, and by the way, per capita is a pretty lazy way to compare countries' energy usage.

  • ||

    I think you're confusing the chicken with the egg here. More energy means you can do more with less people, or do a tremendous amount more with the same number of people. Our vast energy consumption - both in total and per capita for things like fertilizer and fuel is why 4% of our population can feed the United States and be one of the largest food exporters in the world.

    Conversely, the rather low energy usage in impoverished places directly correlates with fact that the whole population working together has a hard time feeding themselves...much less 4%.

    You don't see the correlation there?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: TheZeitgeist,

    Why not simply say that more productive societies use more energy because they do MORE than less productive societies that use less energy? That would make it obvious that energy usage IS linked to productivity and wealth creation, and not simply consumption.

  • ||

    wackyjack would've had a wacky "astounding insight" without a pretty specific example.

    Hard to argue you can harvest wheat faster than a combine...even the wackster can see that one.

    I suspect a "wacky" solution like a combine with a windmill on top might be his answer. And rainbows.

  • Old Mexican||

    All right ;-)

  • BakedPenguin||

    The idea is that if you make everything less efficient, more people will be employed doing it.

    Hazlitt had a good line on that - something like "if we really wanted to create jobs, we should get rid of railroads. Think of how many people could be hired to carry that cargo in sacks on their backs."

  • ||

    "Green jobs" is just another bullshit phrase for the idiot politicians to throw around. "Green" is the hot term right now, and, well, unemployment is high and people want jobs. People who don't care about "being green" don't particularly care if the term is used, while those who do love it, so it's all win for the politicians.

    I mean, you're not against being green, right? So "green jobs" are even better than "regular old Homer Simpsony jobs".

  • Space Fiend||

    Dude Homer Simpson has like the greenest job there is, nuclear power...

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's nuke-u-lar power. Nuke-u-lar.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    noooo-ku-ler.

  • Space Fiend||

    There is some argument that even if green energy is stupid, as long as Europe and certain segments of the U.S. are obsessed with it, having the manufacture of products, no matter how stupid, in the U.S. is beneficial.

  • ||

    Broken window fallacy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Broken window fallacy.

    Winner.

    http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

  • ||

    This would be called a "market" with a real "demand." You see some pretty big successes that way too, I'm thinking Toyota Prius as a good example. No subsidies, profitable, makes jobs, happy consumers of the product. All voluntary...(though that tax credit might account for some of the success there).

  • TP||

    Toyota (including the Prius) isn't subsidized by the Japanese?

    http://forums.motortrend.com/7.....index.html

  • ||

    What you link to above is a Congressman from Michigan complaining about Japanese "currency manipulation." But how exactly do the Japanese manipulate their currency (or the Chinese for that matter)? They buy US Treasury debt. They cheapen their currency versus ours by sharing in the risk of our sovereign debt. Kind of a death-spiral there.

    It also is worth noting that in the departments of creating jobs (vs. letting them slip away), capital investment in the USA (vs capital investment in say, China), and handling the downturn (Toyota hasn't laid one American off that I can think of) Toyota has completely thumped Goverment Motors and Chrysler, for at least ten years now.

    Also, there is no way you can credibly tell me that the Prius is less subsidized (that vehicle has been around for ten years now) compared to the Chevy Volt by Uncle Sam? You know, the Volt which - from what I can tell - is still tentatively priced at $40k and is still vaporware? The Volt whose motor is to be made in Austria and the battery comes from South Korea? Yeah, that Volt.

    Cry me a river.

  • RON||

    actually even Toyota had to close one of it's American Truck manufacturing plants this year. They did reopen it though because so many people are refusing to but government motors so their buying Toyota's

  • ||

    TheZeitgeist|12.17.09 @ 8:29PM|#
    "(though that tax credit might account for some of the success there)."
    Naah, really?

  • ||

    There's enough Chads in the world to make the Prius profitable without a tax break. The tax break is the politician's hustle on the Chads of the world for a vote. And he obviously took it.

  • Chad||

    I have a Prius. I expect to break even. If C&T is passed, gasoline will go up by about 20c/gallon, and I will start coming out ahead. If we raise fuel taxes to what they were under that socialist Reagan (inflation adjusted), I would be another 20c/gallon ahead. If we started adding up ALL the externalities related to fuel use, you could tack on god-only-knows how much more...then I would be waaaayyy ahead.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Chad,

    f we started adding up ALL the externalities related to fuel use, you could tack on god-only-knows how much more...then I would be waaaayyy ahead.

