5 May 2010

Useless stimulus and phoney green jobs

I was talking to a friend, and he mentioned that he'd hired an extra guy under the stimulus program.

"Yeah, they are paying 80 percent of his wages and overhead. It's a win-win for him and me..."

"...but then I fired another guy; he just cost too much compared to the new guy."

So we get + 1 job - 1 job = 0 new jobs, more profits for my friend and more taxes for us.

None of this would have happened if my friend wasn't encouraged to take advantage of this new program to "get America back to work." I'm guessing that this is happening across the country.

Bottom Line: You can't make jobs where there's no demand, but you can sure waste money pretending that you know what you're doing!

In Five Myths about Green Energy (via JWT), we get this:
Is a job still green if it's created not by the market, but by subsidy or mandate? Consider the claims being made by the subsidy-dependent corn ethanol industry. Growth Energy, an industry lobby group, says increasing the percentage of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply would create 136,000 jobs. But an analysis by the Environmental Working Group found that no more than 27,000 jobs would be created, and each one could cost taxpayers as much as $446,000 per year. Sure, the government can create more green jobs. But at what cost?
But then the author adds a myth of his own:
The United States will continue going green by simply allowing engineers and entrepreneurs to do what they do best: make products that are faster, cheaper and more efficient than the ones they made the year before.
Remember that US carbon output has dropped because we displaced our pollution. Instead of making the product here, we buy it from China, where the same (or more!) pollution is produced in meeting our consumer demands.

Bottom Line 2: The carbon bubble, which I called 16 months ago, is getting bigger!