Debunking the Green Job Myth

US News and World Report has an excellent piece from AEI’s Kenneth Green debunking the green job myth.

  • Government can create jobs: Green explains how governments cannot create jobs, they can only kill some jobs with taxes and promote others through subsidies. And theses subsidized jobs are super expensive, “Each job created in Spain’s effort cost about $750,000, and only 1 in 10 was permanent. Thus, creating even 3 million new green jobs would cost $2.25 trillion.”
  • The subsidies are temporary: “The subsidized jobs that will be “created” are, by definition, less efficient uses of capital than market-created jobs. The good produced by government- favored jobs is inherently a noneconomic good that has to be maintained indefinitely, often without an economic revenue model, as in the case of roads, rail systems, mass transit, and probably windmills, solar power installations, etc.”
  • Green jobs can’t be exported overseas: “New York Sen. Charles Schumer recently asked the administration to keep stimulus money from going to a proposed West Texas wind farm because it would have generated as many as 3,000 permanent jobs in Shenyang, China (proposed site of the wind turbine construction), but would have created only 300 temporary jobs in the United States and a laughably trivial 30 permanent jobs here.”
  • Green jobs help the economy: “Government job creation, green or otherwise, is private-sector job destruction. In the end, there are fewer net jobs and less net economic productivity than if the government had not interfered with the market.” Also, higher electricity costs associated with green energy drives away other energy intensive industries.