While the Obama administration has been squandering billions of dollars on green jobs initiatives that don’t ever quite seem to pan out, entrepreneurs without subsidies of any kind are creating actual jobs that are actually green — without subsidies and without government ‘help’.As alert reader Victor Adefuye points out, there’s a story in the Paper of Record about “eco-concierges.” These professionals work one on one with busy professionals and others who want a greener lifestyle, but don’t have the time to research all the products they can buy or steps they can take to shift to a lower footprint lifestyle. According to the Times, these businesses are sprouting up all over; personal concierge businesses don’t require a lot of start up capital and they can be run out of an entrepreneur’s home.The personal concierge concept is more than a gimmick. It is a way of addressing the reality that even in bad economic times, there are a lot of Americans who need help coping with our complicated world and are willing to pay for it. The “green concierge” is one kind of helper; many of us could use a tech concierge, a school or child care concierge, a travel concierge, a health care concierge, and many other people who, for a reasonable price, could enrich our lives and enable us to do more and do it better.Fees for the green concierge service seem pretty reasonable: from $175 a month to almost twice that in New York. That’s more money than most people are willing to spend to source organic cleaning products, but you don’t need to sell lemonade to everyone on the street to build a healthy lemonade stand. For a green entrepreneur, a business like this offers a way to spend your entire working life addressing issues that you care about and learning more about practical things that people can do to make our planet a greener place. It is arguably much more useful and more fun than a career as a midlevel operative for a green NGO, and there are ways a successful business of this kind could lead to larger financial and personal rewards.One important way forward for the new economy involves smoothing the path for start ups like these. These businesses don’t need government subsidies or cheap loans that involve filling out lots of applications. They need for government to get out of the way: to reduce the bureaucratic hassles involved in starting a business, to reduce the paperwork when you hire somebody, to cut zoning regulations to make it easy to run a small business out of a house or a city apartment, to cut tax rates, support home office deductions and simplify the tax code.Smooth the paths, open the doors, lower the barriers — and the green jobs of the future will start to appear.
At Last: Some Actual Green Jobs Of The Future
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