    Considering the fact that costs are known when comparing forgone options (i.e. opportunity costs) and that those can only be judge by the individual, then any effort to figure out externalities would be no better than a guessing game - maybe the guessers guess too low, and then your advantage will not be that great.

  • Chad||

    It's better to guess and be off a little bit than NOT guess and be as far from the right answer as possible.

  • Old Mexican||

    No, Chad. It is better NOT to guess at all.

    The right answer is that the concept of externalities is a red herring. There is NO such thing - it cannot even be defined properly, an externality being whatever the person chooses it to be.

  • ||

    If we started adding up ALL the externalities related to fuel use, you could tack on god-only-knows how much more...then I would be waaaayyy ahead.

    If you want to play "total-cost to the environment" type accounting stuff, there should definitely be a tax to account for disposing of the thousand pounds or so of toxic heavy-metals and acid in your Prius's battery. Toxic waste that will be leeching into someone's groundwater twenty years from now out of a rusty barrel. Biodegradable? Not so much.

    These environmental accounting games are pointless.

  • Chad||

    My battery will be recycled, silly goose. Toyota BUYS them back when they are dead, just to be sure.

    Btw, I am a chemist. You can't scare me with "toxic" stuff. I deal with it every day, and it is not a big issue, particularly when it is in a solid form and incased in plastic and steel. Crap that comes out of a smokestack, however, IS a problem.

  • ||

    So, um, you're telling me nickel-metal-hydride is not toxic? Or a hazmat problem? Or that the mining and refining of that stuff is not one the nastiest, geologically and environmentally invasive industries on earth? Versus hydrocarbons? Which as I am sure your deep chemist knowledge lets you in on the insight that these are organic compounds? Alrighty then.

  • Chad||

    You may as well be trying to count the angels dancing on the head of a pin (or jobs "saved" by a public policy). No one could possibly come up with a reasonably accurate tally. For example, how many fewer doctors would we need when we quit burning coal? How many fewer insurance adjustors and medical college professors? But how many jobs will be created when we don't have to spend $100+ billion on treating all the diseases coal causes? Will it be less, or more? God only knows, and in my mind, it is the wrong approach to take.

    However, I am very confident that green energy will result in higher employment overall. Why? Because as long as the economy is stable, we will approach full employment of all people who desire to work under the current circumstances. Unemployment spikes like the one we have now occur when the economy changes so rapidly that people and businesses cannot keep up. The best way, then, to prevent these unemployment spikes is to root out the causes of economic bubbles and collapses...one of which is the wild swings in energy prices, particularly oil. Reducing the dependance of our economy on commodity prices will create a more stable economy with fewer recessions...and more jobs averaged over time.

  • Old Mexican||

    For example, how many fewer doctors would we need when we quit burning coal?

    Probably would need MORE after everybody gets food poisoning once all those refrigerators stop working after cap-and-rape.

  • Chad||

    I pay a whopping 1.6c/kwh premium for 100% renewable electricity from my local provider. Clearly, the extra five bucks a month is such a burden that I have had to shut off my fridge to save money.

    Cut the hyperbole.

  • ||

    Let me guess. At least 85% of that is hydro.

  • Chad||

    Nope, very little. It's mostly landfill methane, biomass, and wind.

    Try again.

  • ||

    Landfill methane and biomass counts as "green"?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Chad,

    The reason you pay such a (relatively) low premium on renewable is because the traditional generation systems are still available, competing with the "renewable" energy systems.

    Again, if coal burning is made illegal by mandate, "renewable" electricity would become very expensive almost overnight (installed capacity still being very small in the US). You cannot fight against the laws of economics.

  • Chad||

    Since when has anyone called for us to shut off the coal plants immediately? Again, you resort to straw men.

    10 years is enough, however, to shut them down, and 20 years more than enough.

  • Old Mexican||

    Hey, you asked the question:

    For example, how many fewer doctors would we need when we quit burning coal?

    WHAT strawman?

