Klavan On The Culture

Satire Welfare

Okay, this is just too hilarious not to post. Last week, Republican California Congressman Darrell Issa — who sometimes acts like the last sane man in government — had Bureau of Labor Statistics Acting Commissioner Josh Galvin up for questioning before the House Oversight Committee. At issue: what constitutes a “Green Job.”

Seriously, if you need a laugh, watch my Manhattan Institute video first — it was posted 8 months ago — then read last week’s transcript below. As a conservative, I hate to collect Satire Welfare — free satire from the government. But in all fairness, I got there first!

That’s the video. Here’s the real transcript, cadged from The Daily:

REP. ISSA: You did not want to come here as a witness. You are not a delighted witness. So let’s go through this. I asked you a question. You know the answer. Would you please answer it. If you sweep the floor in a solar panel facility, is that a green job?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

REP. ISSA: Thank you. If you drive a hybrid bus — public transportation — is that a green job?

MR. GALVIN: According to our definition, yes.

REP. ISSA: Thank you. What if you’re a college professor teaching classes about environmental studies?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

REP. ISSA: What about just any school bus driver?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

REP. ISSA: What about the guy who puts gas in the school bus?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

REP. ISSA: How about employees at a bicycle shop?

MR. GALVIN: I guess I’m not sure about that.

REP. ISSA: The answer is yes, according to your definition. And you’ve got a lot of them. What about a clerk at the bicycle repair shop?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

REP. ISSA: What about someone who works in an antique dealer?

MR. GALVIN: I’m not sure about that either.

REP. ISSA: The answer is yes. Those are — those are recycled goods. They’re antiques; they’re used. What about someone who works at the Salvation Army in their clothing recycling and furniture?

MR. GALVIN: Right. Because they’re selling recycled goods.

REP. ISSA: OK. What about somebody who opened a store to sell rare manuscripts?

MR. GALVIN: What industry is that?

REP. ISSA: People sell rare books and manuscripts — but they’re rare because they’re old, so they’re used.

MR. GALVIN: OK.

REP. ISSA: What about workers at a consignment shop?

MR. GALVIN: That’s a green job.

REP. ISSA: Does the teenage kid who works full-time at a used record shop count?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

REP. ISSA: How about somebody who manufacturers railroads rolling stock — basically, train cars?

MR. GALVIN: I don’t think we classified the manufacture of rail cars as —

REP. ISSA: Forty-eight-point-eight percent of jobs in manufacturing, rail cars counted, according to your statistics. About half of the jobs that are being used to build trains. OK. How about — just one more here. What about people who work in a trash disposal yard? Do garbage men have green jobs?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

REP. ISSA: OK. I apologize. The real last last is, how about an oil lobbyist? Wouldn’t an oil lobbyist count as having a green job if they are engaged in advocacy related to environmental issues?

MR. GALVIN: Yes.

You can’t make this stuff up. Oh wait — apparently you can!