Job Creation and the Green Economy
Craig Morris does great job burrowing into the issue of green jobs and the net-effect argument. It’s pretty clear that the net-effect argument, that green job programs don’t create jobs when you look at the net-effect of the policies, will be the issue holding back support for green jobs programs.
Which is unfortunate because Morris compelling lays out the case that the critics of green jobs have been pushing questionable research. Nonetheless proponents of green jobs still need to demonstrate the potential of green jobs and promotion of energy efficiency compared to other job programs and alternative policies generally. Lots of policies create jobs. Are green job programs an especially effective way to create jobs?
The clearly beneficial economic aspect of a green jobs approach is that these jobs that can’t be outsourced. Unions have clearly gotten behind green jobs for that reason. Where you’ll see problems:
1) Regional differences will create disparate green job opportunities and;
2) Raised expectations will be hard to meet.
Green projects, like the stimulus, are going to be placed according political and policy considerations. Both of these things could cause regional imbalances.
Most troubling is the problem of expectations. Green jobs are the centerpiece of many advocacy campaigns, but it’s hard to believe we’re going to see anything resembling FDR-like spending to achieve a green economy. ACES would start a slow transition of the American economy to a more sustainable footing, but we shouldn’t be expect to be a green new deal for American workers.