Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Go Green! Eat Greenbacks! Go Bankrupt!

Let's hear it for the Obamist green initiatives. Barack Obama and his green weenie administration pumped $535 million into creating green jobs at Solyndra. That was designed to create 4,000 jobs at a mere $133,750 per job. In 2010, The One himself appeared at the Fremont, California company to announce: "You're demonstrating that the promise of clean energy isn't just an article of faith. It's happening right now. The future is here."

Well, he got that last part right. Solyndra has declared bankruptcy, a harbinger of the future of America if Obama remains in office after the 2012 elections. In fact, this was only partially a green initiative. The other part was pure crony capitalism. Tulsa, Oklahoma billionaire and Solyndra co-founder George Kaiser personally bundled $100,000 for Obama's 2008 presidential race, and together with other Solyndra executives donated another $87,500 to elect America's first green president.

The 4,000 jobs actually turned out to be 1,100 jobs. Now there are 1,100 new applications for unemployment benefits. But with the infusion of federal funds, each temporary employee has now earned enough to stay on the unemployment line for two years. I guess that's progress of some sort.

Obama and the green weenies simply seem incapable of recognizing that green energy/renewable energy is a great idea and a fine theory which isn't even close to being able to replace more traditional energy sources. It may very well be "the future" of energy, but it ain't here now nor any time in the near future. Obama still firmly believes that with a wave of his imperial hand he can create technology immediately that in reality will take another twenty or thirty years of development. He truly believes that if he and his gang of ivory tower energy thugs set a deadline for creation of green energy four or five years down the road, technology, development, and infrastructure will be ready by politico-legal fiat.

He also believes that massive amounts of taxpayer money thrown at an industry still in its infancy can do what private investment and the market cannot do. But even the Obama-friendly mainstream media are beginning to have their doubts. Still, they will not outright question Obama's business acumen (or lack thereof). At the time of the Solyndra bankruptcy filing, a New York Times headline announced: "Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises." That makes the Times a master of understatement. Solyndra has simply proven that "green jobs" are like Chinese food--an hour later you'll need to create more since the originals have faded into memory, only to be excreted at the appropriate time.

Obama has been very good at rewarding his corporate cronies. GE paid no income taxes for 2010, gave large amounts of money to Obama's campaigns, and got rewarded by having its CEO, Jeffrey Immelt put in charge of job development (in China, mostly). The green weenies are great at deflecting criticism with colorful non sequiturs and flashy but empty commercial messages. As Jennifer Rubin puts it: "Politicians are not particularly well-equipped to identify market trends or spot investment opportunities." But they are good at rewarding their cronies using taxpayer money to hype their message.

"You dress it all up with high-minded phrases ('a twenty-first century economy, green jobs, private-public partnerships') and it sells like hot cakes. I mean who wants a nineteenth century economy? And goodness knows we don't want dingy jobs, we want bright green ones (with that little recycling logo on every product)."

Listen to Solyndra's mission statement, and you'll see how fancy words cover up their cluelessness about both techonology and the market: "Solyndra designs, manufactures and sells solar photovoltaic (PV) systems composed of panels and mounting hardware for large, low-slope commercial rooftops. The panels perform optimally when mounted horizontally and packed close together, thereby covering significantly more of the typically available roof area and producing more electricity per rooftop on an annual basis than a conventional panel installation."

That's largely techno-gibberish designed to cover up the fact that the technology is both largely theoretical and outrageously expensive. Without taxpayer money, this project would never have gotten off the ground. The product itself had possibilities, using a clever curved array of individual tubes making up the panel in place of the tradition flat panel. But the product was a long way from being viable and affordable. Still, who needs tried and true fossil fuels when there is a pie-in-the-sky green alternative available right now? Even if it doesn't work and nobody can afford it?

