Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Still too much Old Economy deadwood holding the New Economy back

Although President-elect Barack Obama has ambitious plans for creating millions of "green" jobs, the sad fact is that the U.S. economy is still heavily overweighed with Old Economy jobs and way too light on New Economy jobs. Jobs to rebuild infrastructure and schools will still primarily focus on keeping the Old Economy on life support. We should be trying to accomplish much more of basic education online with modern communication and social networking tools rather than creating more or simply newer so-called "class" rooms that do more to stifle creativity and enthusiasm than leverage it.

I am not sure what the answer is, but it still seems so unfortunate that the New Economy has failed so miserably at supplanting the Old Economy in the U.S. economic order.

One would have thought that pumping money into the New Economy would be the way to go rather than propping up General Motors and our endless highways that seem geared more to wasting energy rather than leveraging it.

The really sad thing is how hopelessly dependent the New Economy is on the Old Economy.

For example, I have selected a 100% "green" power option for my electricity supplier here in New York City (Energetix, 60% low-impact hydro and 40% wind power.) But, even though my raw electricity cost for this "green" power was less than $5 last month, it cost $15 for Old Economy ConEdison to "deliver" that "green" power to my apartment.

Hopefully, that dependence will gradually begin to diminish, but it may be another five years or even ten years before we actually start to see some serious light at the end of the tunnel and can finally start to contemplate a truly New Economy U.S. economy.

But for now, it is quite frustrating that "fiscal stimulus" for the U.S. economy will mostly focus on the Old Economy, even if a small fraction of the money does get "targeted" for "green" investments.

-- Jack Krupansky


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