At a time when Spain is in the news because it lingers on the edge of a full-blown economic meltdown, it’s instructive to remember that this is the country that’s supposed to be the model for the green jobs revolution that President Obama continually claims will help revitalize the American economy. Over at The Blaze, the American Enterprise Institute’s Kenneth Green looks at the factual case and finds it far from compelling:
Now, to the empirical evidence. When talking about our bold green energy future, President Obama held up Spain as an example of what America should be doing. Spain invested heavily in wind power and other types of renewable energy. Alas, after studying the Spanish Experience, Professor Gabriel Calzada Álvarez and colleagues at Spain’s Universidad Rey Juan Carlos found if America followed Spain’s example, for every renewable energy job that the U.S. managed to create, the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 traditional jobs on average. And they found that green jobs are costly: each green job created in Spain’s effort cost about $750,000, and only one in 10 of the new green jobs were permanent. Doing the math on that, creating even 3 million new green jobs would cost $2.25 trillion. Even in a time where the trillion is the new billion, that’s a lot of money.
Indeed it is. But the money isn’t the real issue. Any “jobs plan” that entails a net loss in jobs shouldn’t be taken seriously by anybody, let alone the President of the United States. If green jobs really are the future of the economy, then sufficient market demand will arise to compel their creation. If, as is far more likely, they are simply a progressive fantasy financed at taxpayer expense, they deserve to have their grip on the public purse shaken as abruptly as possible.