The "Green job" investment myth

Now back to substantive politics, George Will - who continues to be my all-time favorite conservative columnist - has an excellent column on the notion of "investing" in green jobs and "clean" energy as a way of creating jobs.

When embarking on new programs and investments - meaning massive government spending - on untested or inefficient technologies, it may be good to look at the efforts of other countries. I suggest reading all of Will's column, but this gives you a good idea of the argument:

For fervent believers in governments' abilities to control the climate and in the urgent need for them to do so, believing is seeing: They see, through their ideological lenses, governments' green spending as always paying for itself. This is a free-lunch faith comparable to that of those few conservatives who believe that tax cuts always completely pay for themselves by stimulating compensating revenues from economic growth.

Windmills are iconic in the land of Don Quixote, whose tilting at them became emblematic of comic futility. Spain's new windmills are neither amusing nor emblematic of policies America should emulate. The cheerful and evidently unshakable confidence in such magical solutions to postulated problems is yet another manifestation -- Republicans are not immune: No Child Left Behind decrees that by 2014 all American students will be proficient in math and reading -- of what the late Sen. Pat Moynihan called "the leakage of reality from American life."