Seattle is one of the most environmentally conscious cities in th U.S., and as such, it would be unfathomable to think that a $20 million federal stimulus grant to “weatherise homes” in the area could possibly have been a fantastic failure. Sadly, it is true, according to Dan Springer’s article in FOXNews.com yesterday.
In just 16 months only 14 [green] jobs were created–mostly administrative–versus the vocational or technical-trade jobs as had been hoped. To add insult to injury, only 3 homes were actually “weatherized” under the program.
Todd Myers, perhaps captured a primary reason why it failed, in his book “Eco Fads”, wherein he observed [that] “the jobs are not there … so we’re training people for jobs that don’t exist.”
No jobs, because there is no company, because there is no consumer demand to support the investment–Economics and Business 101.
And, in a twist where there was some level of demand for a product, some of the green manufacturing jobs that did exist, such as the 800 at the Evergreen Solar [PV panel manufacturing plant in Massachusetts] are being “moved” to China–company officials claimed it was the “incentives” provided by the Chinese to move their shop. However, they did receive $43 million in incentives from Massachusetts, before they filed for bankruptcy protection last year–which is a truly good sign of “lack of demand”.
The Seattle grant came through a Department of Energy program named “Better Buildings Neighborhood Program”, which allocated $508 million to 41 U.S. cities. However, the numbers are in and it resulted in just 600 jobs being created–or retained, at a whopping $846,667 per job!
Who is in charge of the Energy Department?
Steven Chu, according to his biography, is a Democrat whose profession is listed as “Experimental Physicist”. He was appointed to head up the U.S. Deptment of Energy, by the newly elected President Barak Obama in February 2009.
He was “well known for his “research” at Bell Labs, for trapping and cooling atoms with a laser.
At the time of his appointment, he was a professor of physics, molecular biology and cellular biology at University of California-Berkley, and director of the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, where is research was focused on “the study of biological systems at the single molecule level.”
Chu comes from an extensive family of very accomplished scholars.
A review of his work experience indicates an exclusive background of scientific research and teaching, with no apparent experience in the private sector.
And, he is a “vocal advocate for more research into alternative energy and nuclear power, arguing a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change.”
But, most interestingly it says that … “He has conceived of a ‘gloucose economy’, a form of a ‘low-carbon economy’, in which gloucose (a biological sugar) from tropical plants is shipped around like oil is today.”
No wonder the United States has no energy plan, or at least one that is based on the current fossil fuel energy profile of the world economy?
Unfortunately for Americans, this type of “out of sync” focus has translated directly into the continued stagnation of our national economy.
An an earlier article we reported on a congressional hearing wherein an oil company executive answered a question about the relationship between more domestic oil production, stating that without a substantial increase in U.S. domestic oil production (which would create hundreds of thousands of very high paying jobs–with benefits–all over America), expect oil and gasoline prices to continue to rise, to well over $5 to $7 per gallon, or more.
We are all suffering from historically high gasoline prices now, which is literally strangling consumer spending that is VITAL to “jump-starting” our economy–when Barak Obama was elected President, gasoline was $1.79 per gallon, and since his inauguration the price has trended up quickly to a current average of $3.79 per gallon.
So now, instead of it taking $32 to fill up an average 18 gallon fuel tank, it requires $36 more for a total of $68. Multiply that extra $36 by once per week and just the increase in the price of gasoline has taken $151.20 per month out of consumer spending per family.
In light of the forgoing, Steven Chu was likely a terrible choice to head the Department of Energy–at least during this 50 year period in our economy, but he fit the Obama Administration criteria to a tee–all academia [they are trusted liberals], with no private sector business background.
To focus, the above reported on “Better Buildings…” plan, obviously had no consumer demand.
In business, before making such a substantial investment in a new product or service, marketing research is conducted by the company, on the target market population, to measure demand before implementing the program–if not enough to predict success, then the plan is scrapped.
This [business] “decision-tree process” was obviously not employed; either because Steven Chu has no business background, or worse, President Obama (who has none either), simply wanted to provide this national “green jobs” program as “intellectual fertilizer” for his voter base.
Which is apparently turning out to be another Obama “write-off” for the American taxpayer to absorb.