Here's how to make an economic bubble: Throw in generous amounts of government money, add legislative mandates and stir with supportive media attention. Sound familiar? First we had the dot com bubble, then the housing bubble. Now we are headed for a green jobs bubble.
It seems we have learned little from the experience with economic bubbles during the last decade. The latest effort to inflate the green jobs bubble comes from a study recently released by the Center for Climate Strategies that claims Michigan will post gains of 129,000 jobs and increase the state's gross product by $25 billion all while lowering our energy costs.
All we have to do to achieve these magical results is embrace green energy to fight global warming. I have a one-word response: ethanol. We have been there and done that. How did that work out for us?
We have only to look to Europe to see how the promise of green jobs has been a drag on the economy. Spain, for example, is a country held up by President Barack Obama and other green energy advocates as the shining example of the promise of a green economy. Spain, however, is an economic basket case reeling from an unemployment rate of approximately 19 percent (approaching 50 percent for young people) and a national deficit that exceeds European Union standards.
Increased economic prosperity comes from increased productivity. Green energy drives up energy costs, which results in decreased productivity. The net result is more jobs lost than gained. When the government money runs out, which it eventually will, the green bubble will quickly deflate. Here we go again.