  • Chad||

    If you did your homework, you would know about the terrible health effects of coal. Obviously, if we eliminate the coal burning, we eliminate the health effects, reducing demand for doctors. What part of this simple logic exceeds your comprehension?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Chad,

    If you did your homework, you would know about the terrible health effects of coal.

    I read that if you shoot a lump with a slingshot, you can do damage on someone's head. Or did you mean the nocive effects of coal burning?

    Obviously, if we eliminate the coal burning, we eliminate the health effects, reducing demand for doctors.

    How nice to be able to string together such unrelated facts, Chad. What makes you think the demand of doctors is highest when burning coal than when NOT? Actually, our coal-burning civilization has a higher life expectancy than previous generations thanks to higher food production and cleanliness.

    What part of this simple logic exceeds your comprehension?

    What I find absurd is your simplistic thinking, almost like a child's...

  • Chad||

    It is both coal burning and mining which make people sick. The burning alone has over $100 billion pear year in health costs associated with it. That is one hell of a subsidy and one hell of a boost to the medical profession.

    Why libertarians defend this subsidy is beyond me.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Chav, shut the fuck up.
    Your renewable electricity option is an accounting joke. The renewable production is subsidized, and most of the electricity you actually consume is still produced by clean and efficient coal whether you like it or not.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "The burning alone has over $100 billion pear year in health costs associated with it."

    Bullshit.

  • Chad||

    http://blogs.wsj.com/environme.....nergy-mix/

    It's from the WSJ...clearly a left-wing rag.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    That study doesn't mean shit to me. Its impossible to make an unbiased calculation of "externalities". Its impossible to pinpoint fossil fuels as the single source for someone's health problems. If one is sensitive to environmental factors, their genetics have more to do with it than anything else, and the absence of fossil fuels would hardly make a dent. It is not logical to burden everyone because of it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So... if we quit using ANY form of energy, would we become immortal?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: CHad,

    However, I am very confident that green energy will result in higher employment overall.

    An economics primer for you: The end-all, be-all of economics is NOT job creation, but productivity.

    Green "jobs" are a chimera, most likely will either be too expensive or too few for all the effort.

    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2670

  • ||

    Chad|12.17.09 @ 8:44PM|#: "...Why? Because as long as the economy is stable, we will approach full employment of all people who desire to work under the current circumstances."
    See Keynes vs Schumpeter; you lose. An economy is never "stable', unless it's stagnant.

    "Unemployment spikes like the one we have now occur when the economy changes so rapidly that people and businesses cannot keep up. The best way, then, to prevent these unemployment spikes is to root out the causes of economic bubbles and collapses...one of which is the wild swings in energy prices, particularly oil. Reducing the dependance of our economy on commodity prices will create a more stable economy with fewer recessions...and more jobs averaged over time."
    And this "rooting out" would happen by government coercion, I'm sure.
    See Stalin; you lose.

  • ||

    I knew Chad was a moron, but now apparantly, he's apparantly a moron with a mentor who is feeding him stale Marxism. (Since he's obviously not intellectual enough to go read Marx on his own).

  • ||

    delete one apparantly.

  • Old Mexican||

    Hazel, few humans have the stamina to read Marx and still avoid narcolepsy - don't be so hard on Chad.

  • BakedPenguin||

    This may have been apocryphal, but a Russian history professor told our class that the Czarist government censors used to let Marx's books into the country. He said that Marx was so boring, they weren't afraid of anyone finishing his books.

  • Chad||

    It was easier than reading the Shakespeare's complete works, the Koran and the Bible, actually.

  • Old Mexican||

    It is clear your wits did not survive the ordeal, if you subscribe to the notion of societal ownership of your labor.

  • ||

    And the Playboy under Dad's bed that not even Mom knows about! YEAH!

  • ||

    Chad: I call "bullshit." I've read Das Kapital (don't ask why) and Shakespeare and the Bible are a piece of cake in comparison. Don't know about the Koran.

  • Chad||

    Das Kapital is ~250 pages in the annotated version.

    Shakespeares' Complete Works runs around 2000 pages.

    Trying to compare the two makes you look silly, actually.

  • ||

    Chad, Chad, Chad: I'm afraid that you must have read the Readers Digest condensed version -- Das Kapital is three massive volumes. I read the Soviet approved English language edition.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    I tried reading Das Kapital once couldn't make it past page 200.

