President Obama’s plans to stimulate our economy are flawed in just about every way possible. His adamant bias against fossil fuel production is Obama’s most blatant display of poor policy. It is widely agreed upon that cheap, readily available energy is crucial to economic growth. Obama is stifling one of the most beneficial factors to our struggling markets in favor of investment in a nonexistant renewable energy industry counterproductive to economic growth. Of the 814 billion dollars in the stimulus package, $90 billion was wasted on “green-job” training programs that have provided false hope for the unemployed:
The administration says that its stimulus investment has saved or created 225,000 jobs in the green energy industry, a pittance in an economy that has shed 7.5 million jobs since the recession took hold in December 2007.
$90 billion and 225,000 jobs. When Republicans talk about cutting government waste, here’s where they need to start. The cost/benefit to green job creation is phenomenally skewed in a negative direction. Green job creation was never a policy designed to promote job growth, it was a left-wing idea pioneered to redirect the American economy into a new– and at the moment less productive– sector of industry.
Obama seems not to understandthat investment in green-jobs is not productive. It does not produce job growth in a time when America’s unemployment rate hovers near 10%. The reason for this lack of production is not complex, and Obama’s misundertanding is not a result of a lack of knowledge but a result of Obama’s desire to ignore simple economics:
The industry’s growth has been undercut by the simple economic fact that fossil fuels remain cheaper than renewables.
It’s really that simple. Providing incentives for employment is all well and good, but what use is green-job training if the industry itself is unsustainable? The Washington Post interviewed a man who had been left unemployed due to the implosion of the housing market. Seeking a new job, he turned to Obama’s promise of green-job creation. He is still unemployed:
“What is the point of giving somebody the tools to do something but to have nowhere to use them?” he asked. “I think it’s a great program, but I don’t see the connection with all the training and jobs. And I need a job.”
This man is no different than any other American struggling in these tough economic times. The problem is that Obama has lured a large number of Americans into a sector of industry that is nearly as anemic as the economy itself. 3/4 of the graduates of this man’s job training program never receive a job offer. Many of these people have been out of work since 2008 when the recession hit, and they turned to Obama’s promise of jobs in renewable energy only to find that this promise was one that could not be delivered.
We should not be diametrically opposed to prosperous renewable energy production. We should be opposed to the government’s decision to dictate the type of energy that our industry should use, especially at a time when this energy is neither efficient nor effective. At this point, renewable energy cannot compete with fossil fuel energy, and increased regulation over a once prosperous fossil fuel industry combined with subsidies for weak green energy production produces more losers than winners. Policy that promotes inefficient industry is the exact reason that the government should not be involved in regulating economic policy.
The point is that investment in green-job training is pointless. There is no industry to support it. There is no industry to support it because the product that the industry provides is vastly inferior to competing alternatives. It is simple economics, and Obama is trying to change the rules of capitalism by imposing his liberal agenda on market forces; it isn’t working.
One day technological advancement will allow green energy to be used in greater quantities with beneficial results, and market forces should decide that day, not government intervention. Any policy to the contrary is counterproductive.