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Is Everything “Green” a Scam?

By Sean Paige | On Jun 9, 2012 | No Comments | In Featured

When you hear the words “government” and “green” used in the same sentence, the alarm on your Scam Detector should be blinking bright red. If you doubt it, scroll through the stories linked below, which just popped up on my radar this afternoon while scanning the web:

The federal government’s green fleet scam.

California’s green car credit scam.

The wind power tax credit scam.

The probable green energy tax scam of the future.

and, of course,

Barack Obama’s green jobs scam.

I could find many more with very little effort. I see them almost every day as I make my usual media rounds. To me, the word “green” has become synonymous with ”scam” or “con” or “racket” as a result. Then some in the movement wonder why they and their pet causes — climate change especially — lack credibility, or have become the butt of jokes. ”Green” has become such a ubiquitous buzzword – as a marketing tool not just for the commercial sector, but for government – that it’s lost all meaning. Green fatigue has set in, and with it comes cynicism. People are tuning it all out. When everything is green, nothing is green.

But let me focus a bit more today on Obama’s “green jobs” scam, since it’s been in the news a lot this week — and because the depth of this green charade was brought home to me this week in a rather direct, and humorous, way, when Americans for Prosperity, the organization that runs this website, received a questionnaire from the government asking us to report all the ”green jobs” we’ve been creating. 

We’re a foundation, and a conservative policy-oriented educational organization, that vigorously opposes the costly and wasteful green welfare programs this White House champions. That we would find ourselves counted as part of Barack Obama’s “green economy” seemed far-fetched, at best. Yet anything is possible in the realm of federal “green jobs” accounting and reporting, as the following blog post explains:

Yesterday Chairman Issa held oversight hearings examining the Bureau of Labor Statistics absurd methodology for calculating green jobs.  As it turns out, almost anyone can qualify, including: the Salvation Army (reused goods), bus drivers (mass transit), antique VigRX dealers (reused goods) and … yes … even oil lobbyists (environmental awareness) are counted as green jobs these days.

On May 18, AFP received a survey from BLS because they wanted our “help measuring the number of jobs involved in the production of green jobs and services.”  But the survey arrived by snail mail; you’d think a survey about green jobs would at least arrive electronically.

Under Question 4, BLS encourages those surveyed to consider
whether they increase environmental compliance, education and training, and public awareness of products and services that:

  • “Provide education/training related to green technologies/practices
  • “Increase public awareness of environmental issues”

Lo and behold, AFP has unwittingly been leading the green jobs revolution by going across the country to educate and mobilize grassroots Americans about ethanol handouts, the distortionary wind production tax credit, senseless obstructions to the Keystone pipeline, EPA’s abuse of the Clean Air Act and jurisdictional power grab with the Clean Water Act.

In today’s Orwellian United States, even if you oppose politically correct green jobs language and the heavy economic burdens these policies put on our country, BLS will count you anyway.

Next time you hear the President talk about how many green jobs he created, remember he has BLS counting groups like AFP to thank for it.  Oh, and those antique dealers too.

So there you have it. Turns out that AFP is helping to grow the green economy without even trying to — and while actively working to expose it as a fraud.

But that’s just one anecdote. For a much more academic critique of the federal green jobs scam, please see this Manhattan Institute report.

I think Americans gradually are waking to the fact that “green” has become a convenient cover for a vast array of cons and schemes, inside and outside of government, most of which really are aimed at another kind of green — the green found in America’s wallets and purses.  And that’s one strain of public cynicism and skepticism that might actually do the country some good.

Written by Sean Paige

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