Obama’s Green Jobs Bust

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Editor’s note: The following article was originally published at the Daily Caller. To order a copy of David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin’s new book, “The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Future,” click here

Last week’s underwhelming jobs report prompted the Obama administration to caution that one should “not read too much” into such numbers. One can sympathize with the administration’s statistical agnosticism. After all, with a record that includes 41 straight months of 8 percent or worse unemployment, Obama can’t credibly claim to have done much to spur job growth. Nowhere is that failure more resounding than with his signature job-creation program — so-called “green jobs.”

After touting green jobs as the wave of the future, the president and his Congressional allies made sure that the $800 billion stimulus package set aside $70 billion for green-energy projects. Now the results are in, and Obama’s green jobs bet has been a bust. Estimates from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an adjunct of the Department of Energy, show that of the nearly $9 billion that has so far been spent on green jobs, the government created just 910 new, long-term jobs. For those keeping count, that works out to a cost to taxpayers of $9.8 million per job. So dismal is the return on this investment that the Obama administration has taken to reclassifying jobs only tenuously associated with green projects — everything from construction jobs used to install infrastructure for wind and solar operations to janitors who clean those facilities — as “green jobs.”

As if Obama’s record on domestic job creation wasn’t sufficiently damning, much of the funding allocated for green jobs has gone abroad. American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop points out that of the first $2 billion spent on renewable energy projects like wind energy companies, as much as 80 percent flowed overseas to places like China. By far the largest payment went to a bankrupt Australian company that used Japanese-made turbines to build a wind farm in Texas. The government spent yet another $20 million to “help clean energy projects in Africa get started.” Obama’s campaign likes to mock Mitt Romney as an “outsourcer-in-chief,” but its green jobs scheme seems to be primarily effective in transferring American money into foreign projects. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer — hardly an anti-Obama partisan — aptly sums up the administration’s dubious achievement: “Very few jobs here, lots of jobs in China.”

Considering the abject and expensive failure of green jobs, one might well wonder how this pet cause of the environmental left became national policy. As we show in our new book, The New Leviathan, it is certainly not because the economic arguments for green jobs are so compelling. Despite the promise attributed to green jobs by Obama, they have a mythic basis, namely that government can “create” jobs using regulatory fiat by subsidizing innovations — in this case non-fossil-fuel energy and energy-efficient technologies — for which there is not yet sufficient demand in the free market. The paucity of demand can be explained by the fact that green energy sources remain far less efficient and far more expensive than fossil fuels.

Green jobs are also economically counterproductive, destroying jobs in the private sector. This is because in order to make the green energy industry competitive, government must subsidize it and tax consumers and businesses to do so — just as it did with the economic stimulus. But in favoring green industries, government diverts labor, capital, and materials from economically efficient and productive industries. The experience of European countries with green jobs is instructive. Spain’s subsidies of renewable energy have led to the destruction of two private-sector jobs for every “green job” the government creates. In Italy, green jobs were so expensive that for every green job created, five to seven were lost in the general economy. America’s experiment with green jobs is turning out to be similarly disappointing.

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  • Stephan

    How can one fight millions of greens when it is not possible to debate with them?

    • Fred Dawes

      this is the best question in the world if you can't talk to the monkeys understand one fact and that is all the green monkeys are in fact Red monkeys with a evil agenda let the monkeys run down the system at some point people will start to say no and fight back.

      Start Group's and stand with each other if the cops come to Beat/do you in! or rape your wife and kids call your friends buy more guns understand who your eneny is.

      get with 100 people and say no to the IRS When you are about to be arrested under NDA And disappeared in a hell, think that is nuts do you, well it has happened to millions of people all over the world.

      what to do when you are about to be mudered by cops, get just one, what is that old saying if only one jew would have killed one Nazi? how long would the nazi kept coming? we do live under a puppet Socialists government see National "sociailist" german workers party.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      You can fight the greens by chopping off the snakes head, that would be the Fraud in Chief, the Felon in Chief, the Usurper in Chief Barack Hussein Obama. Donate heavily to Sheriff Joe Arpaio who is conducting a criminal investigation that will eventually end this nightmare. The RNC has plenty of money whereas Sheriff Joe needs funds to keep the heat on. They have the goods on this criminal and now they need a platform in the media by which they can get the evidence to the American people. Lord Charles Monckton has put the Brits on full alert as to the criminal activity of this Usurper in Chief and what it will mean for them in the future. Lord Charles has examined the evidence and he is convinced that Obama usurped the office of the POTUS via fraudulent documents. July 17th the Sheriff is holding his SECOND press conference that will be live streamed by Worldnetdaily, tell your friends and family to watch the event.

