Friday, May 29, 2009

The green economy II

Others have been down this road before:
Spain, which instituted a green jobs program a decade ago, found this out the hard way. A study by researchers at King Juan Carlos University found that 2.2 jobs were destroyed for every green job created through government mechanisms, and those green jobs are rarely permanent. Obama has touted the Spanish experience as a model for the United States, but the study's authors deem those policies "terribly economically counterproductive." Simply put, they wrote, "the Spanish/EU-style ‘green jobs' agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs."
We should heed such lessons.

Update: Meanwhile The New York Times takes a look at Spain's high-speed rail, currently being examined by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood as a possible model here:
“High-speed rail is good for society and it’s good for the environment, but it’s not a profitable business,” said Mr. BarrĂ³n of the International Railways Association. He reckons that only two routes in the world — between Tokyo and Osaka, and between Paris and Lyon, France — had broken even.
I'm not sure another money-losing government enterprise is what we need right now.

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