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At Last: Some Actual Green Jobs Of The Future

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.

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  • Kris

    The ever-increasing unwise regulations in effect introduce friction into the economy. Friction converts productive kinetic energy into useless and wasteful heat. Wait a minute, did I just discover the real cause of global warming?!

  • Jim.


    Have you ever considered writing a biography of Cesar Ritz?

    From what little I’ve read of the man, it seems that he was a paragon of the sort of “concierge” virtues that you believe are essential in the Jobs of the Future.

    It can be very inspiring to hear about someone who does a challenging and important job with skill and panache. How can you beat someone whose work is so famous it has become an adjective?

    Perhaps a bio on Ritz could inspire the youth of America to follow in his footsteps, or at least take a page from his book.

  • Walter Sobchak

    From the aforementioned NYT article:

    “For those who successfully court the wealthy, there is money to be made. Carrie Starner-Keenan, a concierge in San Francisco who used to work in estate management, said her clients tended to be people with huge properties.

    ““I’m currently on the way to a client with three homes, one of them a 10,000-square-foot beach house,” she said in an interview from her car. “I’m changing all the pesticides and cleaning products, changing all the light bulbs, setting up systems and manuals for the staff.” Her hourly rate starts at $75.”

    And they tell us to ride the bus. Do they understand the irony in this quote? Do they see the humor?

    I am with the Instapundit on this one: I will believe it is a crisis when they start acting like it is a crisis.

  • physician recruitment

    Beautiful!! Your thoughts sound a lot like the hope of achieving authenticity from a relational cultural theoretical perspective. Thanks for taking time to write this.

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