A New Way of Looking At the Bailout

Reader Contribution by Aly Van Dyke
article image

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.

These 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.”


Need Help? Call 1-800-234-3368