    • whorowitz

      This Horowitz is just sick! sick! a psychopath

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        Sick is thinking that green economies don't always crash like Spain's has.
        Sick is thinking that taking the chance that for the very first time ever he can force this on us and not worry about the suffering and poverty it drags along with it.

  • Bamaguje

    This inordinate obssession with Green Jobs is largely due to the fiction of global warming.
    The undue influence of Green job wackos also led Obama to block oil drilling and the Keystone pipeline – both of which would have created hundreds of thousands of real jobs, stimulated the economy and boosted government revenue to offset the huge budget deficit without raising taxes.

    • Fred Dawes

      Green on the outside But Red on the inside, and the real Agenda is to murder millions who will not stand for evil doers like obama the globalists puppet.

  • Guest

    Editor: The last five paragraphs are duplicates of the previous five.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      Sheriff Joe Arpaio is holding a second Press Conference where they will disclose more criminal evidence showing that Barack Hussein Obama is involved in fraudulent activity on many fronts. Mr. Editor, are you going to inform the folks at Frontpage about this event? Shame on you if you don't. I sure hope someone at this organization reports on the Sheriff and his investigative team's findings.

  • davarino

    Waste of money, just like subsidizing Ethanol. Takes more energy to make Ethanol than what it puts out, but does that matter? Nope, cause its the flavor of the decade…… weeeee, and it makes us feel good using food for fuel. Same mentality as all the other "green" (and red on the inside) jobs, no substance.

    • fiddler

      You know the old saying: "The Road to hell is paved with good intentions".

  • Jonathan cohen

    The green-blue alliance is essentially higher education in America. This is what is being taught, not only in the classrooms, but through the massive growth of college administration where newly hired staffers supplement the usual education with programs aimed at developing the character of students.

  • Docport

    Reading about the lobby which allies unions with green-energy interests recalls with irony President Obama's pandering to American unions two years ago by rejecting foreign offers to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, thereby delaying the clean-up and escalating the resulting eco-disaster.

    • Fred Dawes

      Its really what the Globalists want not the people in the unions.

  • http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com Robin

    This Administration is committed to redesigning the American economy and Western economies in general around Green Growth and sustainability. It created the Beverly Forum in 2009, issued the Beverly Challenge in 2010, and has been working with UNESCO, UNEP, IGBP, and its sponsor, the International Council for Science, and some others to set up a Future Earth Alliance to create this desired new reengineered West.

    That's not what any US President is elected for. That's the future these green jobs were being created for. All the education reforms are ultimately grounded in unproven sociocultural theories positing "new ways of conceptualizing human-environment interactions." The EPA and Energy departments ignore the necessity of fossil fuels and go along with DoED's support for a human wellbeing index that will supersede economic growth as the new relevant measure.

    No.No.No. Blindly implementing preferred political ideologies in a wholesale manner always has a tragic end.

    Just imagine what would be going on in a 2nd term. All these Belmont and Future Earth documents assume everything being transformed by 2020.


    • Fred Dawes

      and mass murder when people don't get in line.

