I don’t think so. I think our economy is improving, and recent reports have shown this. Right now we need to be focused on climate change, and how we operate our economy is a huge aspect of climate change. Creating green jobs means we can start getting rid of the wasteful economy stereotype that we have come to know for so long. Obama needs to push green jobs and a green economy if we want effective climate change since we’re such a capitalist society.
I would say in a way, yes. The economy is indeed improving, but what is not improving is the unemployment rate. Right now, we are still waiting on a lot of green jobs to be introduced, and the problem with many of these jobs is that they are only temporary construction jobs. A green economy would be great, but it will take more effective and aggressive legislation than the ones that Obama has proposed.
Those temporary construction jobs are really all that is feasible. The New Deal basically did the same thing in that regard- you really can’t sustain long-term government employment without massive tax hikes.
As to the actual question, no, I don’t think he’s really pushing it too much. Recovering the economy is certainly a priority, but with the style of international politics he’s utilizing he has to make sure to maintain a balance with environmental legislation, and keep putting regulations into place. I’d say he’s actually doing a good job in this regard, actually.
There is certainly a risk to moving away from industries like coal and oil that employ millions, but it is necessary at some point. Moreover, the Center for American Progress issued a compelling report showing that investments in clean energy infrastructure would create four times the number of jobs provided from further investment in the oil industry. Sustained investments in clean energy, primarily from the private sector (owing to the economic stimulus) and from some government funding, would generate an estimated 1.7 million jobs, lowering the unemployment rate by one percentage point to 8.4%. These figures do take into account, “the inevitable job losses in conventional fossil fuel sectors of the U.S. economy as they contract.”
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