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

Maybe Schumer & Gillibrand should have read the bill...

...before they voted for it so they could find out what was in it. Via Weasel Zippers:

Sixteen Democratic senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act are asking that one of its fundraising mechanisms, a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect January 1, be delayed.  Echoing arguments made by Republicans against Obamacare, the Democratic senators say the levy will cost jobs — in a statement Monday, Sen. Al Franken called it a “job-killing tax” — and also impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.
The senators, who made the request in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are Franken, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Patty Murray, John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Joseph Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Robert Casey, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski, Kay Hagan, Herb Kohl, Jeanne Shaheen, and Richard Blumenthal.  All voted for Obamacare...
Yes, there are several businesses in NYS that are impacted by this, including Welch Allyn in Skaneateles:
...In September, the company announced that it would cut 10 percent of its global workforce, including 45 jobs from its Skaneateles Falls headquarters. Welch Allyn employs about 2,700 workers worldwide...
Our morally and intellectually superior two-headed monster, Chuck and Kirsten, should have known that voting on Marxist ideological grounds for bills that you haven't actually read has consequences.

House of cards

In the NYT:

A group closely allied with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo received $2 million from gambling interests last December as he developed a proposal to expand casino gambling in New York.
Mr. Cuomo’s support for expanded gambling, which he made a centerpiece of his State of the State address in January, had a profound impact. Within weeks, the Legislature endorsed a constitutional amendment that, if approved once more by lawmakers and then by voters, would allow for seven full-scale, privately owned casinos, potentially worth billions of dollars.
Genting, a subsidiary of Southeast Asia’s largest gambling company, made an additional contribution of approximately $400,000 to the group allied with Mr. Cuomo during 2011. The New York Gaming Association, a trade group founded by Genting and other companies that operate racetracks and electronic slot machines, chipped in the $2 million.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, strongly disputed any suggestion that he was influenced by money from the gambling industry...
And, as we all know,
But wait—there's more:
“To try to suggest an improper relationship between the governor and gaming interests is to distort the facts in a malicious or reckless manner,” Richard Bamberger, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said in an e-mail...
That's us—malicious and reckless all over.
The contributions went to the Committee to Save New York, a business and labor coalition that raised $17 million and spent nearly $12 million in 2011, much of it on campaign-style television and radio advertisements praising Mr. Cuomo and supporting his proposals to cap property taxes and slash state spending.
Founded by real estate developers and business executives at Mr. Cuomo’s urging shortly after he was elected governor, the committee has rapidly become the biggest spender on lobbying in Albany, providing not only critical backing for Mr. Cuomo but also a counterweight to the labor unions whose money and political muscle have traditionally dominated the Capitol.
What supposedly hugely influential lobbying group isn't even mentioned here?  There'll be a quiz at the end.
...An official with the association said that it had contributed $1.5 million to the Committee to Save New York on Dec. 1 and $500,000 on Dec. 6. Around the same time, Mr. Cuomo unambiguously took the gambling industry’s side, writing a newspaper op-ed article on Dec. 4 saying that he favored expanded casino gambling in New York. Within days, the Committee to Save New York also adopted the issue, adding legalized gambling to its list of priorities for the 2011 legislative session.
In his State of the State speech in January, Mr. Cuomo raised the stakes further, calling for the constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling and proposing to transform Genting’s planned resort near Aqueduct into a destination casino resort that would include the nation’s largest convention center.
“This is not about chips and cards,” he said in the speech. “This is about the jobs that the casino industry generates.”...
Hmmmm...  Definitely read the whole article.
The column is clearly intended to be an exposé of the cozy relationship between Cuomo and the gambling industry—with the emphasis on how labor unions, presumably including public employee unions, are really not all that influential any more in state politics.
But in their efforts to make those points, the authors left out a couple of other crucial pieces of information.
Gambling tends to come with its own ABCs: addiction, bankruptcy, crime, and suicide.  Doubt that last one?
In a 1995 report from the Maryland Attorney General entitled, “The House Never Loses and Maryland Cannot Win: Why Casino Gaming Is a Bad Idea,” it was reported that in Gulfport, Mississippi, suicides skyrocketed 213 percent in the first two years after the casino opened there, and in Biloxi, they jumped a staggering 1,000 percent in the first four years after the casino opened.
Casino gambling in NYS...what could possibly go wrong?
Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and somehow expecting a different result?
And now we come to the other missing piece of information and the promised pop quiz...isn't there some other lobbying group in NYS besides the Committee to Save New York and the labor unions that supposedly has a huge influence on policy-making in Albany but that went unmentioned in the NYT piece?
Wait, it's on the tip of my tongue...oh, yeah—the natural gas industry!
You know—the one that former PA Governor Ed Rendell just wrote would "foster an economic, environmental, and security revitalization for our country and our state." The one that could bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. The one that DEC Commissioner Joe Martens inanely said might be permitted in parts of NYS where there is "less resistance and less opposition and there is not a local land-use plan in place..." 
Who needs to tap the resource we need and use and that's right under our feet? And who would want to encourage manufacturing jobs when we could be...blackjack dealers?
It's a house of cards.
h/t Jim

Barbara Lifton didn't get the memo

Barbara Lifton doesn't think this happens. We've blogged about it here, here, and in any number of other posts. These people just don't get it.

At Bookworm Room, via New Zeal:

...The National Labor Relations Board has held that Boeing cannot build a plant in South Carolina:

In a stunning move well beyond the scope of their legal mandate, the Obama Administration appointee controlled National Labor Relations Board is suing Boeing Corporation for, get this, building a second production line for their new Dreamliner passenger plane in South Carolina rather than in Washington state.


South Carolina is a right to work state whose voters this past November overwhelmingly amended their state’s constitution to ensure that a worker has the right to vote on whether they want to be represented by a labor union. The workers at the Boeing plant in South Carolina have also taken the bold step of booting out the union that represented them, effectively ending the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers stranglehold on Boeing production.

Now, Obama’s NLRB is attacking Boeing’s job creation in South Carolina as “union retaliation” directly related to a 2008 labor strike which crippled Boeing’s production in Washington state.

Now that those state governments that are in thrall to unions and labor have made it virtually impossible to do business in State A, the federal government is upping the ante by making it illegal for a business to move to State B.  I’ll reiterate here what I often say:  The Left may call them corporate fat cats or “rich people,” but I call them employers.  When you make it impossible for them to do business, they’re going to leave.  And if you make it impossible to leave, they’re going to die on the vine, leaving both State A and State B without jobs.

Read the whole thing.

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