  • Mad Elf||

    Volume 1 alone is over 1000 pages. There are three volumes. Tony = fail.

    http://www.amazon.com/Capital-.....amp;sr=8-2

  • ||

    Hilarious. I was even right in my assement that Chad's knowledge of Marxism was fairly superficial.

  • Chad||

    Wanna bet?

  • ||

    Hahaha.

    Wow Chad, a young budding little Marxist, there. You are soooo transparent. And it;s so easy to spot the fucking Marxism in your writing. I mean, seriously, you should be embarrased and hide it more, like the other Marxists on your side. You'll get further.

  • ||

    He's too busy being a chemist to read Marx apparently.

  • JoshInHB||

    Chad-"Unemployment spikes like the one we have now occur when the economy changes so rapidly that people and businesses cannot keep up."

    Uh No
    The current depression is a direct result of the credit bubble that occured do to government action.

    I really has nothing to do with rapid economic change.

  • TP||

    Renewable energies would be a lot more competitive if the government simply ended all of the subsidies and tax credits to oil and coal.

    http://www.progress.org/2003/energy22.htm

    No need for cap and trade.

  • Old Mexican||

    Well, there would not be a need for "subsidies" or "tax credits" if people kept the total of their productive efforts.

    I am sure Chad will disagree, since he seems to believe that at least 33% of everybody's productive efforts belong to "society" [which invariably will mean the government.]

  • Chad||

    Actually, its more like 99%. But we are kind and only take 33%. Quit complaining.

  • ||

    If we followed your philosophy, there would be slave labor camps for the noncomformists.

    Which, you know, has actually happened under communist governments.

  • Chad||

    Naah. As I have said before, the Laffer curve sets in around 70% net tax rates. There is no use taxing most people beyond 50%, as any gains are minimal.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Chad,

    There is no use taxing most people beyond 50%, as any gains are minimal.

    Indeed - unproductive parasites know it is not to their advantage to kill their host.

  • Chad||

    It sure seems to me that conservatives are trying to kill their host...

    That's who you were talking about, right?

  • Old Mexican||

    No, I am talking about people that are too keen on thievery - you know, Statists.

  • Chad||

    Taking back a mere fraction of what we have granted you is not stealing.

  • Old Mexican||

    You did not grant me anything. You are being arrogant.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What you said, OM. Chad is, indeed, arrogant for thinking we are "granted" anything.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "we", Chad?

  • ||

    Chad thinks that human beings are the property of their society.

    Seriously. He really does.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Under Marxism the State owns the means of production.

    No production can occur without the labor of human beings.

    Of course, human beings are owned by the State under Marxism.

    This is controversial?

  • ||

    The government therefore owns the products of my labor and can grant me what it feels necessary to maintain my health so that I can work some more. Isn't that the way serfdom and feudalism work? I guess socialism is just a slightly better form of feudalism since the king and lords ( government and bureaucrats) at least make the claim they are working for my best interest under socialism.

  • ||

    Good point. Socialism emerged during the transition period between feudalism and capitalism. They *thought* they were predicting a sucessor to capitalism. But there are marks of all sorts of other influences all over the place in retrospect. Christianity is a big one - despite Marx's atheism, he's got a big hardon for the martyr complex, amoung other things. The protestant reformation was also hugely about equality and the nobility of poverty.

    But I didn't realize until now that the socialist state is pretty compaitble with feudalism. Maybe that's why it lasted so long in Russia. The people were used to being serfs already.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Like Hugo C said yesterday: "A sceptre is haunting Copenhagen -- the spectre of Capitalism. All the powers gathered in Copenhagen have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and President, Clinton and Gore, French Radicals and third-world despots."

    Ok, those weren't his exact words, but that was what he was thinking.

    "Where is there a party in opposition that has not been decried as capitalistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of capitalism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?"

  • ||

    we have granted you is not stealing.

    What is this insane "we" bullshit. Either the government is the people or it is not.

    Anyway to think Chad is of any part of "we" beyond what anyone else here is even more moon bat crazy shit. At most he is a low payed bureaucrat for some small local government. The more likely scenario though is he is jobless.

    Don't feed the trolls.

