As Job Creation Slows, Opportunities In The Green Economy Rise

Department of Labor statistics released last week revealed the bad news: unemployment is back to 9.1%, after only 54,000 jobs were added in May.

These numbers come as Fortune 500 companies are reporting record profits, still benefiting from the large tax cuts that reckless conservative economic policies have provided them over the past 10 years. Economists have found that the tax burden of American companies is lower than that of other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Countries. A study by the Citizens for Tax Justice also found  that 12 Fortune 500 companies from 2008-2010 were taxed at an effective rate of negative 1.5 percent through loopholes, shelters and special tax breaks while making record profits of $171 billion. As noted in the New York Times, Time Magazine also published that in the months since the Great Recession, U.S. annualized corporate profits rose 42 percent to a record $1.68 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The numbers reveal that America’s number one problem is the unavailability of jobs, then why is the right wing so obsessed with moving austerity measures? The answer is investing in American people, and there is no better way to do so than through the green economy.

Progressive States Network has repeatedly highlighted that rather than cutting millionaire’s taxes, it is time to invest in people, and in jobs that will stay here in America. By advancing job creation legislation focused on building the green economy, we can both ensure that employment stays in our states and address our increasing energy dependence and environmental crises. Investment in our green economy not only creates the jobs we need today, it steers our states on a path toward innovation and prosperity.

Studies continue to demonstrate the importance of job creation through green investment. By the middle of the century, renewable sources could deliver nearly 80 percent of the world’s total energy demand, according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s most authoritative body of experts, scientists and engineers specialized in climate change. This is a call to invest in clean energy systems and infrastructure. The report also concluded that renewable energy would create jobs and accelerate access to energy for 1.4 billion people currently without electricity. Our global competitors, China and India, are growing their renewable industry quickly and have set for themselves imperatives to invest in renewable energy to meet new demand.

In order to address a stubborn domestic jobs crisis head-on, and to reinvigorate America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, advancing state policies that encourage green job creation is more critical than ever.

Full Resources from this Article

As Job Creation Slows, Opportunities In The Green Economy Rise

New York Times – False Choices
New York Times – A “Big Thumbs Up” for Renewable Energy
Citizens for Tax Justice - Twelve Corporations Pay Effective Tax Rate of Negative 1.5% on $171 Billion in Profits; Reap $62.4 Billion in Tax Subsidies
Progressive States Network – Blueprint on Job Creation: Green Jobs for the Future

This article is part of PSN's email newsletter, The Stateside Dispatch.
View other items from this edition