Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Green Sell?

"How do you tell an unemployed construction worker that it's time to start thinking about installing solar panels instead of aluminum siding?"

Lois Romano, "Selling Americans on a 'Green-Collar' Economy," The Washington Post, August 11, 2009.

That's easy! Just tell them where the jobs are. Given that unemployment in the construction industry is upwards of 20% or more, I don't think anyone is going to put up huge cultural or ideological objections. That is, if you can show them the jobs. Now it is probably true that some unemployed craft workers have a better fit for different segments of the green-collar economy, but that will sort itself out.

Later in the article we get yet another set of estimates about green job creation. "And although the administration has allocated as much as $80 billion through the stimulus to create more than 6 million green jobs, it is impossible at this point to quantify success." And then the lament that the feds don't know what green jobs are, technically speaking.

I suspect that part of the problem of quantifying success is that the money is not really being spent on the street.

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