I’m no economist but Nancy Folbre’s post on the Economix blog from the NY Times sure makes a lot of sense to me. Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and offers a compelling argument for growing green jobs.
She questions why a major public program hasn’t gotten any traction in Congress or the White House. So what’s the problem? Despite the fact that according to a recent Pew Foundation report that green jobs grew at a much faster rate (nearly two and a half times faster) than overall jobs and an increase of green jobs in the United States and in other countries, “more green job-creation proposals have gotten stuck in the mud,” Folbre writes. Her colleague at the University of Massachusetts, Robert Pollin, offered some insights, with a suggestion of a public-private program platform and a commitment from the Obama administration to create 18 million new jobs over the remaining three years of the presidential term among several other points. But is this realistic? And more importantly is this affordable?
Well Folbre quickly answers that later in her post stating:
“But Professor Pollin makes a persuasive case for affordability. His plan would mobilize private as well as public capital by expanding federal loan guarantees to encourage banks to invest in energy-saving projects.
The potential benefits are huge: the direct and indirect effects of his proposed initiative could add up to 18 million jobs over the next three years.
Even if national political will is lacking, a strong state or regional pilot project should be undertaken — a serious experiment in public job creation.”
Read Pollin’s full argument for reaching the goal of 18 million jobs by 2012 here.
I’m not quite sure about the economics but one thing I do know is that more jobs are definitely needed to truly help our nation recover. Working to enable green jobs, jobs that will help sustain not only our economy but our planet as well would be icing on the cake.