Monday, January 11, 2010

Green pork?

In the news Pres. Obama is spending zillions of subsidies to manufacturers - nothing new, except for the more "progressive" focus: he targets "green businesses" for aid. (Perhaps not surprisingly, as the young, better educated, middle-income supporters of these things were a major Obama constituency in the election -- chicken and egg, you know.) So far, so good.

The stated hope is to create about as many jobs, maybe, as half of those cut in December 2009 alone.

But if we scratch the surface, what color is under all that green? Thus far, white workers are being hit pretty damn hard by the economic crisis, but workers of color are being hit a helluva lot harder. Preference will still be given to "shovel ready" jobs, i.e. they will favor folks who already have jobs -- who are of course in need of work, too -- but what about the poorest workers, some of whom have been out of work for years and have no networks currently operational for connecting with this futuristic aid package?

I'm all for green jobs, clean energy, sustainable growth ... but for whom?

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