Friday, May 21, 2010

The Green Jobs Myth



Jobs: A Spanish economics professor said attempts by his country to create a green economy would fail. Now a Spanish government report confirms his findings, blunting claims that the professor's report was biased.

The professor, Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of Juan Carlos University in Madrid, produced a 41-page study last year on the European experiment of going full bore on the conservation front. He found that "the Spanish/EU-style 'green jobs' agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs."

For every green job created by the Spanish government, Alvarez found that 2.2 jobs were destroyed elsewhere in the economy because resources were directed politically and not rationally, as in a market economy.

"The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices," the professor told the press.

Alvarez's findings, of course, were rejected by the environmental left, which tried to smear him as a stooge of the oil industry.

But inconveniently for the eco-conscious, his results have been backed up by Carlo Stagnaro and Luciano Lavecchia, a couple of researchers from the Italian think tank Istituto Bruno Leoni.

They found that in Italy, the losses were worse than they were in Spain: Each green job cost 6.9 jobs in the industrial sector and 4.8 jobs across the entire economy.

"Green investments are an ineffective policy for job creation," they say in their report. Despite the other merits of investments in new energy, "to the extent that the 'green deal' is aimed at creating employment or purported as anti-crisis or stimulus policy, it is a wrong policy choice."

Even more inconvenient for the environmental left is a study by the Spanish government. This leaked document supports the Alvarez report. The green lobby can't claim bias in this analysis because the Zapatero administration that compiled it is a socialist government that sees windmills when more rational people see dragons.

According to Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who has seen a copy of the report, the "Spanish government now acknowledges the ruinous effects of green economic policy."

Horner wrote this week on Pajamas Media, "This internal assessment preceded the Zapatero administration's recent acknowledgment that the 'green economy' stunt must be abandoned, lest the experiment risk Spain becoming Greece."

Horner wrote that while the government report "does not expressly confirm" the Alvarez findings, "the figures published in the government document indicate they arrived at a job-loss number even worse than the 2.2 figure from the independent study."

As Spain tries to keep its economy from going Greek, the government is lopping off the fat. This means it will have to cut back on subsidies for its alternative-energy initiatives, if not abandon them altogether, as Horner mentioned.

Miguel Sebastian, Spain's trade minister, has said funds for authorized projects won't be reduced. He also has reportedly indicated that new subsidies for wind and solar projects aren't likely to be as generous. It would be no surprise if he backtracked and said all renewable subsidies will be cut.

The findings from Europe contradict President Obama's claim in his State of the Union address that "the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy." Before he took office, he warned that the U.S. was falling behind nations that are "making real investments in renewable energy."

Now it looks like the U.S. is lucky to be lagging in alternative-energy investment. The Alvarez study says that following the Spanish model, held up by Obama as a standard the U.S. should follow, is likely to cause 6.6 million to 11 million job losses "as a direct consequence were it to actually create 3 to 5 million 'green jobs.' "

Renewable energy is trendy and for many offers political gain. But Washington should shut down the green economy nonsense before too much of other people's money is spent on projects that do more harm than good.

Hypocrisy On ICE



Border Security: As the administration condemns Arizona for cracking down on illegals, it's training Arizona to do just that. It's called the ICE 287(g) Program.

Homeland Security runs the federal program, which trains state and local police to identify and process criminal aliens for removal from the country. The ACLU gripes the program is "terrorizing immigrant communities," and has urged the administration to abandon it.

But the administration isn't listening. It's signing up several more local law enforcement agencies for the program, which it touts as a success story. As a recent Homeland Security report gushed:

"The 287(g) Program has emerged as one of the agency's most successful and popular partnership initiatives as more state and local leaders have come to understand how a shared approach to immigration enforcement can benefit their communities."

Under the 2006 program, more than 1,100 cops with 71 state and local agencies have helped the feds round up more than 110,000 illegals, the report says. Nine Arizona law enforcement agencies have taken advantage of it. In fact, all of the agreements were inked while Janet Napolitano was Arizona governor.

