This morning most members of my immediate and extended family will march in celebration of Labor. They will form up on Columbus Drive* as the fog and mists of morning break away along the Lakefront, but they may still be enshrouded in both a Purple and a Green fog.
The Purple Fog is the powerful cover of SEIU - tax salaried, collectivist political action masquerading as real Labor. I have continued to snipe away at SEIU as faux labor, because the SEIU membership the rank and file are used by SEIU for dues, while the membership remain in low-paying, no skill/low skill jobs, without a path to the middle class. SEIU uses the dues of members to buy and amass political power.
The Green Fog comes from the Environmental Agendanistas and Allies of SEIU who have be-fogged American political conversation with the white noise of Green Jobs, Green Capitalism, and Green Politics.
Labor gave America its standard of living and created the American Middle Class.
These are tough times. Americans face near 10% unemployment, and erosion of the industrial jobs that once marked America. Many of those jobs rusted and chipped away due to Environmental Concerns. The American Steel Industry is now all but gone. Coal was and remains a political whack-a-mole - 'We're with You! We Ain't!'
America is Green Slap Happy. Green Jobs? Green Turn-around economy? Renewable Sources of Energy? Green fog.
The Green Fog's Czar, Van Jones, was out-ed as an agenda driven goof and will return to the activist sidelines - for a while.
Today, as Labor - Real Labor - marches and celebrates the courage and conviction of people to demand dignity and a solid livelihood from the people who benefit from their labors, try to avoid the Green Fog, as well as the Purple Fog.
Green jobs barely exist. American scholar and demographer Joel Kotkin writes this about the Green Fog:
All told, green jobs constitute barely 700,000 positions across the country – less than 0.5% of total employment. That's about how many jobs the economy lost in January this year. Indeed a recent study by Sam Sherraden at the center-left New America Foundation finds that, for the most part, green jobs constitute a negligible factor in employment – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Policymakers, he warns, should avoid "overpromising about the jobs and investment we can expect from government spending to support the green economy."
This is true even in California, where green-job hype has become something of a fetish among self-styled "progressives." One recent study found that the state was creating some 10,000 green jobs annually before recession. To put this into context, the total state economy has lost over 700,000 jobs over the past year (more than 200,000 in Los Angeles County alone). Any net growth in green jobs has barely made a dent in any economic category; only education and health services have shown job gains over this period.
More worrisome, in terms of national competitiveness, the green sector seems to be going in the wrong direction. The U.S.'s overall "green" trade balance has moved from a $14.4 billion surplus in 1997 to a nearly $9 billion deficit last year. As the country has pushed green energy, ostensibly to free itself from foreign energy, it has become ever more dependent on countries such as China, Japan and Germany for critical technology. Some of this is directly attributable to the often massive subsidies these countries offer to green-tech companies. But as New America's Sherraden puts it, this "does not augur well for the future of the green trade balance."
Nor are we making it any easier for American workers to gain from green-related manufacturing. Some of America's "greenest" regions are inhospitable for placing environmentally oriented manufacturing facilities. For example, high taxes and regulatory climate have succeeded in intimidating solar cell makers from coming to green-friendly California; a manufacturer from China told the Milken Institute's Ross DeVol that the state's "green" laws precluded making green products there.
The jobs –manufacturing and others – depart and there is no work – No Labor. The fog of Green propaganda and sloganeering by editorial boards and politicians will endanger American Labor, as much as the collectivist clap-tarp of Andy Stern’s SEIU. Purple or Green, fog is fog.
God Bless the American Labor Movement! Work for the dignity of working women and men, but for Labor's sake - for God's Sake! - stay out of the Fogs, Green and Purple!
* No Parade - plenty of barbecues, though. At the time I wrote this, I had forgotten that the City of Chicago no longer Parades Labor. There is an Immigration Reform rally.