Anthony K. “Van” Jones has surfaced. The disgraced former White House special green jobs adviser is making an appearance at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire tonight, apparently at the request of Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan. Exeter promotes the event saying: “globally recognized, Jones will lead an evening talk and discussion about ‘green jobs. ’” This is just the start of his comeback tour; on March 8, Jones will again appear at a Democratic “green jobs” event, in New York with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. That otherwise respectable people would come to “green jobs” events with Van Jones suggests that his “green jobs” advocacy is somehow separable from his political extremism. It isn’t.
Van Jones is a self-professed communist. In 2005 he explained his radicalization following the Rodney King verdict to the alternative San Francisco newspaper the East Bay Express: “I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist.” He went on to say that he had changed only his means, not his objectives: “I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”
In April of 2008 Jones explained to “Uprising Radio” that his push for green jobs was the kernel of a broader movement to destroy our capitalist economic system: “Inside that minimum demand was a very radical kernel that eventually meant that from 1964 to 1968 complete revolution was on the table for this country. And, I think that this green movement has to pursue those same steps and stages. Right now we say we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to something eco-capitalism where at least we're not fast-tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won't be enough. We want to go beyond the systems of exploitation and oppression altogether.”
Jones eventually resigned in disgrace from the White House, too radical even for the Obama administration that wants government control of health care, energy, and Wall Street.
Now Jones is back peddling that same kernel of the destruction of our free-market economy, starting tonight at Exeter, an elite boarding school.
While “green jobs” programs don’t create job growth, the verdict from Europe is that they are, unfortunately, deadly effective at laying the seeds of destruction of our market system. A trio of compelling studies from the Houston-based Institute for Energy Research reveals the facts.
In Germany, per worker subsidies for the solar industry now top $240K. The price of electricity has jumped 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, a 19.4% increase relative to average U.S. prices. In Denmark wind subsidies cost taxpayers $376M a year. Each Danish “green job” costs taxpayers $90K to $140K per year, which is 175-percent of country's average manufacturing wage. Despite all these subsidies, Denmark has the highest electricity prices in the European Union. Most significantly, in Spain, long touted as the model for Obama's policies, each “green job” created has destroyed on average 2.2 other jobs elsewhere in the economy. Since 2000, Spain has spent over $750K in subsidies for every “green job” created, and now has a 19.5 percent unemployment rate and is at risk of defaulting on its national debt.
The lessons from Europe are so stark that nobody can possibly believe these expensive programs will improve our economy. We know what Van Jones really believes—that economically ruinous subsidies, preferences, and make-work programs are a step towards total destruction of our free-market economy. Yet Democrats from President Obama on down continue to push “green jobs” programs. For the sake of our free market system, let’s hope they fail.
Mr. Kerpen is vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity and was a frequent guest on Fox News Channel's “Glenn Beck” as the Van Jones scandal unfolded. He can be contacted through PhilKerpen.com.