This WaPo article — “Obama tries to change subject back to green jobs” — is an instant classic of a new, Obama-era genre: cheerleading for expensive schemes which exist solely due to political whimsy and consideration, and are therefore little more than make-work.
The item begins, “After spending weeks talking about topics he probably would have preferred to avoid — debt limits, deficits, a plunging stock market — President Obama will hit the road Thursday to talk about jobs. Specifically, about how his administration is trying to create more of them.”
The green ones. Which schemes failed where the president used to tell us to look but no longer does because the failures were exposed. As his spokesman admits “the White House doesn’t create jobs”.
And his critics say he’s out of ideas! But, hmm. Yes. I suppose that ‘green jobs’ thing went over well last time he led with it. Still, if ending up as a punch-line is victory, what does defeat look like?
More to the point, how much would whatever constitutes defeat cost us? Because WaPo says about this, the Obama administration’s chosen, sterling example of the economy they seek to design (what happened to telling us to look to Spain?), in return for $305 million in cited wealth transfers, “All told, the company has said its advanced battery operations could create 500 new positions.”
That is, this rosy, nice round-numbered scenario of ‘could’ (read: unlikely), produce temporary jobs — that is, they all disappear when the wealth transfer and/or mandates or preferences are burned through — at $610,000 per.
That’s up from the $355,555 the Council on Economic Advisors indicated each ‘green job’ cost from the stimulus, and even worse still than the stimulus average of around a quarter million dollars. Sure sounds like the place to double down, to me!
Using Small Business Administration figures, among others’, one could also conclude that entrepreneurs create jobs at about the cost of a ticket to an Obama fundraiser (around $31,000). And these are jobs responding to demand, not political whims that that is where people should be hired.
This Obama speech was a preview of what to expect when Congress returns in September when, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated, he will pick up this ‘clean energy economy’ mantle for the president. Because the theater of having your opponents oppose ‘jobs’ is good for the economy!
Speaking of theater, however, Al Gore has set aside September 14-15 for his next episode of acting out (globally!), in his (according to him) $300 million campaign to push the failed global warming enterprise which underpinned — that is, served as the most recent excuse for — this brand of statism. That should be very helpful, if in standard Gore fashion: to his opponents.
So amid Gore’s Live Earth-style lunacy bear these costs in mind, as Senate Democrats (with a little help from select Republicans, including, oddly, Richard Burr (R-NC), who with some erstwhile House conservatives is pushing the TBoonedoggle sure to be offered as part of Reid’s package) contemporaneously seek to blow more of your money.
The most spectacularly wasteful way to pretend to grow jobs yet discovered. And it is the one that Obama has selected.
He no longer points to success stories where his European models tried, and this is because they all failed, at great expense and net economic harm. So he jaunts around to various recipients of borrowed taxpayer money hoping you won’t notice that of course ‘jobs will be created’ when hundreds of millions are thrown at commanding they be created.
There is nothing – no program, no vice, no hobby, no crime — that does not ‘create jobs’. Tsunamis, computer viruses and shooting convenience store clerks all ‘create jobs’. So that claim misses the plot; it applies to all so is an argument in favor of none. Instead of an argument on the merits, it is an admission that one has no such arguments.
Also, energy, of all economic sectors, should not be deemed a jobs program where you try to require as many man-hours and dollars to produce a unit of energy as possible.
The better questions are: what kind of jobs, and to what net impact? Are they phony — like these — or do they respond to demand on the basis of their merits, like the jobs that are avoided and killed by this profligacy?
These ‘green jobs’ are created, to be sure, but a fraction of the number the private sector would create were the same resources not taken from them; they are not sustainable and are therefore wasteful; and the debt is harmful. They are bubble jobs, and bubbles bursting is further harmful. Meanwhile, we’re broke. This is what our political class come up with. Outrageous.
As is what we see from Obama no longer directing your attention to Spain, as previously done in no fewer than eight speeches as president of the United States: he knows this is a flop. And yet, again, he chooses this as his vehicle, affirming that he just does not care. In an age and with a man increasingly hard to be astounded with, this manages to nonetheless astound.