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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

March 25, 2010 at 9:55 AM

China jumps out to big lead in renewable energy; Why JPMorgan thinks you’re without a job

Who’s winning the race to build a clean-energy economy? Hu is. Sorry — couldn’t resist. According to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, China leads G-20 nations in such investments, with $34.6 billion, nearly twice that of the United States.

This should be no surprise to Sound Economy readers. China is building a vast high-speed train network while America has yet to build one, and the one we’re seeding is in suburbanized, car-centric, car-values Florida, with no transit connections or provision for Zip cars or the like at the stations. China is trying to corner research and manufacturing in renewable energy to become the OPEC of the 21st century. It is also trying to gain prime access to the raw materials that will power the new energy economy.

China understands that all this will be a huge strategic advantage in a world facing peak oil (where half if this one-time gift of geology has been burned up and the remainder is harder to get and being consumed at a much faster rate) and the costs of climate change. Do we understand?

You can download the full report here.

The Back Story: Turn on your Irony Alert. A report from JPMorgan Chase says that extending unemployment assistance actually increases joblessness. It makes those jobless cubicle proles too picky, you see.

The facts suggest otherwise. The Great Recession has six unemployed people vying for every open position.

Stuff like this gives ammo to those few remaining leftists, who would argue that the ruling corporate oligarchy actually wants high unemployment. It will make workers more desperate, pliant and willing to accept low wages and a gradual decline in their living standards so ever more money can go to the richest. For us in Seattle, the irony is rich (as in food that will make you sick): JPMorgan Chase’s acquisition of Washington Mutual — rather than having D.C. save the healthy part of the bank as an independent institution — destroyed thousands of jobs and has badly damaged downtown. Oh, yeah, those former Wamulians are just lazy so-and-sos who ought to accept their fate as minimum-wage slaves. Or start new businesses — oh, the big banks aren’t lending. Never mind.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Hey there Mayor Mike

The real dangerous tunnel:

The vacancy rate

Comments | More in Energy, Sustainability, Washington Mutual

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