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A New Way of Looking At the Bailout

9/26/2008 4:53:35 PM

Tags: bailout, green investment, green jobs

While the Senate wrestles to construct some kind of utilitarian financial bailout, economists and political activists have moved out of the Wall Street box – and into the green house.

With one-seventh the money it looks like it will take to bail out the economy (so $100 billion), an investment in green power would produce nearly twice the amount of jobs as the mortgage bailout would.

Businessman and Wind TurbineThese figures come from a study by two economists at the University of Massachusetts, Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier.

An article by Greenpeace media director, Glenn Hurowitz, expanded on the study.

“Instead of golden parachutes for CEOs,” he writes, “the government could finance America's transition from an oil- and fossil-fuel-dependent economy into one run completely on clean energy.” 

In addition to offsetting carbon, Hurowitz says a green-power stimulus plan would offset the jobs lost by the economic crisis and the rising price of fuel that is driving so many companies out of business. 

He went on to say that a green stimulus plan could generate conservation by creating more national parks and restoring wetlands; foster technological breakthroughs; reduce the price of fuel – as less people will be so dependent upon it; and solve what he considers to be an even greater financial burden – global warming. 

The financial costs of the effects of global warming equates to about $3.8 trillion of the U.S. budget, and globally between 5 percent and 20 percent of the economic output, Hurowitz says. 

In the article, Hurowitz said big businesses relying on U.S. taxpayers to bail them out would suffer, but they’d be replaced by innovative, environmentally-conscious companies that would “get not only America but also Wall Street back on its feet.” 

PHOTO BY ISTOCKPHOTO 



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RebeccaO
5/16/2009 1:13:40 AM
Many people suffered from credit crisis due to the current changes in the economic situation wherein the price of basic commodities increased including fuel and oil. This is why you really should check out opportunity.gov. Opportunity.gov is a Federal website that is geared toward people dealing with unemployment. It has helps for worker retraining and Pell grants for people who want to go back to school, and unlike quick payday loans, you don't have to pay them back. The available funding for Pell grants has dramatically increased, and also the tax credits for college students with the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which are both part of President Obama's plans for supercharging higher education in our nation. Taking advantage of opportunity.gov might mean getting a job good enough that you'll never worry about debt relief. http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/05/08/opportunitygov/

Thomas G Fruge
10/12/2008 2:07:43 PM
Money is not the answer, it is the problem. People are the answer. people organizing and working together. money controls our freedoms and liberty's. It fuels greed,selfishness in men, like fuel does to a fire. Causes desention and hate amongst the people. seperates us into two different classes. putting others above the rest.

Thomas G Fruge
10/12/2008 1:55:45 PM
read the Banker's Manifesto of 1892. And you'll see this is no misteak. This is all part of the plan for the new government. The Corerate America Freedom in America and in the world is a thing of the past. The only way were going to get it back. Is for the people to take charge and get it back! Cause the rich High and mighty who are profitting from it. Aren't going to give it back to you. You start by breaking away and being more self sufficiant. Look toward family friends and neighbors for help. Not greedy businessmen. Work together as a community.

Leslie Goulet
10/10/2008 1:41:35 AM
So why don't we all just move our 401ks -- if we got any left---into Green Energy stocks??? Would that help their development? And save our stock values too? Responses invited.

Ladyhawke
10/8/2008 6:02:44 PM
Some one decided that the "pursuit of happiness" had no responsibility to the tending of the gift of this planet and its living legacies.Now the train of 700 billion box cars has only human hands to stop it.I belive the logical course is to change the direction of the train,slowly if need be,but certainly back towards simpler living and more level headed governing.We are addicted to consuming more than we need and in denial of the need for inward change.We have great leaps in medicine and technology that no one can afford to benefit from. I hear so much wisdom all around me,but it has to be applied to these human hands...working on the solutions to turn future trains; maybe grass roots instead of train tracks.

R Greaves
10/7/2008 11:17:47 AM
Going farther on. The inflation rate from 1650 to 1913, when the Fed was created, was zero. Banks are allowed to borrow from the Fed based on their total deposits, up to 150% I've read. The only way the money they make by lending returns in any way to the economy is by paying their employees, building another branch, or investing. So essentially they suck us dry. Hopefully congress will get interested in giving the Treasury more power.

