The promise of green jobs has proven to be political hyperbole and alternative energy is proving unreliable and costly to consumers. So why does the political class remain so doggedly determined to foist these failed policies on the American public? The simple answer is political power. Politicians of both the right and left have been guilty of supporting bad public policy in order to stay in power.
An unholy alliance of support for green jobs and alternative energy is the result of the desire for politicians to reward their supporters. Those on the left are eager to appease environmental groups, one of their key constituencies, by pushing green policies that are favored by those special interest groups. In order to secure enough votes, politicians from the center and the right are enticed to support green energy mandates and subsidies by the promise of handing out favors to utilities and various businesses through crony capitalism.
The loser is the American taxpayer who has to pay the tab with higher energy bills, more government debt and lost jobs. The recent bankruptcy of Solyndra serves as a stark reminder that government handouts can go wrong. Unfortunately, Solyndra is not an isolated case as the problem of picking winners and losers is rampant among state officials as well.
Many in the political class have been mystified by the rise of the tea party movement. The prominence of the tea party movement in American politics is not so surprising when one considers that the public is tired of business as usual in the halls of government. No matter how powerful the political class believes itself to be, the American public recognizes that they still run the country. Politicians who continue to support special interest groups at the expense of sound public policy will over time find themselves out of a job. It is a serious mistake to underestimate the common sense and wisdom of the American voter.