If you want to understand why our centrally planned economy stinks, look no further than Seattle. There you will find a microcosm of all that went wrong
with Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus.
How many jobs could you create with $20 million? Could you do better than 14? That’s all that Seattle could manage
A year after the Obama administration showered $20 million on the city of Seattle that was designated for weatherizing homes in poor neighborhoods, the Emerald City has managed to create all of 14 jobs, most of them administrative, and has only retrofitted three homes.
I don’t know what’s worse – that Seattle could only create 14 jobs with $20 million, or that 14 workers could only get three houses weatherized in a year. And why does it take so many people to administer the retrofitting of only three homes?
Just for comparison, some years back, I upgraded the insulation in my own attic. It cost under two hundred bucks and took most of an afternoon. The only administrator was my wife who manages my honey-do list and wrote the check.
Did it occur to no one in Seattle to set up accounts at the local hardware store for people to acquire their own insulation? Give them instructions and let them take care of their own homes.
Getting real work done takes little time and few overseers. If you doubt that, hire a local contractor to do the work. He’ll be on the scene as soon as a space appears on his schedule and he won’t need any bureaucrats looking over his shoulder.
Of course Seattle’s difficulties could be the curse of Joe Biden who proclaimed the grant a “triple win!”
He boasted that it would create jobs, cut utility bills and reduce Seattle’s carbon footprint.
This is the same Joe Biden who boasted in 2009 that the stimulus was working far better than he could have imagined in his wildest dreams
. Just as a global warming speech by Al Gore precipitates severe winter weather (Google the “Gore Effect”), layoff notices follow Joe Biden proclamations of economic vitality.
But it’s not just Seattle’s fault. Nevada received $500,000 from Santa Obama to plant trees. And according to the federal government’s estimation, this created 1.72 job
s. I’ve never heard of a 0.72 FTE, but the feds have. And based upon experience, we can safely assume that even 1.72 jobs is a gross exaggeration. When last we checked, the Obama administration’s penchant for over-counting jobs “created or saved” even had the usually gullible former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric giggling with skepticism.
For that matter, the Obama administration even overestimated the number of congressional districts
in the nation by a factor of two. For future reference, the United States Constitution limits the number of congressional seats to 435, not the nearly 900 claimed by the Obama Administration in 2009.
It’s so bad that even the New York Times has begun to take notice
of Obama’s green jobs failures in an August 18th article.
Obama’s former “Green jobs czar” Van Jones blames it on the Congress’s reluctance to pass job destroying cap and trade legislation, which is about par for the leftist course. The EPA has been on the march lately shutting down one coal plant after another. The theory here is that people need electricity and if you destroy politically incorrect electrical power generation, then people will have no choice but to pay for politically correct electricity.
Sheeraz Haji, CEO of the Cleantech group echoes this theory: “Having a market mechanism that helps drive these new technologies would have made a significant difference,” he said. “Without that, the industry muddles along.”
So that’s how “markets” work in the world of the left. Eliminate all competition and force people to buy what you’re selling. Chevy Volt anyone?
Except that even forced green energy doesn’t work either. At the peak of the recent heat wave, the wind turbines in Texas were generating electricity at only 15% of capacity
. And that’s actually pretty good. During another Midwestern heat wave a couple of years ago, wind turbines were generating electricity at only 2% of capacity.
Oh, and by the way, those wind turbines were manufactured in China.
But it’s likely that Seattle’s experience is a lot worse than most. After all, where else could so many bureaucrats be required to administer the weatherizing of three homes?