  • Tale-of-the-Donkey


  • Reacher

    When AirForce1 is capable of flying Obama's skinny azz around on "green power", then we can talk…
    Fine to encourage private sector development of "alternative energy", but to think this pie in the sky
    utopian wishful thinking, can power a modern, dynamic economy, is PURE MARXIST FOLLY…

  • mrbean

    For those who only hear about these failing companies one by one, the following is a list of all the clean energy companies supported by President Obama’s stimulus that are now failing or have filed for bankruptcy. The liberal media hopes you’ve forgotten about all of them except Solyndra, but we haven’t. There are 19 (that we know of so far). We also know that loans went to foreign clean energy companies

    Evergreen Solar
    Solyndra (received $535 million)
    Beacon Power (received $43 million)
    AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy
    Nevada Geothermal (received $98.5 million)
    SunPower (received $1.5 billion)
    First Solar (received $1.46 billion)
    Babcock & Brown (an Australian company which received $178 million)
    Ener1 (subsidiary EnerDel received $118.5 million)
    Amonix (received 5.9 million)
    The National Renewable Energy Lab
    Fisker Automotive
    Abound Solar (received $400 million)
    Chevy Volt (taxpayers basically own GM)
    Solar Trust of America
    A123 Systems (received $279 million)
    Willard & Kelsey Solar Group (received $6 million)
    Johnson Controls (received $299 million)
    Schneider Electric (received $86 million)

    • drbukk

      Thank you I have forwarded this list to friends.

    • Fred Dawes

      Thank you

    • http://www.facebook.com/marvin.fox.526 Marvin Fox

      mrbean, thanks for the list. I kept a copy for my record. I don't have a list to share but you may find interesting things at http://www.americarepublicspring.com click the blog button.
      Marvin E. Fox

  • FPF

    Islam is green, use your imagine and it maybe true.

  • http://www.maghrebchristians.com Youssef

    The Mongolians failed to destroy it 700 years ago despite the massacre of 40 friars and 400 Christians. Yet the existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, the fifth century Mor Gabriel Monastery in the Tur Abdin plane (the mountain of God’s servants) near the Turkish-Syrian border, is at risk after a ruling by Turkey’s highest appeals court in Ankara.

    Read more: http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/07/14/oldes


  • suzyqpie

    I will share a quote from Pres 0bama, "True engines of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra."

  • Fred Dawes

    Obama is just a puppet of the Globalists bankers he will do as he is told to do. Let us look at who owns obama all you need to look at is Agenda 21 that declares all Americans as enemies of the system of world government and who is behind this world government the Globalists bankers ( BY The way that is not jews ) THE Muslins Islamic race hate monkeys who also want all whites dead .
    muslim monkeys are coming here by the million this was started under Bush and who asked for millions of muslim monkeys to come here; just read the real reason why this is happening see Savage Nation see Alex Jones on inforwars and listen to the monkeys in our government.

  • fiddler

    Jut tell the women you know to think REALLY hard before they swoon about Obama regarding abortion (read "women's health" before November. Put it in terms of their children's future (the living one's that is). Apparently they are pushing the women's health "part" of abortion. Romney is waxing moral as a mormon while Obama is pandering by setting aside what he should believe as a "Christian". I wonder if Jeremiah Wright ever taught from Psalm 139 or Jeremiah chapter 1. Where it says: "before I formed you in the womb, I knew you"? For Obama such moral doctrine are nothing more than political speed-bumps.

  • patriotwatch

    Because Obama is a pathological idologue, the list of Obama follies is long.

    For the same reason the list of Obama subversions of the law is longer.

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    I have been waiting patiently for David Horowitz to begin reporting on all the evidence that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been gathering concerning Obama's fraudulent documents. There is a law suit in the State of Ohio over this President's fraudulent SS#, it has been flagged numerous times and the Social Security Administration claims they never issued the number to Barack Hussein Obama yet he uses it for his Income Tax Returns over the past 20 years. It looks pretty darn conclusive that Obama fraudulently registered with the Selective Service also, the Washington Times is presently pursuing that document. Many career document experts have examined the April 27th, 2011 computer generated birth record that Obama FLAUNTS and they determined that it is a forgery. How in the world does David Horowitz ignore the story. There are also numerous ballot challenges going on across the country and no coverage from Frongpage. Good god almighty what has happened at Frontpage.

  • Jay Lamptey

    Where can you find Green jobs???

    part time jobs

    • OfficialPro

      in california, alongside the migrant workers, picking strawberries without washing your hands.