1 green job created = two private jobs lost

February 26, 2010

In this morning’s Washington Post, Suni Sharan, director of the Smart Grid Initiative at GE from 2008 to 2009, questions the validity of “the assumption that a ‘clean-energy’ economy will generate enough jobs to mitigate today’s high level of unemployment.”

And yet, as he writes, “‘green jobs’ have become a central underpinning of the Obama administration’s rationale to promote clean energy.” He explains that “the near-term expected levels of investment in and adoption of renewable sources of energy mean that net job creation should top out in the tens of thousands, as opposed to the desired hundreds of thousands or more.”

Sharan concludes that “for the purpose of creating jobs, then, a ‘clean-energy economy’ will not offer a panacea” and that “those who take great pains to tout the ‘job-creation potential’ of the green space might just end up inducing labor pains all around.”

He is onto something. However, the reality is much worse. As we know, President Obama has spent much time praising Spain as being a reference for the establishment of government aid to renewable energy. A role model, Spain?

This study, from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Spain shows that the reality is quite different. After examining Spain’s experience with an aggressive wind-power program, the researchers concluded, among other things, the cost of creating a green job in Spain was 571,000 Euros each (so roughly $800,000) and for each green job created 2 private jobs were lost.

The study also makes predictions in case the president pursues his green job policy.

“Therefore, while it is not possible to directly translate Spain’s experience with exactitude to claim that the U.S. could lose at least 6.6 million to 11 million jobs, as a direct consequence were it to actually create 3 to 5 million “green jobs” as promised (in addition to the jobs lost due to the opportunity cost of private capital employed in renewable energy), the study clearly reveals a tendency that means the U.S. should expect such an outcome.”


NATIONAL DEBT – how much do you owe?

February 16, 2010


President Obama announced his 2011 Budget which is $3.834 trillion dollars with a projected deficit of $1.267 trillion or 8.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).   As of Feb. 7, our total national debt was $12,348,804,540,946.54 or $12.35 trillion which is larger than the economies of China, the United Kingdom and Australia combined, says Don C. Brunell, President of the Association of Washington Businesses. 

The national debt is growing with the spending spree in Washington, D.C.  According to the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget: 

  • Our national debt will grow an additional $9 trillion over the next decade, to more than $20 trillion.
  • During that time, the United States will accumulate $2.5 billion in new debt each and every day.
  • That’s $1.72 million per minute, for the next ten years. 

According to the Department of the Treasury: 

  • Foreign holders of our national debt are owed a combined total of about $3.3 trillion.
  • The top 10 countries and entities holding U.S. debt are: China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Oil Exporters, Caribbean Banking Centers, Brazil, Russia, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Our debt to China is approximately $776.4 billion, having grown more than $240 billion in the last year; that is more than $10,000 in debt for the average American working family — just to China.
  • The estimated population of the United States is 307,795,997 so each citizen’s share of this debt is $40,146.02. 

The National Debt has continued to increase and that is before Congress tacks on trillions for health care, cap and trade, new federal stimulus programs, and other yet to be identified spending programs, says Brunell. 

Part of the way President Obama plans to pay for his new round of spending is to eliminate the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts families making more than $250,000 per year which impacts a ton of family-owned, small businesses which are the backbone of our economy and nation, says Brunell. 

Source: Don C. Brunell, “The National Debt: Do You Know How Much You Now Owe?” Olympia Business Watch/Association of Washington Businesses, February 7, 2010. 

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