Southern Tier

It ain't easy bein' green

Or creating "green" jobs least not if you're the gubmint..

Steve Maley at Red State notes that "In the first four years of the Obama Administration, the Department of Labor spent $595 million training workers for the New Green Economy that President Obama promised," and then goes on to quote from an article in—of all places—the WaPo:

Four years later, it’s still not clear what all the cash for green jobs achieved–and a Government Accountability Office report issued last week illustrates the difficulty of trying to foster an emerging industry by pumping money into it.

Ah. Read the rest, especially the part about the definition of "green" jobs. You will snort.

Closer to home, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC), that body of appointed experts from academia, government, and some token businesses, who is going to pump taxpayer dollars into who knows what in the name of revitalizing the economy of the Southern Tier, has as its first strategy:

STRATEGY 1. The Southern Tier…New York’s leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology
Action Item. Southern Tier Renewable Energy and Efficiency Initiative: Residential and Small Scale Commercial Retrofit
Action Item. Southern Tier Renewable Energy and Efficiency Initiative: Large Scale Institutional and Commercial Projects
Action Item. Energy Development Alliance for New York—EDANY Action Item. Energy Workforce Development Initiative
Perhaps the council members need to read the WaPo article as well as the latest unemployment figures for the Southern Tier:
...Schuyler County saw its unemployment rate drop to 7 percent, down from 7.2 percent reported in May. In June 2012, Schuyler County’s jobless rate was 8 percent. With all other job sectors remaining flat, Schuyler saw gains in its leisure/hospitality sector.
In Chemung County, the natural resources/mining/construction, retail trade and leisure/hospitality sectors all saw gains during the month. Job losses were reported in manufacturing (200 jobs) and education and health services (200 jobs). Overall, Chemung County’s jobless rate in June was 8.1 percent, versus 8.2 percent reported in May and 8.8 percent recorded for June 2012.
The Elmira region was the only upstate metropolitan area that lost private-sector jobs in June. Elmira had a net loss of 200 private sector jobs from June 2012 to last month...
...Steuben County’s unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, compared with May’s 8.8 percent figure and the 9.6 percent rate for June 2012...
Unemployment rates that high may be the new normal as far as the government is concerned, but no one else regards it as normal—or acceptable.
But wait! Isn't there really good employment news from another county that's included in the STREDC? In the Ithaca Journal:
Tompkins jobless rate below 6% 
Tied with Saratoga for state’s lowest, but work force also declines
Tompkins County’s un­employment rate in June was 5.7 percent, down from 7 percent a year ear­lier and tied with Sarato­ga County for the state’s lowest, the New York De­partment of Labor report­ed Tuesday...
...Tompkins County’s civilian labor force stood at 54,200 in June, down 700 people from a year earlier. The number of unemployed declined by 800, or 20 percent, while the number of people em­ployed grew by 100. By sector, gains were in natu­ral resources, mining and construction; manufac­turing, leisure and hospi­tality; and other services. Losses were in financial activities, education and health, and local government....
So Tompkins, home to Cornell University which employs roughly 9,500 people, is looking really good with an unemployment rate of under 6%.
The view from here at Redneck Mansion is that apparently everything is relative.
Now the kissin' cousin to the REDCs is Cleaner Greener NY, another Cuomoism that surfaced when our fearless leader (over there to your left) was running for governor the first time:
As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will expand the NY Green Jobs Corps to maximize green job training and the creation of green jobs. The program will:
(1) Look for additional federal and private funding sources to bolster the dollars available under the Green Jobs/Green New York Act;
(2) Strengthen the partnership with our public and private universities to provide green expanded jobs training; and,
(3) Organize and centralize the existing programs to better maximize green training and job opportunities.
According to a report from the Apollo Alliance; Green Jobs or Green-Collar Jobs are, “good paying, career track jobs that contribute significantly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. Like blue-collar jobs, green collar jobs range from low skill, entry level positions to high skill, higher paid jobs. New York currently has a Green Energy Workforce Training infrastructure supported largely by initiatives funded through NYSERDA...
How interesting.  And just who is the Apollo Alliance?
...AA describes itself as “a coalition of labor, business, environmental, and community leaders working to catalyze a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans to work in a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs.” “Inspired by the Apollo space program,” adds AA, “we promote investments in energy efficiency, clean power, mass transit, next-generation vehicles, and emerging technology, as well as in education and training. Working together, we will reduce carbon emissions and oil imports, spur domestic job growth, and position America to thrive in the 21st century economy.”
Van Jones describes Apollo Alliance’s mission as “sort of a grand unified field theory for progressive left causes.”
What could possibly go wrong with anything the Apollo Alliance considers a good idea?
And the green jobs initiatives are funded through NYSERDA, which is evidently an exotic species of backyard money tree.  No, actually
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a public benefit corporation created in 1975 under Article 8, Title 9 [PDF] and Title 9A [PDF] of the State Public Authorities Law through the reconstitution of the New York State Atomic and Space Development Authority. NYSERDA’s earliest efforts focused solely on research and development with the goal of reducing the State’s petroleum consumption. Today, NYSERDA’s aim is to help New York meet its energy goals: reducing energy consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, and protecting the environment.
...Currently, NYSERDA is primarily funded by state rate payers...
In other words, all of us—or at least those of us who actually, you know, flip a light on from time to time.
So a charge—a tax—on our utility bills funds NYSERDA. Then money from NYSERDA as well as money appropriated by the legislature—taxpayer dollars—gets doled out by an appointed council to the "winners" of regional competitions (where there's a heavy emphasis on greenness) or given to green workforce training initiatives, a favorite of progressive left causes.
Then there's the governor's most recent nonsense, Tax-Free NY Start-Up NY (it was re-christened when it must have become apparent even to the governor that it was laughably misnamed):
START-UP NY will foster entrepreneurialism and job creation on a large scale by transforming public higher education through tax-free communities across the state, particularly upstate...
But Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R-Melrose) has a different take:
Apparently Cuomo's plan is to have tax-paying businesses that are expanding despite his policies and laws move out of state and have new businesses locate on college campuses and have them, along with their employees, pay zero taxes for 10 years. Progressive Nirvana.
Q: If "tax-free communities" are so great, why not make the entire state tax-free, for everybody? Businesses would be tripping over themselves to locate here.
A: Because then there would be a lot fewer goodies for "experts" and other morally and intellectually superior types to give to their favorites.
There's no difference between the supposedly evil Wall Streeters, insurance companies, etc., so reviled by progressives complaining of crony capitalism, and the beneficiaries of the largesse of unelected regional economic development councils or of Albany folk picking winners and losers. You'll never hear progressives complain about that brand of cronyism, however.
The way to attract private business and the concommitant jobs to NYS, thereby lifting everybody's boats, is to lower taxes, do away with unnecessary regulation, make it easier for employers to hire non-unionized employees, and not play favorites.
The proof is in the counties' unemployment stats: government never actually creates anything, much less jobs—green or otherwise.
Cross-posted at It's All Downhill From Here
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