Government’s mortgage interest subsidy, besides creating a lot of social costs, benefits almost solely the rich, yet it’s precisely the rich who boldly claim to want to scrap the programme. What’s going on?
By Nicolas Lecaussin
The French government recently announced the creation of 100 000 green jobs over the next three years. The goal is of course to stem rising unemployment. However, the tangible results of creating green jobs in several countries, as well as the real costs of these jobs, should have given food for thought before taking action.
In France, an IREF study (“Les mythes des emplois verts”) published in early 2011 showed that the term is ambiguous and calculated the real cost of a green job, based on official reports. The definition of green jobs is rather vague, although there is an official handbook on green growth (“Focus on 50 professions for green growth”). Among these, most already exist (gardeners, sewermen, cleaners, geologists …). Others seem to come straight out of a vaudeville: nature discovery guide, eco-museum guide, eco-interpreter, nature guide…
The Coalition for Tax Competition asked members of the US Congress to cut the $100 million taxpayer subsidy to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Citing the OECD’s record as an opponent of tax competition, the letter released by the coaltion argues that US taxpayers should not be funding an organization which works against their interests by promoting a statist agenda.
Without any preliminary consultation with the Parliament, the French President Sarkozy announced a subsidy of 1.65 € billions for the agricultural sector. It is hard to imagine where Sarkozy will find this money, given the current economic context and the quasi bankruptcy of the French government. But it is more interesting to question the utility of this subsidy, which amounts for some 2 750 € per farmer.* It is a considerable amount for the state budget, but a highly insufficient one when it comes to the investment that each farmer can realize with it.