  • ||

    Chad wishes to become a part of a "we". He wishes to submit himself, mind and body, to a mass entity, and put his will at it's disposal.

  • JoshInHB||

    He already has.

  • ||

    Just remember, folks 1/1 is still a fraction.

  • ||

    Rights (more properly "freedoms") are not negotiable, they're not 'granted'; they are "unalienable", just in case you missed some of the classes on US history.
    You are more than welcome to go to any place where they are 'negotiable' and try your luck at negotiation; I'd prefer to remain where they're not.

  • Old Mexican||

    At least you accepted that it is taking, instead of glossing it by saying it is "sharing."

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "we are kind and only take 33%"

    Only a liberal would call that kind.

  • ||

    He described himself as "we" as in he is some member of some secret controlling government faction.

    He is not a liberal in any sense of the word. He is just an idiot who is probably a bit nuts as well.

  • Zeb||

    Who the fuck is "we"? I think that this is a major point of failure of all collectivist theories. They all depend on this "we" existing where it never does. There is no we. People in large numbers do not make decisions collectively. Either people are dominated by others or they are free to make decisions on their own.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    All energy production in general would be more competitive and efficient if all subsidies, mandates, tax credits, et cetera were ended. I mean actual subsidies, not Choad's and Stephen D.'s "social justice" bullshit.

  • Old Mexican||

    In the end, Germany’s PV promotion has become a subsidization regime that, on a per-worker basis, has reached a level that far exceeds average wages, with per worker subsidies as high as 175,000 € (US $ 240,000).

    There is no way that level of hemorrhaging can be sustained. It is clear that the Germans are not willing to accept that these "green" technologies are luxury goods rather than productive capital goods, and that they cannot afford them - the State cannot simply sustain that level of inefficiency.

  • Old Mexican||

    Spain is the third-largest producer of alternative energy, after the United States and Germany; if the relative sizes of its economy and population are taken into account, it is the largest. The first solar tower ever was set up near Seville. Next year wind and solar energy will account for 30 percent of Spain’s energy matrix. Its wind turbines are a technological wonder—the United States imports many of them.

    But this achievement is not the result of people’s choices and the healthy interplay of producers and consumers. Rather, it is a political scheme combining protectionism, mandates and subsidies. A few months ago, a study by Gabriel Calzada of King Juan Carlos University caused an international uproar when it disclosed that each green job was costing Spanish taxpayers between 540,000 and 1 million euros, and entailed 2.2 jobs lost or not created because of the misallocation of capital. Despite 43 billion Euros in subsidies, solar energy is still not a major component of the energy matrix, and Spain has not complied with the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

    Fiscal spending on green energy has created a financial deficit in the power industry as a whole, forcing the government to cut back 30 percent of handouts to the solar energy producers. Thousands of jobs have been lost—part of the country’s painful 19 percent unemployment rate. Because of the politically induced concentration on renewable fuel, other priorities, such as setting up new and better electrical grid connections with France, have been neglected.

    Red Electrica de Espana, the government-owned company that runs the national power grid, has just put out a report admitting there is excess capacity in the wind power industry: 5 percent of Spain’s wind energy will be wasted in 2014 because of insufficient demand(*). Things are expected to get a lot worse in 2016, even allowing for the 3 million electric cars that Spanish authorities (optimistically) project for that year.

    All of this is the result of politics displacing market forces. Starting in the 1990s and with particular vigor in the second half of this decade, the authorities geared a significant part of the nation’s resources toward goals that were entirely political in nature, even if motivated by lofty sentiments. The result —as is usually the case when political incentives give rise to bad investments— has been a bubble of sorts.

    Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Taking the Wind Out of Energy The Independent Institute, 12/01/2009

    (* It is easy to understand how this excess capacity came about due to the incentives doled out by the Spanish government, instead of bona fide market forces and the price system.)

  • CatoTheElder||

    Maybe that's why PIIG is plural, as in PIIGS. Google it if you don't know what it means.

  • Scott66||

    " with per worker subsidies as high as 175,000 € (US $ 240,000)."

    You are being unfair. That $240,000 represent 1 worker plus 2 bureaucrats, so 3 jobs created with some left over for the politicians and lobbyists.

  • Old Mexican||

    Scott66,

    Good point ;-)

    Bureaucrats are people, too... right?

