One of the defining features of the Obama administration so far is its almost pathological inability to make hard choices–or even to acknowledge that hard choices need to be made. A prime example is the administration’s insistence that making energy more expensive will somehow benefit our economy. This proposition is so foolish as to be almost self-refuting: in my view, anyone who doesn’t understand that you can’t create wealth by subsidizing the inefficient production of energy shouldn’t be voting.
In particular, Barack Obama has trumpeted the creation of “green jobs” as somehow offsetting the obvious damage that will be done by his cap-and-trade system and other measures that will make conventional energy sources more expensive. He has pointed specifically to Spain as a country whose experience with “green jobs” we should emulate. So an empirical study of Spain’s experience is timely. And, as it happens, one has just been done by Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Juan Carlos University in Madrid.
It is reported on here by the Institute for Energy Research. Some highlights:
* The U.S. can expect 2.2 jobs to be destroyed for every 1 renewable job financed by the government.
* Only 1 in 10 of the jobs actually created through green investment is permanent.
* Since 2000, Spain has spent â‚¬571,138 ($753,778) to create each “green job,” including subsidies of more than â‚¬1 million ($1,319,783) per wind industry job.
Those programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 113,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy.
* Each “green” megawatt installed destroyed 5.39 jobs in non-energy sectors of the Spanish economy.
* The total over-cost–the amount paid over the cost that would result from buying the electricity generated by the renewable power plants at market prices–between 2000 and 2008 amounts to 7,918.54 million Euros ($10 billion).
* The total subsidy spent and committed to these three renewable sources amounts to â‚¬28,671 million ($36 billion).
* Consumer energy costs in Spain would have to be increased 31 percent to repay the debt generated by the green jobs subsidies.
The general rule is, whenever anyone says the word “green,” grab your wallet and run for the hills.
So, what’s going on here? Is the Obama administration really too dumb to figure out that subsidizing “green jobs” is a losing proposition? I don’t think so. I think this is just one more aspect of the massive power grab that is coming out of Obama’s Washington. I think the Democrats want to assert their control over all sectors of the economy: they want to decide what companies will succeed and what companies will fail; how much employees of publicly traded companies will be paid; what jobs will exist and what jobs will become obsolete.
When we are all dependent on the federal government, the only way anyone can count on staying in business or having his job preserved will be by donating money to the Democratic Party–the ultimate protection racket, one of which the Mafia can only dream, and one which is already well underway. When it is complete, the Democrats’ majority status will be assured for the indefinite future. That is, I think, what the Dems have in mind, and it explains a great deal about Obamanomics.