R Greaves
10/7/2008 7:47:50 AM
In Germany the state owns the central bank. No predatory lending is allowed, like balloon payments on mortgages, etc. AND credit cards aren't allowed to charge interest! What happens here is people already in trouble get punished for late payments, and interest rates go up on them until they can no longer keep up. I'm keeping this short. So I think the good result is the Treasury Dept is wanting more control. The Federal Reserve is a private corporation, owned by private banks, and isn't controlled by our government in any way. Think how good it would be if there was a Mortgage Branch of the Treasury that held ALL the mortgages at 5%. Much more stable. And they'd make a profit. No more dumping bailouts on taxpayers. You should understand the Fed Reserve "creates" money out of thin air that they never had before, and gets a profit from it. The Treasury Dept could do this also.

Tom Bolin
10/7/2008 3:55:13 AM
Continued from below: than I make in a year. So, where is the wealth in that? Now it has come full circle and is about to bite “We The People” in the butt. I love this nation and have fought for her and would do it again in a heartbeat, but I hate Corporate America ant the Government for what they have done to our nation. Our forefathers moved to this land to get away from a class system to a land where all people are created equal, yet we have fallen back into a class system where we middle class pay to feed cloth and house the poor, and pay so that the top 1% of the people get anything they want because they can buy the votes of our elected representatives. Has anyone out there ever met a poor Federal Representative? I know I haven’t, and in my 60 years I have met a few.

Tom Bolin
10/7/2008 3:42:33 AM
Very thought provoking article; however, the responses worry me. They show me very few have a clue as to what is going on, or where we are headed. We have 750,000 more people out of work since January of this year and a projected 200,000 to 400,000 more will be out work by the first of the coming year. That is over a million more unemployed people this year alone and 2009 doesn’t look any better. On top of that we have business outsourcing more jobs than ever because the American worker has became spoiled little children. It amazes me to see and hear of people turning down work because “ it don’t pay enough”, or “I refuse to lift a finger for less than $16.50”. Never mind that their children have to do without food, shelter, and proper clothing. I am normally a glass half full type of person, but I foresee a worldwide recession and an American depression before this current economic crisis is over. It frightens me to thing what our nation is about to go through. We were once one of the mightiest industrial nations in the world. Now we can’t even recycle steel. That’s right we ship scrap steel to China to have it recycled back into usable steel. The only way we won WW II was through our Industrial might. Now most of the parts of our war machines are produced overseas and shipped here for assembly. We Americans had better become very self-sufficient real fast or our Families are going to suffer the consequences. This Bailout that our government so unwisely (no big surprise there) passed and signed into law is like putting a piece of bubblegum in a hole in a dam to hold back 750 billion gallons of water. That bailout is so the rich will get richer and this poor nation will get poorer. I cringe when I hear people call America the richest nation in the world. How can we be the richest nation in the world when we are 12.3 Trillion dollars in debt to other nations like China and the oil producing nations of the world? The national debt goes up more per minute than

Scott Van Dyke
10/5/2008 12:28:15 PM
One innovative use for solar power would be to power our stop signals only during the day when the sun is out. Then, when the sun sets, driving would be much more interesting.

Brian_4
10/4/2008 7:53:05 AM
This bailout is a culmination of a failed democracy, from both the leaders and the citizenry.

Roger Dobronyi_1
10/4/2008 7:15:44 AM
The last time I checked , There might be 1 company in the US that build high tech wind generators. There were "5" companies in China! We need to get rid of CAFTA and NAFTA and put restrictions on imports to stimulate our economy. We need to rebuild our factories as they have been dismantled, so WE can go back to work. Without those controls in place, the only economy we will be stimulating is China's!!! Here is something else to think about: When all these future cars start plugging into the grid, will the grid be able to take the load? We need rapid change now!

