The Bankruptcy Of “Green Jobs” Investments

A central tenet of the liberal faith is the notion that government-subsidized “green jobs” are the key to economic prosperity and job creation.  The Obama Administration’s program to provide “$2.3 billion in tax credits for the clean energy manufacturing sector, a move aimed at creating 17,000 jobs” announced early last year is an example. 

So far, these programs have been proven to be an epic failure.  A study of Spain’s “green jobs” initiatives released last Spring found that an average of 2.2 jobs were lost for each green job created.  A recent announcement in Massachusetts underscores the danger of relying on artificial job creation through wealth redistribution by government subsidy:

Evergreen Solar Inc., which received $58 million in state aid to open a factory in 2008 at the former military base in Devens, announced today it would shut the plant and let go 800 workers by the end of this quarter.

The solar-panel plant is a cornerstone of Governor Deval Patrick’s efforts to make Massachusetts a hub for the emerging clean-energy industry.

But Evergreen has been struggling in face of weak prices and competition from cheaper operations in China, where the government has offered solar companies generous subsidies to locate there. Evergreen itself has a partnership with a company based in China and previously announced plans to shift some work to the overseas location.

Let’s do some math.  Evergreen received over $58 million in incentives, and currently has 800 employees in Massachusetts.  The plant apparently opened in 2008, and will close three months into 2011.  Assuming the plant employed all 800 workers for the entire 3.25 year period (1/1/2008 — 3/31/2011), both of which are highly unlikely, the state spent $22,310 per job, per year.  That is a terrible investment.

We would all be far better off if the government would just not try to pick winners and losers in the marketplace through subsidies.  If solar energy is a good investment, good investors will put their own money into it. 

Via Michelle Malkin.

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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