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    No, they're much closer to being rock bound algae. You know, that really slimy green stuff you find on rocks in the bottom of creeks and ponds.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You're being waaay too kind, Eb.

  • Chad||

    Btw, HOTTEST NOVEMBER EVER.

    http://climateprogress.org/200.....imategate/

    It must be global cooling.

  • Old Mexican||

    Yeah, I had to buy an extra fan - this is the end of the world!

    (I also enjoyed the beach more, but that can't be from global warming because you and I *know* global warming cannot be a good thing... right?)

  • Chad||

    Where did anyone every claim that climate change would have no benefits?

    Are strawman arguments all you have?

  • Old Mexican||

    Where did anyone every claim that climate change would have no benefits?

    C'mon - have you been living in a cave recently? All that's being said about GW is:

    a) Coastal cities will be obliterated;
    b) Polar bears will drown when their ice floats melt;
    c) Crops will fail; and worst of all:
    d) Martha's Vineyard will cease to exist! Which is why we must do something!

    Oh, the so-called "deniers" have said many times that GW would more likely have beneficial consequences, but who listens to them, right?

  • Chad||

    The list of benefits is pretty short.

    Can you list a few for me? Particularly, I am looking for something other than "Siberian real estate, baby, yeah!".

  • Old Mexican||

    Benefits of Global Warming:

    a) Less cold.
    b) Longer summers.
    c) Longer growing seasons.
    d) More food.

    The calamities so touted are more preposterous than serious.

  • ||

    you forgot to add that New york, LA San Fransisco, Seattle and Boston will all be underwater.

    Kiding aside the longer growing season is proabably the only thing real that global warming will cause good or bad.

    It is pretty easy to point out that Boston has done just fine with the kind of sea level change over the past 200 years that is predicted in the latest IPCC report...and they did it with less technology and access to resources. That city adopted better to climate change then it has to its progressive incompetent government.

  • Chad||

    a-c are exactly what I specifically did not ask for. You simply expanded one thing into three. It is also very north-centric. For every place the summer will be better and there is "less", there will be a place where it is far too hot. Net gain? Probably not. Longer growing seasons? In some places. And other places will be turned into parched wastelands. Net gain? No...and note that there isn't much soil in the tundra, anyway.

    Crop yields may or may not benefit. CO2 will fertilize them, but water stress will harm them. The general thought on the matter is that crop yields will rise under moderate global warming and fall under severe global warming, but not really change that much either way.

  • JoshInHB||

    Chad -

    You're assuming that a warmer world will be a dryer one.

    Why?

    All historical evidence shows that warmer periods are wetter ones, not dryer.

    Kind of makes sense in a non AGW way.
    You know, warmer water leads to more evaportation, which ultimate precipitates back to the ground.

  • Chad||

    There will be both more draughts and more downpours.

    It really isn't hard to understand. Move to the midwest and it becomes obvious really. Ask anyone what the "driest" months are. They will say, of course, July and August.

    Want to guess which months have the MOST rain?

    When rain comes 3 inches at a time, and then doesn't show up for a month, is it wet or dry?

  • Kent||

    How about cheaper shipping costs between Asia and the US East Coast due to the Arctic Ocean being navigable?

    Less ice and snow might mean fewer flight delays, less salt being used on roads (Less pollution and less damage to concrete and steel.), and fewer wrecks.

    Less spending on heating homes (DOE says reduced cost of heating more than balances out increased cost of air conditioning.).

    Longer growing seasons.

    Higher CO2 levels result in higher crop yields.

    On a related note, I watched three hours of "Meet the Natives USA" on the Travel Channel last weekend. The chief was complaining (Actually, I think the show's writers were saying it. How many people in the US can understand Bislama - or whatever language they were speaking - to contradict it?) that yams have become smaller on Tanna because of smoke from US factories.

    Supposedly, he also said Americans spend too much time pursuing money. The tribesmen in the show are apparently members of a Cargo Cult. So, people who march around to try to get ships and planes to bring them free stuff are criticizing us for being materialistic? Not surprisingly, the tribesmen expressed admiration for President Obama.

