Policy Analyst Says Green Jobs Not a Short-Term Answer

Published on Jul 28, 2009

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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Samuel Sherraden, a policy analyst for the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, has written a thought-provoking commentary for CNN.com in which he asserts the green sector is simply too small — and too dependent on government subsidies — to make a meaningful short-term impact on the US economy.

And because the green sector is heavily dependent on subsidies, its growth potential is self-limiting. As more money is invested, the government goes into more debt. In other words, in the short term, the green sector can grow only as much as you subsidize it.

Furthermore, a focus on green investment may even neglect or underfund other areas of the economy that have greater potential to grow the economy. Money spent on infrastructure, more aid to state governments and boosting exports by cutting corporate taxes would do more to help our economy recover than pouring money into a relatively small number of green jobs.

Click here for the opinion piece. You can also go here for EMSI’s five-part green jobs white paper series.