Free Markets, Free People

Define “Green Jobs”

Because where I come from, this doesn’t suffice:

President Barack Obama is spending $2.1 million to help Suntech Power Holdings Co. build a solar- panel plant in Arizona. It will hire 70 Americans to assemble components made by Suntech’s 11,000 Chinese workers.

So it’s not really a “solar-panel plant”, it’s a “solar-panel assembly plant”. Are those “green jobs?” How so? They don’t make the parts. It’s not their technology. To me it’s not much different than assembling an air conditioner. Or a car. It’s not a manufacturing job, it’s an assembly job, and it is no more “green” than assembling an auto-winding watch (I mean, there’s no battery in the watch, so that makes it a “green job” right?).

And at $30,000 a job (subsidy), it’s clear how government efficiently and carefully spends your money and should be trusted with more.

Just to make sure I’ve got this – we’re spending 30K per job subsidizing a Chinese manufacturer’s assembly plant in the US? Have I got that straight? All so a) a claim can be made that jobs were “created” and b) that the created jobs were “green jobs”.

Laughing and derision optional but highly recommended at this point. Keep in mind though that the government’s answer to making “real” green jobs available in America is cap-and-trade (yeah, I know that’s counter-intuitive, but only if you live outside the beltway). Don’t believe me? Read the rest of the article.



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10 Responses to Define “Green Jobs”

  • Back when we had a “Green Jobs Czar”, it was pretty obvious from his speeches that “green” had three meanings (in order of importance) …

    Money (as in patronage)
    inexperienced workers
    Environment (as in .. this is a great environment to hand out patronage jobs)

  • Those people will never see close to $300,000, which really, is okay, because then they’d be rich, and evil, and we’d have to tax the snot out of them.

  • What is frightening about that article is that they correctly identify the problem (it costs more to manufacture items here, so those jobs go overseas) and then propose an outrageously stupid solution (make traditional energy so costly that green technologies become “cost effective” enough to promote manufacturing them in the USA).  Slight problem there– if you make traditional forms of energy prohibitively expensive (thereby creating a huge market for green technologies) but don’t actually address the problem of competitiveness, then all of that money and those jobs will still go overseas!
    So we will have higher prices across the entire economic spectrum, and no industrial growth of our own to make up for it.  And a colossal trade deficit, which will be kept in check only by the fact that we will run out of money to spend.  Unbelievable.

    • There’s no way to solve the problem of job competativeness unless it becomes legal to pay people $5/day. 

  • Hey, since its actually Chinese money anyways…

  • Instead of “green” jobs, I propose that we start calling them “brown” jobs.

    As in the color of bullsh*t.

  • Look at this … 70 Americans to assemble components made by Suntech’s 11,000 Chinese workers
    Wind Power and Electric Grid upgrades … most power turbines are now made in China
    Perhaps “Green” really means Chinese

  • A green job is a job that no one really wants, working for someone who has no idea what he’s doing other than how to brown nose his way to a government subsidy.

    But the mayor and a congressman will come down and bless the whole thing. Then it will gradually unravel and disappear without anyone noticing.

    The best green job is the government job where your job is to talk about green jobs.