Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The unsavory effects of government going green... (white board lesson)

Charles Lane's Washington Post exposé of the unsavory effects of "government" going green is something everyone should read. The message being, when the politician picks a winner, the taxpayer is forever the loser. Here are the highlights—bolding and parenthesizing done by me. If you want to cut to the quick, go straight to the white board:

Al Gore is about 50 times richer than he was when he left the vice presidency in 2001. According to an Oct. 11 report by The Post’s Carol D. Leonnig, Gore accumulated a Romneyesque $100 million partly through investing in alternative-energy firms subsidized by the Obama administration.

As the Democrats become more committed to, and defined by, a green agenda, and as they become dependent on money from high-tech venture capitalists and their lobbyists, it becomes harder to describe them as a party for the little guy — or liberalism as a philosophy of distributive justice.

("distributive justice" is A deciding what's just for B and C, distributing accordingly, and taking a huge cut in the process.)

Green energy is not cost-competitive with traditional energy and won’t be for years. So it can’t work without either taxpayer subsidies, much of which accrue to “entrepreneurs” such as Gore, or higher prices for fossil energy — the brunt of which is borne by people of modest means.

Democrats try to square this circle by talking up “green jobs,” but expensive electricity is bad for industry, as Germany is discovering. Fact is, subsidies for green energy do not so much create jobs as shift them around.

It’s one thing to lose your job because a competing firm built a superior mouse trap; it’s quite another, justice-wise, to lose it because a competitor talked the government into taking its side.

In the following presentation, along with illustrating how the whole green jobs argument fails inspection, I make a case for capitalism being the best thing happening on behalf of the environment. For more (great examples btw) on that go to cafehayek.com and type "cleaned by capitalism" in the search bar.

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