Sunday, September 12, 2010

Obama Touts Inefficient Program to Defend Stimulus: $1.4m per Green Job Created

Lithium Ion Car Battery: Dashboard News
Activist Post

Surely everyone would love to see cleaner energy programs in the U.S., especially given the environmental catastrophe looming in the Gulf.  And certainly, the American economy desperately needs jobs.  But leave it to our broken government to spend the stimulus money as inefficiently as the TARP funds which did very little to create jobs.  In a recent Associated Press release the Obama administration defended criticism of the stimulus "economic recovery program" by touting the jobs created under the $2.4 billion "advanced battery" program:

Battery maker A123 Systems Inc. planned to open a new lithium ion battery plant Monday in Livonia, Mich. About 300 workers, many formerly laid-off auto workers, were to join Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Michigan lawmakers to promote their production of battery cells and components. The Watertown, Mass.-based company received $249 million under the stimulus program and plans to open a second facility next year in Romulus, Mich.
Automotive supplier Johnson Controls Inc. last week started shipping batteries that were made at a Holland, Mich., facility built with the help of $299 million in federal grants. The factory expects to employ 90 workers by late next year and could produce 75,000 to 150,000 batteries a year, depending on the mix of hybrid and electric vehicles it supplies.
So according to this release, only 390 jobs were created from the $548 million taxpayer investment, or about $1.4 million per job. At this rate, the full $2.4 billion allocated for the federal advanced battery program would create a whopping 1714 jobs. This is a far cry from the estimates cited in the article by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich, who said, "the federal battery program, along with state incentives, are projected to create 63,000 jobs in Michigan."

Of course any job creation is a good thing, but it is laughable for the administration to use this particular program to debunk criticism of the stimulus spending.  The $787B stimulus represents about $2625 for every man, woman, and child in America, and about $7500 for every taxpayer.  It seems that the money would be better spent if returned directly to the citizens who can then go buy solar panels, or fuel efficient vehicles if they choose.

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1 comment:

richtrix said...

I disagree with your final statement that "any job creation is a good thing". Jobs created inefficiently, as you so nicely pointed out, by the government were done so by extracting purchasing power, or future purchasing (debt, inflation)from private citizens and businesses. This extraction of capital, whether in the short term or the long term, will impair private growth and thus, job creation. If 10 jobs are created but in doing so 100 are destroyed then those 10 jobs are not "a good thing". Of course a collectivist can point to the 10 jobs, which at least exist, and say: "See look, it worked, we did it." and the public must agree as those jobs are there before their eyes. Of course the collectivist does not mention what you have pointed out above regarding those jobs. What is harder to empirically measure, and thus allow the public to fathom, is what you cannot see. That which does not exist, but might have, if it were not for those 10 jobs and the wasted private capital they represent. Just as a mother of a miscarried child will always wonder what their child would have brought to the world, what greatness they'd have achieved. I wonder the same of all of the lost capital. Whisked away lifeless from our hands, never to be seen again. What inventions, creations, events and sure, jobs, have been robbed from existence, never to be known? What great deeds or works of genius have been removed by those 10 "good" jobs?

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