5 Dec 2011

Water stimulus stupid

(via RM links) The only thing I hate more than hearing about "stimulus spending" is "green jobs" rhetoric.*

That's why I dislike seeing "A UC Berkeley economist says one of the rewards for repairing California's broken water-delivery system could be 130,000 jobs."

Some of those jobs would involve construction of infrastructure for unsustainable water diversions;** others would result from unsustainable agricultural practices. Many of them, of course, would not be "net" jobs, but jobs for people who quit work in one place to work in another.

But most of the jobs would probably go to lawyers,*** consultants and economists lobbying to get a piece of all of the money that would be thrown at such a boondoggle.

Bottom Line: Make good polices for sustainable water management FIRST and then let the jobs flow where they may (or may not).
* Read about fraud in stimulus jobs and stimulated groundwater overdrafting, then read about why recessions are good (not recognized) and how to productively spend stimulus money (not tried).

** This community is fighting to "save its dam" because of all the jobs created when a reservoir replaced an ecosystem. By that logic, I recommend turning Central Park (or Golden Gate Park) into a Magic Mountain fun zone -- cut down the trees (logger stimulus!) and replace them with roller coasters, golf carts, and Coca Cola vending opportunities!

*** Like this ridiculous example of a lawyer trying to lead Peter Gleick to agree with the silly ideas that Las Vegas promotes in its attempts to grow via water imports instead of live within its (already way-over-extended) means.