  • ||

    As Lomborg ("Cool It") pointed out, weather-related deaths are much higher from cold weather than hot.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Land with presently cold climates becomes more tolerable to inhabit.
    Areas with presently dry climates enjoy increased precipitation.
    Potential growth of wet lands, rain forests, and biodiversity.
    Longer growing seasons and increased crop yields.
    Arctic waters become more easily navigable resulting in more efficient shipping.

  • Canadians for Global Warming||

    The list of benefits is pretty short.

    Bite me, eh?

    When you've lived through a dozen Calgary winters, you tell me there's no benefits.

  • ||

    Remember Neu Mejican's dictum: You can't call anything less than a ten year trend "climate," what you're talking about is "weather."

  • Old Mexican||

    I know, I know: When things are bad, you can blame it on "Global Warming", but when they are inconveniently pretty good, then it's only the weather.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Remember, logic is malleable and shall always be bent to whatever ends the liberals want it bent.

  • ||

    Is that anything like the incorrect 'warmest October ever' declaration they had to eat not too long ago?

  • ||

    TP,

    The study you link to counts the following as subsidies to the oil companies.

    1. Road construction

    2. The strategic petroleum reserves

    3. Police, fire, and emergency response expenditures for drivers

    4. Travel delays, car accident costs, and parking expenses.

    In other words it is a pretty poor economic analysis.

    I look at the study as a ham handed attempt justify enactment of their favorite social policies.

    When the price of gasoline is so drastically underestimated in the minds of drivers,

    it becomes difficult if not impossible to convince them to change their driving habits, accept alternative fuel vehicles, support mass transit, or consider progressive residential and urban development strategies.
  • ||

    I'm waiting for the TV ads from the cheezy unaccredited 2year college diploma mills: "With our training, you too can enjoy an exciting and prosperous career as a Certified Solar Panel Bird Shit Wiper!"

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Would that be under SEIU restrictions?

  • ||

    Actually one of the trade schools already has ads for training to become a "green energy technician" on the NY subways.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Yay! One of literally thousands of news jobs!

    Of course, we need *millions*... but, well, y'know.

  • Tony||

    What's absolutely stupid is that all the time our car companies were fighting emissions standards and oil companies were fighting greenhouse gas regulation (and information), our economy didn't benefit from these actions a single goddamn dime, and at least for the car industry it was at least ineffective if not counterproductive to fight regulation. On the longer term it will of course be economically counterproductive for oil companies or any other company to allow the natural environment to be altered in unpredictable ways. A little less psychotic market puritanism (fed by naked, short-term commercial interests), and a little more prudent regulation could have prevented a lot of problems in this area and the financial system for that matter. Great work fighting regulation, it did us all so much good. There are so many jobs!

  • ||

    Tony,

    That only works if you ignore the GSEs purchasing 10% of the subprime debt, the government treating subprime paper as legitimate for CRA purposes, and the myriad of other political allocations of capital to the subprime sector.

  • Tony||

    Those poor banks being victimized by the evil government forcing more short-term profit on them!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Yes, yes, Tony, your hatred of capitalism is well-established. We KNOW, already. You only spew it several times a day.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Kinda hard to create jobs with higher taxes and fuel costs on the horizon...

  • Carston||

    Rep. Markey also declared that the Waxman-Markey bill “is something that is going to create a technological revolution.”

    So congress and the president have the power to legislate new technology into existence? They just keep getting new powers every day, don't they?

  • ||

    Ever since the Goreacle invented the internet its kind of gone to their heads.

  • CatoTheElder||

    There are lots of green jobs to be done ... ever heard of recycling? Lots of jobs sorting trash!

  • bill woolsey||

    The effect of mandating reduction in carbon emissions is almost certainly lower real incomes. If the burden is sufficiently light, the result will be slower growth in real incomes rather than absolute reductions--real income is just less than it would otherwise be in each and every future year.

    Unfortunately, the gradual approach also means that there is slightly higher structural unemployment for years as the policy gradually forces shifts in the allocation of labor.

    From the point of view of political economy, it does create an opportunity for politicians to hand out "good jobs." Think of it like the new military spending. But the "good jobs" from government intervention are a negative sum game. Everyone else in society is made even worse off. Further, the long run impact is almost certainly that those who get these good jobs are worse off than they would have been without the efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

    Just like the purpose of military spending isn't to give people something to do producing armaments, but rather to provide national security, the purpose of environmental regulation/subsidies is to prevent harm from carbon emissions, not create material prosperity.

