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Did 'Green Jobs' Push Help or Hurt Spain?

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How is Spain's push for 'green jobs' working out? Hint: 17.8 percent unemploymentFNC

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 4, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: President Obama is constantly talking about Spain and their success rate with green jobs. Well, one Spanish professor doesn't agree. He's conducted a green jobs study in Spain showing different results.

Here is Professor Gabriel Calzada.

Professor, what have you found in your study in Spain? What's the truth of the green jobs?

GABRIEL CALZADA, SPANISH PROFESSOR: Well, we found that the jobs that we are creating, since you are taking the resources from other parts of the economy, this is making — well, destroying jobs in other parts of the economy.

For every job that you are creating, 2.2 jobs are not being created in the rest of the economy.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

BECK: OK, wait a minute. You're saying they are not created or they're not — or they're lost: 2.3 jobs are lost?

(CROSSTALK)

CALZADA: Of course, in the sense that you take these resources and these resources do not — since you take these resources out of some sectors, in these sectors, 2.2 jobs are lost for creating one job, one green job.

BECK: OK. Let me play devil's advocate here: That's just because the economy hasn't fully flipped, it hasn't fully gone green yet. I mean, as soon as these things really take off, then the jobs will be there?

CALZADA: This is what we're told. Back in 1997 when this program started and the European Union and Spain were saying, well, at the beginning, we will need five, 10 years in order to make this possible, in order to make this technology viable, in order to make this technology run in the market without subsidies, and 12 years later, they are telling us that we need to push them with public money, with billions for many more years. They are speaking now about 15, 20, 25 years.

BECK: OK, the "cap-and-trade" thing. How much — when you did cap-and- trade over in Europe, how much did energy prices go up? Here they're saying it's going to go up, but you're going to get that money back.

CALZADA: Well, it's difficult to say, because the cap-and-trade system puts pressure on the prices, but the prices are not free in most of the European countries. For example, in Spain, the price of the electricity is set by the government. So, what you see is that the price has been going up since then and that many companies are going out of the country because — especially the electricity intensive companies are going out of the country. Some of the companies are coming to the United States — but at least until now, they have been coming to the United States.

BECK: There is a lot of like, right now, we're told, well, we can take on these companies and they're going to need to have some subsidies at the beginning, but then, the subsidies will stop.

You're seeing the same thing in Spain where they haven't stopped. You were told and promised the same thing.

CALZADA: Well, they haven't stopped. And right now, from the year 2000 until the year 2008, 29 billion euros — which is more or less $37 billion — has been put into the renewable sector in order to create these green jobs. And what we see is that we have created 50,000 jobs more or less according to the European Union. And if you do some math, this is more or less over a half million per green job created — half a million euros for green job created — so, over $700,000 per green job.

BECK: A cynical person would say that there's no reason for the — the only logic lies in creating these things if you're trying to enslave people. Either's you're just as dumb as a box of rocks or you're trying to enslave people to the government for their existence.

Do you have another answer — I mean, you have unemployment — unemployment now is at 17.8 percent in Spain. You're being held out as this great green country. Your study shows that green jobs are an absolute nightmare.

Why is this being touted?

CALZADA: Well, this is a very good question for an economist, especially for an economist. It is really difficult to understand. Why would a country, like the U.S., with relatively low unemployment, want to learn how to create jobs from a country like Spain which has a record of unemployment rate in developed countries?

It's a very, very good question.

BECK: Well, it's progressive thinking on our part. We're trying to be really very progressive now, you know? We don't want to be like, we don't want that old-style thinking like, you know, like we used to have. We want to be very progressive and be like Spain, with, what, 17.8 percent unemployment.

If you didn't have the green jobs, do you think and all the government interference — do you — do you have anything in your study that shows that things would be able to turn around?

CALZADA: Well, right now, the only way out of the — because in Spain, what the politicians have done is to create a bubble. They have created a huge bubble, renewable bubble, and every year, in order to maintain the bubble there, they have to put more and more millions or more billions into the bubble. And right now, the bubble has burst because the government was not able to increase the amount of money that we were putting into the bubble.

And since most of these jobs that we call subprime jobs, because they are very risky jobs, they can only be maintained if you continue increasing the amount of money that you put into the system, into the scheme — most of these jobs are lost because it came to a point where the government was not able to increase the amount. So, right now, the only possibility of these companies that are closing down and firing thousands of people is that another country would buy this story and would start with a similar scheme.

BECK: All right.

CALZADA: So Spanish companies would sell the idea to — and their product to other countries.

BECK: Look who is in line to buy it, too. Thank you very much, professor.

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