Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alternative Real American Jobs Act.

Obama’s new job’s bill is all the rage these days. He’s in a shiny new tour bus coasting around the country drumming up support for his efforts; all the while the Republican candidates are playing like kids in a mud pit, slinging for shits and giggles.

What about this new jobs bills? How do we grow more jobs at a sustainable rate? Those are two very different questions that people forget to ask sometimes. Just because there are 200 new construction jobs added to my city for building roads, it doesn’t really mean those jobs are here to stay, does it?

The complicated mess of growing jobs is a tough topic and I don’t pretend to have any solutions to the problems. What I believe, only a matter of opinion of course, is that at least some degree of interconnectedness between market expansion and new industry prosperity can help sustain a meaningful job creation policy.

Take the energy sector for example: if we are adding new technical jobs for operating and maintaining solar fields, or adding jobs that create renewable energy for small communities, are these jobs more likely to stay? Are these jobs more likely to lead to new opportunities for other innovative ideas for entrepreneurs? In my perfect bubble of a sustainable world, I hope so.

In all reality, I know the matter is more complicated. It will depend on things like our policies to encourage new ideas, research and development, sustainable planning, etc., all of which are at the hands of both politicians and larger corporations – corporations that are strongly tied to the old ways of doing things, tied to the fossil industry.

I’m not going to bash the fossil players, they are playing the hands we the people dealt them to make them rich. They are at fault for not wanting to change, but change come from us mostly – the 99% has the will power to make things happen, we are just too lazy and dumb to let the 1% take advantage of the situations that’s all.

According to a “National Solar Jobs Census 2011: A Review of the Solar Workforce,” conducted by The Solar Foundation with the labor market consulting firm Green LMI Consulting, and assistance from Cornell University, there is a 2 percent net job loss in the fossil energy sector while there is a growth rate of 6.8 percent in the solar industry. More than 100,000 people are employed in the U.S. solar industry and close to half of all employers plan to hire additional workers in the next twelve months. The solar sector have created a total of 24,000 new jobs according to the report.

24,000 may not seem like a large number; most of us probably haven’t seen where these jobs are or who’s working these new fancy operations, but at least these jobs are competing for a larger growing share of the global market for the emerging industry. The Republicans proposed an alternative job creation policy last week in response to the Obama plan, but the “alternative” encourages growth in fossil fuels through increased drilling and decreased environmental protections.

I’m sorry, but is this going to get us anywhere in the next decade? What happens when the rest of the world are switched over to renewable energy and the price of that energy drops below the subsidized fossil energy? Will the tax payers have to bail out the executives once again?

I also recall the military is aggressively investing into the renewable energy sector. This is both for operational needs and long-term necessity planning. It seems odd that the new alternative the Republicans put forth seem to contradict the DoD’s future energy strategies?

"Entire Army bases are going off-grid, for example, and Navy jet fighters are adopting biofuels. The symbiotic relationship between national defense, federal energy policy and job creation is on full display through the relationship between the U.S. Air Force and Magnolia Solar; the Air Force is funding Magnolia’s development of high efficiency solar technology, and it will also be an eager customer for Magnolia’s products."
Triple Pundit: Solar Industry Jobs Growing Fast, Now Topping 100,000 

The Republican legislators have dubbed their alternate plan the “Real American Jobs Act.”

What is their definition of a “Real American?”

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