“It’s the economy stupid,” famously exclaimed by then-presidential hopeful Bill Clinton, seemed to be the rallying cry for most of the nation this last election cycle. With an economy in recession and a stagnate jobless rate throughout the country, many Americans took to the polls hoping to shake things up enough to get back to work.
With California’s October jobless rate at 12.4 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers, Californians took to the polls with the rest of America, but instead of electing former eBay executive Meg Whitman, voted in former Governor Jerry Brown. So the question becomes: Is Jerry Brown the cure for what ails California’s economy and jobless rate, especially in Southern California?
At the end of September, according to the U.S. Labor Department (DOL), there were 2.9 million job openings across the country, which translates to approximately 1 job for every 5 persons seeking employment. San Diego, according to online employment firm Juju.com, seems to fare a bit better than the rest of the country, but only barely, by offering 1 job for 4.8 job seekers.
Green Jobs the Answer?
With a potential budget shortfall of $12 billion next year, Governor-elect Brown says that he “prefers to increase revenue” through spurring the economy, not by increasing the tax burden on Californians, according to the San Francisco Gate. According to Governor-elect Brown, the key to this are green jobs.
The green jobs solution took a hit when, in effort to cut costs, Solyndra announced that it would close one of its plants. Solyndra is a California manufacturer of solar panels and the plant closing will mean the loss of approximately 190 permanent and contract management jobs, according to the Orange County Register. It should be mentioned, Solyndra was the recipient of $535 million in guaranteed loans from the government to aid in the construction of a state of the art plant, which recently opened, yet this wasn’t enough to keep the green jobs at the closing plant.
A sometimes unmentioned hitch with green jobs is that they come at a high price for taxpayers. The Orange County Register notes that green jobs “require substantial subsidies and other special government treatment.” Because green manufacturers are generally uncompetitive, they need taxpayer subsidies to stay afloat.
Will the pursuit of green jobs by Governor-elect Brown help the economy and spur job growth in California? Only time will tell. But if history is an indication, the necessity of subsidies to create and keep green jobs holds the potential of a continued stagnation in the California economy.
With the economy still hurting and the jobless rate in stagnation, many Californians face hard consequences, including missed car payments or home foreclosure. There are options available to help a tough situation, including bankruptcy. Consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to find out if bankruptcy is right for your circumstances.