Boston Herald cites BHI study on Green Jobs

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Last Sunday, the Boston Herald cited BHI’s critical analysis of three studies extolling the creation of green jobs. The problem with green job creation is that it’s mostly a myth and comes with a hefty price tag. And green jobs aren’t going to help us out of the current economic crisis.

Supporters of a green job-driven economy overlook the fact that jobs are a cost  — not a benefit — in the economic process.

The Beacon Hill Institute examined reports from the Worldwatch Institute done with support from several international agencies, from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for the Center for American Progress and from Global Insight, a consulting firm, for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

All count jobs as benefits – as the Beacon Hill Institute puts it, they are “mistakenly arguing that a cost is actually a benefit.” None calculates jobs destroyed or not created.

For example, Worldwatch argues for “nonmotorized transport,” such as the pedicabs used in Uganda and Kenya to transport large numbers of people. Pedicabs – amusing as they may be for a ride to Fenway – would just impoverish America.

The Center for American Progress claims new credit and investment in construction could “rapidly provide job opportunities that are badly needed.”

How odd. For recovery, capital and labor need to flow out of construction.

“The work that the job entails is a cost we must endure in order to receive the benefit the work provides,” the Institute wrote. This lesson needs to be more widely learned.

About Beacon Hill Institute

The Beacon Hill Institute engages in rigorous economic research and conducts educational programs for the purpose of producing and disseminating readable analyses of current public policy issues to voters, taxpayers, opinion leaders and policy makers.