This is the same Napolitano, who despite running the federal program now as Homeland Security chief, is slamming Arizona's tough new immigration code as "bad law enforcement law."

"That's not the kind of law I would have signed," she asserted, explaining that she dealt with "laws of that ilk" in Arizona before and that most police outfits were opposed to them.

In fact, most Arizona cops strongly support the new law — probably because, after training with border agents, they see it works.

By partnering with Homeland Security, cops across the country have helped shrink for the first time the backlog of criminal aliens by 37,000 to 560,000. Yet only half of states — mostly conservative states with illegal immigration problems — have signed up.

Imagine how much safer we'd all be if liberal states also helped the feds round up these foreign outlaws — some of whom pose a terrorist threat — instead of boycotting Arizona for doing what the feds are doing right now, even under Obama.

Instead of snubbing Arizona, California should follow its lead in partnering with the federal government in this successful program to enforce immigration laws. The Golden State has the largest illegal alien population, yet has just one local entity in the program — San Bernardino County.

California agrees with Obama that Arizona's law is potentially "discriminatory." Funny, that's what the ACLU says about Obama's own program to train Arizona and other state cops to crack down on illegals — arguing it promotes an "anti-immigrant agenda" and encourages "racial profiling and civil-rights abuses."

But, shhh! This is the dirty little secret of Arizona's critics inside the Beltway.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Alinsky's Star Pupil Uses 'Rules' As A Manual For 'Social Surgery' By Paul Sperry



President Obama is fond of using ridicule to frustrate critics. He recently mocked Republicans for predicting "Armageddon" if health care reform passed. After signing the bill, he cracked that he looked around to "see if there were any asteroids falling," only to discover a nice day with "birds chirping."

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Obama has also used the tactic to dismiss charges that he's pushing a "socialist" agenda, arguing that critics will next accuse him of "being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten."

But the former community organizer also knows that ridiculing the opposition is an effective tactic taught by the father of community organizing, Saul D. Alinsky — a socialist agitator from Chicago whose influence on Obama is deeper than commonly known.

In fact, the tactic is ripped right from the pages of "Rules for Radicals" (Vintage Books, New York, 1971), a how-to manual Alinsky wrote for coat-and-tie revolutionaries.

"Ridicule is man's most potent weapon," reads Rule No. 5. "It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage."

It's just one of 13 rules Alinsky coached his acolytes to follow to "take power away from the Haves." The Haves, represented foremost by corporate America, are "the enemy." They must be identified, singled out and targeted for attack — and the more personal the better, Alinsky advised, putting a special bull's-eye on banks.

His 13th rule — "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it" — is not lost on Obama, who has targeted "fat cat" bankers, "predatory" lenders, "greedy" insurers and industrial "polluters" as enemies of the people.

"Obama learned his lesson well," said David Alinsky, son of the late socialist. "I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing."

Obama first learned Alinsky's rules in the 1980s, when Alinskyite radicals with the Chicago-based Alinsky group Gamaliel Foundation recruited, hired, trained and paid him as a community organizer in South Side Chicago.

They also helped him get into Harvard Law School to "learn power's currency in all its intricacy and detail," as Obama put it in his memoir. A Gamaliel board member even wrote a letter of recommendation for him.

Obama took a break from his Harvard studies to travel to Los Angeles for eight days of intense training at Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation, a station of the cross for acolytes. In turn, he trained other community organizers in Alinsky agitation tactics. In 1988, he even wrote a chapter for the book "After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois," in which he lamented organizers' "lack of power" in implementing change.

Decades later, power would no longer be an issue, as Obama infiltrated the highest echelons of the political establishment, thus fulfilling Alinsky's vision of a new "vanguard" of coat-and-tie radicals sneaking behind enemy lines. He preached that changing the system "means working in the system" — while not acting or looking radical. "Start them easy," he said in his book, "don't scare them off."