Eric_2
10/4/2008 12:42:49 AM
Wow, I have a lot to stay about this bailout and global warming. First, the bailout. As bad as it might be, I wanted to see the the 'markets' recover on their own. The scare tactic by the government was pathetic. Those dirty politicans that started this mess (Clinton, Obama with Acorn, Dodd, Frank, etc) are scared they were going to get busted before the elections. If the bill kept getting better and better as they worked on it, why did they cram it down our throats in two weeks? Oh, and don't get me started on all the Pork bills that got tossed in. Toy wooden arrows? Seriously? I (we) need the economy to fix itself before I (we) retire and before my (our) children start investing! I didn't want the 1.2 TRILLION dollar band-aid. Let capitalism fix itself, let those that took the risk learn a lesson. Kick the people out that over-bought into a home. American has become a greedy and credit based society. It's time a lot of people wake up and live within their means. I served this great nation in the Air Force for ten years. I has two stripes to start and had to rent an apartment and work another job. Don't anyone tell me that it can't be done without handouts and without credit cards. Now, global warming. Global warming is a natural occurance! Phases of the sun are going to impact all the planets in the solar system. Did you know the planet Mars has increased in temperature? Any humans there? Not the last time I checked; no. Yes, we need to manage our environment the best we can, I'll be the first to argue that much. I'm a simple man, with a simple family. We enjoy living off the Earth as much as we can. However, oil is in almost EVERYTHING we use. Plastics, PETROLEUM jelly, glass, ASPRIN, etc, etc, etc. Lets do our best to take care of Mother Earth. But let us not get so freaked and panicked about something we have little impact to. We as citizens need to be careful that new 'renewable '

captgeobob
10/3/2008 8:26:29 PM
go for the green

Elkdreamer_1
10/3/2008 4:35:49 PM
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't President Bush tell us last week that if we didn't bail out wall street by the end of the week our whole economy was going to fall on its face? Well; Here it is a week later and guess what. The gas prices are lower than they were a couple of weeks ago, it was above $4.00 a gallon and no one is jumping out of windows. It looks to me that someone was snowing us. In any case when did it become fashionable to reward a crook? When I was younger if someone stole from you, you went to the police station filed a report then talked to the D.A. Then you filed a complaint. They were arrested and charged with theft. Next they were advised of their court date on the specified charges. At that time they could plead on the charges and a court of law would decide on their guilty or innocence. Then if guilty go to prison for the specified time required by law. They didn't appeal to the government to give them money to pay you back did they. They went to prison and did their time for being a crook, end of story. I can remember a time when this was called loan sharking and people went to prison for it, when did the definition change? Thomas Wilkins

deborah conner
10/1/2008 7:03:39 PM
So. The housing bubble finally made it down to the ground feeders. Ground feeders, scavenger rag-and-bone folk forced to trawl at the baser nooks and crannies. They picked things clean, scavenged the depths to the very bone, and came up empty. Bust! Metaphors abound: hitting rock bottom, and shit hitting fan. But nothing frames and orients like true life. Rattling around in my car was a gift from a bank for simply opening an account. A watch bracelet, something I'd never wear. Things get hung on my body only as talisman, telesma, earrings and pendants chosen with care and lovingly worn until lost. So what to do with such a thing, this watch bracelet, rattling around in car? We gift it to the university cleaning lady, she who smiles like a madonna when she hears you speak her native tongue, smiles when you don't find her invisible; she who--in joy--scavenges a doormat, takes it home, washes it, lovingly (that word again) presenting it one morning at your feet. The watch bracelet moves her to tears, the deep tears that reveal the very preciousness of being, and the bank's easily cast-off trinket becomes a standard bearer of true gold. A philosopher's stone. A jesus. But this bubble, how could it not burst? All flimsy surface tension, its glue mere hydrogen bond and zwitterion, it was always illusion. Mere pyramid scheme, four walls, mere means to end. Flip this house, flip several, own as many as you can, and home becomes no longer shelter, brother to food and clothing, necessity. Home becomes mere house, becomes mere verb, flipping, the stuff of TeeVee, the real religion of America; flipping not to revive or build a neighborhood, but merely to exploit. And this neighborhood, this gathering of homes, is the very ground of a culture. The place where feet trod as they go about carrying life. [continued below)

deborah conner
10/1/2008 7:02:38 PM
(cont' from post above) Feet know this. Like Oedipus, staked and swollen, they carry their fate, their place in the scheme of things. They are substance that trod substance, the place where things connect. How do they speak it, all they might know? Where we come from, where we're going, the terrain, the planet, the fate we share. Do we hear, even listen? Walking on mere bubble, illusion? And so the question. Do we really want to prop this up, pave it over, gild it with our collective hard-earned taxes, this non-existent foundation? Or do we choose to connect, to ground ourselves. To get real. Choose. We build the future on that choice.

