Thursday, June 25, 2009

George Will And Don Quixote

Subsidized windmills in Spain cost more than just failing to create substantial "green jobs."

Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report that, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration's green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.

Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital. (European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs elsewhere in Spain's economy.

Free market advocates have been warning for years that subsidizing industries deemed environmentally friendly by politicians that pander to environmentalists will not create enough jobs to justify the taxpayer expense. Clearly, from the Spanish example cited above, the result of government investing in "green" jobs has not panned out as the rhetoric claimed. Obama rode to the White House on the promise and hope that government "investment" in green industries would spur a wave of green collar jobs. Spain has tried "green investment" and it has turned out to be a very expensive fantasy. Why should we try the same expensive and fantastical experiment?


Harrison said...

"Green" jobs are the most expensive jobs around (unless you "work" for a union). Check out the folly of turning Sicily into a green energy powerhouse! Talk about expense, corruption, and jobs... what a joke.

Obama doesn't care... he's in it for the tax hikes.

The BoBo said...

Gotta agree with Harrison. The EU has absolutely proven that this green jobs thing and cap-and-trade absolutely does not work. They are worst of than when they started and they have a net job loss as a result. I sure as hell hope this thing does not pass tomorrow.