It worked like a charm for Obama. And during the presidential campaign, he hired one of his Gamaliel mentors, Mike Kruglik, to train young campaign workers in Alinsky tactics at "Camp Obama," a school set up at Obama headquarters in Chicago. The tactics helped Obama capture the youth vote like no other president before him.

After the election, his other Gamaliel mentor, Jerry Kellman (who actually hired him and whose identity Obama disguised in his memoir), helped the Obama administration establish Organizing for America, which mobilizes young supporters to agitate for Obama's legislative agenda using "Rules for Radicals" — which Alinsky dedicated to "Lucifer, the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom."

In fact, the 1971 book, now selling well on Amazon, is required reading for students applying for the program.

"Rules" is more than a manual. It's a diary of Alinsky's worldview, a dark, anti-capitalist one made all the more disturbing knowing that his protege sits in the Oval Office, where he's systematically reorganizing our economy, one industry at a time.

A careful reading of Alinsky's 200-page book leaves you queasy. Even before you get to his rules, which start on Page 126, you realize he hates everything dear to Americans while respecting nothing sacred about America — even its founding. He ridicules our most basic morality. He mocks our founders, finding the worst even in Jefferson, a classical liberal.

Alinsky, who died of a heart attack at 63, valued democracy merely as a "means" toward achieving "economic justice." He laughed at "middle-class moral hygiene." He even rebuked activists burdened by decency and troubled by the ethics of his tactics, sneering that they would rather go home with their "ethical hymen intact" than win a battle at any cost.

Alinsky was more than a socialist. He was a moral anarchist. Listen to these perverse proverbs:

• "Ethical standards must be elastic."

• "In war the end justifies almost any means."

• "In a fight almost anything goes."

• "It is a world not of angels but of angles."

• "The real arena is corrupt."

• " 'Reconciliation' means that when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it, then we have reconciliation." (GOP lawmakers take note.)

• "All values are relative."

Bitterly contemptuous of American materialism and individualism, Alinsky was a big fan of Lenin, whom he called a "pragmatist." He claimed that his own philosophy was anchored in "hope" for a more just world.

But this privileged son was simply bored with the status quo and sought to smash it just to see it smashed, while masquerading his unprincipled pique as an altruistic crusade for the downtrodden.

"Agitate," he egged on fellow radicals, "create disenchantment and discontent with the current values," even if none exist.

His story is similar to that of unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, the rebellious son of a successful Chicago businessman. Alinsky's father owned his own business in the city and put his son through the University of Chicago studying archeology.

Alinsky comes across loud and clear in the narrative of "Rules for Radicals" as a bitter, vulgar Hobbesian cynic. He advocates "fart-ins" and "sh**-ins" to offend the establishment, explaining that the "one thing" that inner-city organizers want to do to whites is "sh** on them." Nothing is off limits. The only thing he truly romanticizes is "ego."

"The ego of the organizer is stronger and more monumental than the ego of the leader," he wrote. "The organizer is in a true sense reaching for the highest level for which man can reach ... to play God." He added: "Ego must be so all-pervading that the personality of the organizer is contagious."

Page 23 of "Rules" is chilling: The American individualist — the industrialist, the entrepreneur, the wealth creator — "is beginning to learn that he will either share part of his material wealth or lose all of it; that he will respect and learn to live with other political ideologies" — that is, neo-Marxism — "if he wants civilization to go on."

"If he does not share his bread, he dare not sleep, for his neighbor will kill him," Alinsky warned. In other words, sacrifice and pay your fair share for "social justice" (code for socialism) or face mass unrest and the anger of the mob. Anarchy. Chaos. Blood in the streets.

Alinsky describes "the Haves" of American society as having fallen "asleep" — ripe for slaughter. "It is as though the great law of change had prepared the anesthetization of the victim prior to the social surgery to come."

Is Obama acting as Alinsky's star social surgeon, the first to possess the necessary power to carve up the American economy for mass redistribution? If so, "Rules for Radicals" may be his operating manual. More of us should read it.

• Sperry, formerly IBD's Washington bureau chief, is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author.