Several outlets have now picked up on Spanish economic professor Dr. Gabriel Calzada’s study of the economic impact of Spain’s “green jobs” scheme, touted by President Obama as a model for the U.S. to follow.
Yesterday, Fox News Channel (America’s Newsroom, Special Report), Fox Business, and Michelle Malkin joined The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, various EU outlets, and Planet Gore in noting this analysis — which shows that Spain’s artificially created, propped up, and now bubble-bursting and job-hemorrhaging renewables industry killed more than twice as many jobs elsewhere in the economy (jobs that didn’t require full-time state support, by the way) than were created by all the “investment” in renewables.
So the White House was asked about it and, in response, spokesman Robert Gibbs provided more fodder to certain radio hosts who have found much joy in his insight:
Q: Back on the President’s speech today, a Spanish professor, Gabriel [Calzada] Álvarez, says after conducting a study, that in his country, creating green jobs has actually cost more jobs than it has led to: 2.2 jobs lost, he says, for every job created. And he has issued a report that specifically warns the President not to try and follow Spain’s example.
MR. GIBBS: It seems weird that we’re importing wind turbine parts from Spain in order to build — to meet renewable energy demand here if that were even remotely the case.
Q Is that a suggestion that his study is simply flat wrong?
MR. GIBBS: I haven’t read the study, but I think, yes.
Q Well, then. (Laughter.)
That of course is equal parts non sequitur and nonsense, as the rather piquant response from the study’s authors demonstrates:
If in order to sell turbine parts to another country you have to create a bubble in a whole sector and apply massive subsidizes that amount to $771,000 per green job, you might wonder whether selling those turbine parts is a good idea at all, since those resources could have been used to create other more valuable goods that would better satisfy consumer wants as well as create twice as many jobs in the rest of the economy (in the sector from where those resources have been taken away).
The White House spokesman should read academic studies before ruling out their conclusions with no knowledge of them. This is especially true when his government is considering spending billions of taxpayer dollars on uncertain experiments supported by subsidies that in Spain — after more than 10 years following this path — have produced highly disappointing results, even from a gross job-creation perspective.
Or (Calzada accepts this translation): What “seems weird” is that the U.S. would need subsidies and mandates to artificially create demand for renewables if the study were “flat wrong.”
Given that knowledge tends to trump ignorance, I suggest that this one goes to the Europeans. The issue now is whether the White House can continue to profess a lack of curiosity about the costs that their utopianism will inflicts on our economy.