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Stimulus Transparency, Springsteen on Wal-Mart and the Mirage of Green-Collar Jobs

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Stimulus Transparency, Springsteen on Wal-Mart and the Mirage of Green-Collar Jobs

Developers launch StimulusWatch.org to keep track of the hundreds of billions of dollars Congress is planning to spend to stimulate the economy.

Bruce Springsteen grabs headlines for bad-mouthing a distribution deal with Wal-Mart, claiming they have an unenlightened labor history.

Wind and solar energy companies hope Congress will approve billions of dollars in new grants and subsidies to create new “green collar” jobs.

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. CONGRESS 

Developers launch StimulusWatch.org to keep track of the hundreds of billions of dollars Congress is planning to spend to stimulate the economy.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Cord Blomquist on how everyone can get involved in evaluating the stimulus bill

“That’s right, you can make your voice heard by finding projects in your city or state, voting on them, and letting others know if you think those projects are good way to spend taxpayer money. The site is built to help the Obama administration keep the promises it has made regarding the Stimulus Package and to fulfill the promise [to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do business in the light of day] that President Obama outlined in his inaugural address.” 

 

2. BUSINESS

Bruce Springsteen grabs headlines for bad-mouthing a distribution deal with Wal-Mart, claiming they have an unenlightened labor history.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Center for Investors & Entrepreneurs Director John Berlau on how even President Obama’s economic advisors have realized that Wal-Mart is good for workers

“But a major player on the economic team of Obama, for whom Springsteen campaigned so strongly on behalf of, disagrees strongly with Springsteen and the activists on Wal-Mart’s ‘labor history.’ Jason Furman was a top economist on the Obama campaign, and President Obama recently named him deputy director of the National Economic Council at the White House. He is pushing strongly for the stimulus bill and other liberal fiscal priorities of the administration. Yet when it comes to Wal-Mart, Furman doesn’t view it to be the threat to workers that many other liberals do. In fact, he has found it to have greatly improved the lives of the poor and working class Americans.” 

 

3. ENVIRONMENT

Wind and solar energy companies hope Congress will approve billions of dollars in new grants and subsidies to create new “green collar” jobs.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Jonathan Tolman on why new jobs from green power projects are, in the short term, a mirage: 

“The porcine stimulus bill passed by the House contains $15 billion in capital investments and loan guarantees for renewable energy projects and new electric transmission lines.  But the billions of dollars targeted toward renewable energy aren’t likely to generate many “green collar” jobs anytime soon.  That’s because the environmental and permitting regulations for these types of projects typically take years.  This is particularly true for new transmission lines.  And without the new transmission lines, new solar or wind power stations won’t bring many benefits.” 

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI weekly podcast, here.