Free Markets, Free People

Quotes of the Day–Green Jobs edition

Another “told you so”:

WHEN is a job not a job? Answer: when it is a green job. Jobs in an industry that raises the price of energy effectively destroy jobs elsewhere; jobs in an industry that cuts the cost of energy create extra jobs elsewhere. You will hear claims from Chris Huhne, the anti-energy secretary, and the green-greed brigade that trousers his subsidies for their wind and solar farms, about how many jobs they are creating in renewable energy. But since every one of these jobs is subsidised by higher electricity bills and extra taxes, the creation of those jobs is a cost to the rest of us. The anti-carbon and renewable agenda is not only killing jobs by closing steel mills, aluminium smelters and power stations, but preventing the creation of new jobs at hairdressers, restaurants and electricians by putting up their costs and taking money from their customers’ pockets. –Matt Ridley, City A.M., 15 December 2011

And:

The parallel-energy universe known as renewables, a place where dollars and economic theory know no bounds and make no sense, looks increasingly like a bubble set to collapse. Or, as I wrote here back in March of 2010: “That eerie hissing you hear may well be the air beginning to seep out of the green energy bubble. The sound is similar to the pfffffft and sshhhhsssssp noises we heard in the early days of the dot-com bubble collapse or the subprime mortgage meltdown.” –Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, 15 December 2011

But our rulers know better, don’t you know?  That’s why they do so well picking winners and losers (I assume I don’t need to deploy my sarcasm tag here):

Workers in Germany’s once booming solar energy industry face a shakeout of major proportions following declines in the price of solar panels over the past year. A decision by the German government earlier this year to phase out nuclear energy has done little to reignite the sector. The resulting power gap is likely to be filled by coal and gas rather than solar and wind energy. – Sarah Marsh and Christoph Steitz, Reuters, 15 December 2011

For instance:

Solon’s insolvency filing is likely to be followed by other high-profile German solar company failures, analysts said, as the blood-letting in the global industry intensifies. Shares in Solon plunged 58 percent on Wednesday after the solar module maker announced the filing late the previous day, becoming Germany’s first major casualty of a crisis in the sector.  “Solar managers and experts warned already about further bankruptcies,” a Frankfurt-based trader said. Christoph Steitz, Reuters, 14 December 2011

Like the man asked, “when is a job not a job?”  When it kills other jobs and has to be subsidized by government to continue to exist.

But, you know, that’s old fashioned thinking — just like it was when the dot.com bubble was building.  The laws of economics seem to always enforce themselves on an apparently unsuspecting or willfully ignorant elite don’t they?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

12 Responses to Quotes of the Day–Green Jobs edition

  • More felbercarb from the “smartest man in a vacuum”

  • But… But…. But you don’t understand, government can just will these markets to exist and prosper. Well, except when they can’t.

    The business of government is government, not business. They should stay the hell out and leave to people who have a clue how it works .

    • @LBJAY02 Or, as my oft repeated bromide would have it…

      BIG GOVERNMENT RUINS.

      Markets innovate, provide choice, use resources efficiently, and RAISE the standard of living for all.

      Why do Collectivists LOVE monopoly…???? And the Trabant.

  • People are so ignorant of basic economics. Anything that takes money out of the system is wasteful,
    anything wasteful creates inefficiency,
    Inefficiency costs jobs and leads to lower growth and higher prices.

    It really is that simple. Some increased inefficiency may be useful such as clean air and water laws, but we should not be fooled into thinking that they will spur the economy.

    And even with those kind of rules, there is a law of diminishing returns.

  • The only upside to these kinds of fiascos is that there won’t be any “if only”-s that amount to a hill of beans in the future.

  • “If we don’t subsidize them, China or Germany will take over”

    Ooops, the Germans are going bust too. There goes another argument.

  • All of this nonsense was foreseeable from day one of the Obama Administration …
    “March 27 (Bloomberg) — Subsidizing renewable energy in the U.S. may destroy two jobs for every one created if Spain’s experience with windmills and solar farms is any guide.

    For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.”

    … nobody is this dumb, so Occam’s razor suggest corruption, plain and simple.

    • That was March 27, 2009

    • @Neo_ OF course it was corruption. The “Stimulus” Was nothing more than a huge democrat party slush fund, a wild orgy of theft for the unions and all of their cronies.

    • @Neo_ I think the Spanish experience worked out to 4:1 job loss. “Sustainable”…??? I think not.

  • All of this nonsense was foreseeable from day one of the Obama Administration …
    “March 27 (Bloomberg) — Subsidizing renewable energy in the U.S. may destroy two jobs for every one created if Spain’s experience with windmills and solar farms is any guide.

    For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.”

    … nobody is this dumb, so Occam’s razor suggest corruption, plain and simple.