constance_1
10/1/2008 2:38:30 PM
....for those of us who aren't history buffs....or natural born seekers....or have had to work three jobs and had no time to pay attention....this is a big suprise....but mind my words....there are NO! corporations who are Americans!...nor are they patriotic...unless there investments are threatened....i am old enough to remember life before corporations took over our economy completely....actually old enough to remember their birth....and i have done what i could do in form of protest...letters...and sharing information with my friends and family....we have....after all...let them do this to us...i even hate to say it...but it is true....for all of you who don't realize that this is an economic philosophy that has been growing since world war two...check out a documentary called "the commanding heights"....all the sound bites from the last ten plus years....the ones that made you scratch your head...or in my case ticked me off....comes into focus...ahead of its time...barely...i can hardly wait for its sequel....trying to fix something that is this broken...is unwise....better to wipe it out and start over new....you let me know what you all think when you find out how and why this philosophy took hold....the biggest fault of the powers that were over us....they fostered off onto us...but don't live by the very rules their philosophy sports....thanks for the listen..."he who seeks does find"....but not on a corporate network...not even on p.b.s.

PP
10/1/2008 1:03:06 PM
Deborah, can you post the rest of your comment please? I love what you have written so far. We should not bail out Wall Street. I have no faith in what they are telling people about the "crisis" that will occur and feel this is another scare tactic being perpetrated on us for self-gain by the powerful. I have heard experts (mainly on PBS) who contradict that information saying they feel tax dollars should not be used to bail them out. That money will vanish in the wind with never a word once they get it and we'll forget all about it before long -- but the debt will still be there for our children and their children down the line....... It will be better if we all bite the bullet and learn valuable lessons from all this.

ccm989
10/1/2008 10:22:48 AM
It is not particularly surprising that ordinary people do NOT want to bail out Wall Street. President Bush has already given the top 1% several massive tax breaks and now these same Wall Street CEOs are begging for a handout? No thank you. The $700B Bailout needs to be scaled down to an as-needed, essentials only basis. It needs more oversight, more transparency and more regulations. The oversight must be bipartisan (not Wall Street regulating itself -- we've all seen how that's worked out). I am willing to help the traditional lending banks, the insurance companies and distressed homeowners (not speculators) but I do NOT want to help Wall Street, mortgage companies, airlines, foreign banks or car manufacturers. They can buy each other up or fail without my help. Any CEO participating in the bailout needs a salary cap. Also no one should be entitled to immunity. Receipents are responsible for their own actions subject to review by a Court of Law. NO ONE is above the law.

David Guirl
9/29/2008 8:28:32 PM
Linda, If you look at the full perspective, most economists agree that a bailout is the best option for Americans and the world. There are so many factors involved in this mess, you really have to look at all the facts before you decide who you're not going to vote for. I agree that it seems wrong to bail these companies out after they failed, but once I learned about the major negative effects that could ripple across the globe, I realized that a well-implemented (and not rushed) bailout plan is what we need. This article presents an interesting idea, though. I have had this same thought before; to shift the economy to a green one, and those that are not green to be replaced by green companies and create valuable jobs for the future. I'm glad the author points out that, yes, the companies that are failing now will not magically be helped if the economy shifts to be more green.

Linda Hawley
9/29/2008 2:23:14 PM
What this article does is put some perspective regarding the bailout proposal. It is just not the right thing for our federal government to rescue private sector business. That is not democracy. Any politician who votes for it will not get MY vote.

spidermonkey
9/27/2008 11:16:47 PM
IF the politians bail out they should first investigate what went wrong/ who stole or over inflated the books ala enron. hold them fiscally and legally resoncable. auction off the holdings to the highest bidder then after it is all liquidated what is left that has to be 'bailed out' i hate to feel the ripple effect but they made huge profit in a maginal area for a long time and finally it burst they own/run it take profit or loss. i am not a stock holder i wont get divadends why am i buying the company or stocks







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