For too long, politicians, environmentalists and subsidized proponents of “green” jobs have been peddling the notions that “investing” in green technologies is the illuminating endeavor and beneficent job creator of our time. With scant evidence, these green jobs postulates are bulwarked by so much hot air it rivals the amount of subsidized dollars used to sustain them.
The main dilemma of green jobs and investing is that they defy the reality of basic economics. Jobs are created by entrepreneurs willing to invest in capital, coupled with demand for their goods and services. The economic environment fostered by government (taxes, regulations, etc.) plays an immensely important role as well.
The experience in Europe with investment in greed jobs sheds a glaring light on the fallacious nature of the purported success of these initiatives. In Spain, which has a 20.4 percent unemployment rate, every green job created destroyed an additional 2.2 regular jobs. In addition, every “green” megawatt created destroys 5.28 jobs in the rest of the economy. Aggregately, these green jobs programs killed 110,500 elsewhere in the economy.
The amount of money invested in these programs is exorbitantly costly when compared with private sector job creation. In Italy, the amount of capital invested in the creation of 1 green job was equivalent to the amount of capital invested to create 5 jobs in the rest of the economy.
The reason these programs are such colossal failures, is that government subsidies to inefficient and unsustainable green initiatives divert resources from other productive sectors of the economy and result in the loss of jobs. Price-controls and central planning have long been considered an abject failure, why do we believe that these policies are any more palatable in the energy sector of our economy?
The reason these economically suicidal green job schemes continue to seem viable is that somehow they represent drastically new technology and innovation. It’s like a burgeoning plant, just give it a little water and it will rapidly expand, right?
Wrong. These propositions elucidate an inherent myopia within the green jobs cheerleaders. The truth is that the wind-powered electricity was commercialized in 1881 and solar power received its first patent in 1892. Mean ugly coal-fired electricity was commercialized in 1882.
The house that contains the green jobs myth has been set ablaze. Do we want the dubious distinction of running in?