Monday, November 9, 2009

New Dealing?

"The tension between job creation and careful oversight is most evident in the low-income weatherization program."

Alec MacGillis, "Painting a street sign green hasn't stimulated one new job," The Washington Post, November 7, 2009

This isn't the big issue. Sure, careful oversight is needed for these programs that are tripling and more on the ground. Every step of the way is fraught with the usual government (and private sector) opportunities for waste, fraud, self-dealing,etc. Careful oversight no doubt slows down the process. The problem is thatour expanded weatherization efforts are not creating many new jobs.

The question has always been whether ARRA stimulus resources could be used to "ramp up" weatherization and other energy efficiency efforts. This will require having the right policy, financing and workforce levers in place. Not many places are doing this yet -- but a new round of DOE funding opportunities may help show the way.

Targeted job creation for the unemployed will simply require more investment.

"We know that more stimulus spending and government programs are a fraught topic. But they are exactly what the country needs. It may be the only way to prevent a renewed downturn. And the only way tpo prevent a renewed downturn."

New York Times Editorial, "Jobless Recovery," The New York Times, November 8, 2009.

No comments: