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Why Are Republicans Killing Jobs and the Environment?

Coming out of the Great Recession, we need full employment, not patched up neoliberalism.


I just read a superb essay Back to Full Employment by University of Massachusetts economics Professor Robert Pollin.

Pollin also is author of 2009 Reports (I have yet to read): The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy  and “Green Prosperity” which explore the broader economic benefits of large-scale investments in building a clean-energy economy in the United States.

But for now, I want to highlight the above chart from Pollin’s full employment piece, and urge readers to read Pollin’s entire essay for the broader context, some basic economic theory, and the political economy we’re operating within.

The above chart illustrates that the most cost effective jobs producing investments are education and green energy.

I find it just astonishing – and totally unacceptable – that these are exactly the 2 things that the national Republican Party and our NJ Governor Christie are slashing and attacking.

It is even worse that these same Republicans (and many corporate, Wall Street finance, and/or austerity Democrats, including Obama) are promoting more subsidies to fossil fuels, which is the least effective in producing jobs and by far the most destructive to the environment.

Here’s an excerpt from Pollin’s essay:

Creating Jobs: Education and Clean Energy
What kind of full-employment policy could work in our globalized age?

At its foundation, such a policy would channel more public and private investment in the United States toward those industries that efficiently generate an abundance of good domestic jobs. Using data I developed with colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute (working directly from the industrial surveys and input-output tables of the U.S. Department of Commerce) we can ascertain the job-creating effects of spending in various sectors of the U.S. economy. Consider four possible areas of investment: education, the military, clean energy, and fossil-fuel energy. By a significant margin, education is the most effective source of job creation among these alternatives—roughly 29 jobs per $1 million in spending. Clean-energy investments are second, with about seventeen jobs per $1 million of spending. The U.S. military creates about twelve jobs, while spending within the fossil-fuel sector creates about five jobs per $1 million.

Governor Christie’s job killing Energy Master Plan proposal to rollback renewable energy goals,  promote environmentally destructive fossil fuels, and expand subsidies and corporate welfare will be the focal point for this debate in NJ.

Public hearings will be held on  July 26 at NJIT in Newark; August 3 at the Statehouse in Trenton, and August 11 at Stockton College in Pomona.

ENGO’s must get out of their offices and organizational silos, and organize massive protests.

They must work with labor, green energy companies, small businesses, contractors, and community based groups to take the fight to the Governor on this – or kiss renewable energy goodbye.

More to follow on this.

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