    Perhaps it is important to understand that environmental regulation won't reduce employment, but will rather shift it. But just counting the income from the new jobs and ignoring that total income is less than it would be is a serious error.

    However, from the politicians perspective, getting a defense contractor to put a plant in the district is good politics, even if in a peaceful world, even those getting the jobs would be better off. Those getting the jobs are hurt less than others--a political winner, right?

    And that is what "green jobs" is about.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Copenhagen, December 17—“It’s all about the jobs,” declared U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her remarks at the Copenhagen climate change conference today."

    And the broken window fallacy lives on and on...

  • ||

    Correct, the broken window fallacy lives on.

    Fundamentally, this economic fallacy -- which all the green goons have swallowed -- conflates "need" with "demand". The greens are convinced that we desperately "need" to convert to green energy and that said "need" will cause the creation of all the jobs necessary to build solar panels, wind mills, etc.

    I disagree on the "need" to convert to green energy, but even if the "need" were real, it is not the same as "demand". If everyone in America goes home tonight and burns up all their personal property -- their clothes, furniture, appliances, etc -- we'll all be in desperate "need" to replace them. But that doesn't mean we happen to have spare money under our mattresses that will allow us to replace this stuff. It means we'll have to buy a whole lot less of other stuff for a long time.

    So, the "green jobs" that will appear when government robs us of more of our money to spend on "green technology" will be canceled out by the jobs that will be lost from the reduction in our purchasing power. And since government always pays itself a salary for robbing us, the only possible net creation of jobs will be all those additional government parasites that will be hired to administer the program.

    Obama is either enormously stupid if he swallows this jobs argument -- or he's enormously evil and just doesn't give a shit whose careers will be wrecked to satisfy his mad environmentalism.

    The greens will be the death of our economy -- which is exactly what they want.

  • ||

    "For example, Bracken Hendricks, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told The New York Times, “We found that you get four times the number of jobs from investing in efficiency and renewables than you get from investing in oil and natural gas.” This is largely because renewable technologies “are more local and they’re more labor-intensive.”

    Yeah, let's go back to picking cotton by hand - no polluting harvesters (ignore how the pickers get to the fields - we're bringing back shanties) and hundreds upon hundreds of people employeed (don't mind that they don't make enough money to buy a cotton t-shirt)

  • ||

    Its just the old "broken window" fallacy all over again.

  • ||

    The idea that making more green regulations and laws creates jobs is like saying that making our tax system more complex creates jobs for tax lawyers and accountants. My daughter is a tax lawyer. I hope she continues to be successful and make lots of money. However, we both know that she does not create any wealth. What she does is prevent the wealth that was created by someone else from being drained away. More green regulations, just like more tax laws would prevent more wealth from being created and therefore cause a drain on the economy as a whole. That means fewer jobs all around.

  • ||

    If I were heading the Chinese delegation, I would tell Hillary to get bent until the USA had made good on its debts.

    -jcr

  • ||

    When Hilary offered up $100 Billion dollars. Was that our money or China's? Perhaps China talked her down from $1 Trillion.

    Honestly the Chinese could be worried about us throwing around so much cash as to devalue what we owe them.

  • ||

    I'm sure passing a law requiring workers to use spoons to dig holes instead of backhoes would create job, but that wouldn't mean it was a bad idea and regressive.

  • ||

    Oh darn. finger twister. Comments need and edit button... Retry

    I'm sure passing a law requiring workers to use spoons to dig holes instead of backhoes digging holes would create jobs, but that wouldn't mean it was a good idea and not regressive.

  • ||

    If the degree to which a project is "labor intensive" makes it good, why not make those hired for "shovel ready" jobs use spoons? Give credit to Milton Friedman for that quip.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on

  • Carpet Cleaning||

    Really we all need this Green Jobs...
    and let this chin bend ...
    now looking for an update on this..

  • 9th and Ash||

    dey dook der jeerbs

  • دردشة||

    thanks

  • nike shox||

    is good

  • قبلة الوداع||

    THANK U

  • قبلة الوداع||

    THANK U

  • Vic Stuart||

    Green jobs are real they are not a myth.
    http://www.ewea.com/wind-energ.....n-the-usa/

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