California Dreamin’: Chasing The Mythical Green Jobs Beast

California struggles these days. In some segments of their workforce, like agriculture, they’ve had nearly 40% unemployment. Part of the problem California faces is pie-in-the-sky environmental and tax burdens while simultaneously hoping businesses will stay in the hostile climate. Businesses are leaving. Why? Global Warming laws like AB 32 are making it hard to do business.

The answer to all problems environmental and economic according to Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama? Mythical green jobs.

Democrats say the words “green jobs” as though by some fiat, making products people don’t want and can’t afford will create more jobs. If these sounds illogical, it’s because it is. If people don’t buy what a business is sellin’, green jobs soon become out-of-green-jobs and all the money and effort put into infrastructure is lost. Tax dollars are once again thrown away on something useless.

In addition, with money dumped into a green job, the incentive lies in a solution that’s unsustainable. More jobs are actually lost–to places like Texas where people move to get jobs that are market-driven, needed, and therefore, more sustainable.

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Democrats could learn how useless the green job initiative is by looking across the pond at governments who have already lassoed the mythical green jobs beast. From the Yes On 23 website:

Said Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturing and Technology Association (CMTA): “A recent report commissioned by CMTA concluded that the very policies touted as necessary to grow green jobs will actually hurt … green jobs through higher energy costs and other regulatory burdens.”

Stewart cited experiences with green jobs programs in Denmark, Germany and Spain which concluded green jobs subsidies ranged from $150,000 to $250,000 per job and, in the case of Spain, that each green megawatt of renewable energy cost an average of 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy.

Proponents of the California Jobs Initiative also referred to reports by the state’s Legislative Analyst that AB 32 implementation will cause near-term job losses and “leakage” of businesses, jobs, revenues and productivity to other states not encumbered by AB 32-like regulations, and a report by the Congressional Budget Office that climate change policies are likely to destroy jobs and lead to lower wages for jobs that remain.

There is also concern over how AB 32 will impact jobs in minority and low income communities. Julian Canete, executive director of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, referred to a report by the UC Berkeley Labor Research Center that cautioned that AB 32 would impact over 3 million good paying, largely union and blue collar jobs disproportionately filled by Latinos and workers with lower education levels.

A pure market-driven approach would make an initiative like AB 32 irrelevant. People seeking “green” solutions, would buy them and businesses would build them, because they could make money doing it. But the fact is that most green solutions are expensive luxuries and result in people being out of work.

Ironically, this whole green initiative subsidizes the upper-middle class while harming those who need jobs most. Typical leftist unintended consequences. But all these “solutions” sound good if you’ve only ever spent time in a classroom.

California often leads the country with cutting edge legislation that lacks foresight and creates problems. The Green Jobs initiative is just one more way the state will harm those who need help and create more jobs misery.

Advice to Californians? Move out. Oh wait, you already did.

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