Van Jones on Profiting From a Green Economy

Question: Will people make money by funding a green economy?

Van Jones: Well, you know, people ask the question, you know, is there wealth to be made if you’ll become rich in the green economy? Well, frankly, the only place people were going to be able to get rich is going to be in the green economy.  We are at the end of an era of US capitalism which really, you know, inaugurated by Reagan.  Reaganomics is over. The verdict has been rendered.  We wound up with an economy that unfortunately was based on consumption in our production, debt and not smart savings, credit and not creativity, environmental destruction and not environmental restoration. And as a result, we have this horrible meltdown. When we talk about the green economy, we’re not just talking about some niche economy that’s good for, you know, the eco elite who can afford to pay a green premium for slightly more ecologically friendly product. That’s now the green economy we’re talking about. That’s important we like it, but the green economy is got to be more than just a place for affluent people to spend money. It’s got to be a place for ordinary people to earn money and low-income people to save money. That will be the forward engine for this economy. We can re-power the economy by building a green-collar economy where people who can have pathways out of poverty, not just green jobs but with a green careers, going, you know, from poverty to prosperity, maybe starting out and installing solar panels, becoming a manager, becoming an owner, becoming inventors, investors, entrepreneurs in this green space led by the transition on energy. That’s the only place that America can make any money. The rest of the economy is going to continue to go down, down, down. The great economy is finished and it may persist, but in terms of its either a long down tail, but all the new entrepreneurial opportunities, all the new economic opportunities are going to be in the green and clean economy.

Recorded On: 9/15/08

A green economy must be good for low-income Americans, not just the eco- elite, according to Van Jones.

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