I’ve been reading Van Jones’ latest book, Green Collar Economy. I checked it out from local public library. I figured that was in keeping with the essence of the book and philosophy behind the book. It also prevents Mr. Jones from seeing a single dime of my money…for the moment anyway.
Mr. Jones believes strongly that the path to building a Green Economy must begin with the impoverished areas of our country. Building in these low income, high unemployment areas serves two purposes. First, it will bring jobs to the area as homes are retrofitted toward more energy efficiency while also empowering the local communities to get involved with the program. Not a bad idea really but, as you will see as this series continues, all the pay for these jobs will come from the Government and probably the Federal Government. The second purpose is to educate and train these folks who are usually under educated due to the lack of adequate schools in neighborhoods such as these. Again, a noble cause but who will bare the brunt of the cost of this education? Mr. Jones would argue the corporations who’s technology will be used in the retrofitting of the homes and businesses to make them Green. I suspect that is true and the expense incurred will be forwarded on to those home and business owners who later buy the goods and services provided by these same corporations. Nothing like this occurs in a vacuum Mr. Jones.
Beginning on pg 146, Mr. Jones outlines the role of Government in his plan. He says:
Government can accelerate equitable green growth in three ways. They can regulate conduct — seting the rules of the game, laying down the law, establishing standards, and telling members of society what they must and must not do. They can invest money– from direct spending , to offering inventives, to underwriting risk. And they can convene leaders– spurring the formation of new collaborative institutions that sole problems by bringing together public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders.
All levels of government– federal, state, and local– will be needed to remove the barriers to green growth. And if you doubt the U.S. Government can use its power to help solve big problems, I offer some reminders from the nation’s history.
Mr. Jones continues on with a discussion of the CCC and how it helped so many during the Great Depression. This topic is a whole other post that I might get into later but let me sum it all up with this; Mr. Jones, hiring a federal employees has changed a bit from the 1930s till now.
Now, let’s take a look a the brief outline Mr. Jones offers us in his book. He lists three roles for Government.
This sounds suspiciously like the monstrous healthcare reform bill we have been debating nationally over this summer. Regulating the wages of physicians. Investing “any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as necessary to cover 90 days worth of claims reserves based on projected enrollment.”. Convening the Health Choices Administration, an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government.
Mr. Jones intends to regulate the energy, construction, transportation, and who knows what else through the use of executive orders and legislation. This regulation will take the form of penalties against anyone who dares to refuse to comply, much like H.R. 3200 proposes.
Mr. Jones intends for the Government to “invest” in this project. In normal language that means use our Federal tax dollars to fund an unproven plan much like the healthcare reform debacle. Oh wait, that kind of idea has already been tried…and failed…repeatedly.
Perhaps the only feasible solution in his plan is convening leaders in the various industries to form new collaborative efforts. THAT is the way to drive corporations toward greener solutions. Invite them to come together, offer them tax incentives to create low cost solutions for the general public. Mr. Jones and I would agree with the fact that for any Green solution to find widespread use is for said solution to not dramatically impact our already thin wallets.