Solyndra is only the most recent and most obvious example of green weenie failure. At least their product didn't contain large amounts of enviro-hazardous mercury like GE's Chinese compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Some day in the future, green technology may actually replace traditional energy production. But not in the near future, nor at a cost that can be decently borne in a terrible economy such as the one we are living in today (and probably for a decade to come). Pipe dreams are fine for opium addicts, but Obama needs to put that pipe back in the drawer, get rid of his Rube Goldberg buddies, and start dealing with hard reality.

26 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - great article, but you are going to make Thomas Friedman cry. Isn't his book, like Obama's jobs speech all about giving the Feds more money to pump into "green" jobs {sic} piring more tax money down the toilet?

AndrewPrice said...

I read an article the other day that said that even the left is starting to realize that "green jobs" isn't going to create many jobs -- and it takes a ton of government money to make even that happen. Interestingly, Germany, which jumped out well into the lead on "green jobs" has been bleeding those to China now that China has entered the business. This has the Germans scratching their heads. Ditto in the US. This whole thing has been a huge liberal fantasy that is now being exposed.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I hope I can make Paul Krugman cry too (the little weasel). It's well-nigh unbelievable that with the economy in the dumper, these fools want to use tomorrow's technology today to put today's technology (and all its employees) out of work. Spain did the same thing earlier, and by its own government's admission, for every four jobs created, nine were lost. The question is, will they go bankrupt before we do?

Jocelyn said...

Lawhawk, you know, if you throw enough money at it, it'll work itself out, you know, like education.

And the mission statement of this company sounds like someone a high schooler would write to add "fluff" to make their report sound cooler than it really is. I had no idea that their mission statement was so "detailed".

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times have all recently printed articles questioning the wisdom of alleged job creation in the green sector. As the unemployment rate remains the same, and we continue to have zero growth, I suspect we may see even more of those articles. They'll never endorse more jobs in the oil and coal industries, but we may see them lay off their "world-destroying fossil fuels" mantra for awhile.

This will ultimately be another split in the Democratic Party between leftists/greenies and moderates. We might see the real beginnings of it after The One makes his "job creation" speech on Thursday. My guess is "green jobs" will be part of his plan, along with government spending and higher taxation to pay for it. They won't have learned a thing from the Solyndra failure.

But what do I know? I'm just one of those sons-of-bitches attempting to "destroy labor" while ignoring an "inconvenient truth." Oh, and I'm still clinging to my Bible and my guns.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey TennJ - Speaking of Thomas Friedman, he's giving a lecture tonight that I am attending. Before you yell at me, someone gave me the ticket. Can't wait to see what he says.

LawHawkRFD said...

Jocelyn: I saw a great cartoon many years ago (when the LA Times was still a conservative paper). It showed a car with a flat tire sitting disabled while its owner was taking coins out of his pocket and tossing them at the tire. It was entitled "liberal throwing money at a problem." Nothing has changed in decades.

I think you're right about the mission statement. It's right out of "Padding Your Resume for Dummies."

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I hope you're going to be carrying rotten eggs and rotten tomatoes with you. They don't show up on the metal detectors.

T-Rav said...

Heckle him, Bev! Heckle! Heckle!

BevfromNYC said...

Give me some ammo to heckle him with...

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I'm with ya.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: We don't say "ammo." Not civil enough, and liberals get the vapors when we use words like that. LOL

Patti said...

law: did you see this ny times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/opinion/brooks-where-the-jobs-arent.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fb-share

the jest: green is good, but green won't produce the jobs.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: I didn't see it until after I had written the post, but there seems to be an amazingly common thread even among liberals and so-called moderates (like Brooks). They recognize that green energy's time has not yet come, it kills more jobs than it creates in the U.S. and with little regulation and no environmental impact reports to do, sends jobs to China. Only the doctrinaire leftists and green weenies are still saying "damn the jobs--full speed ahead."

StanH said...

Come on Lawhawk we’re only talking about a half billion dollars, typical conservative cheapskate.

From one son-of-a-bitch to another, I’m an all of the above kinda guy, oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, solar, wind, pixie dust, unicorn farts, in that order. The one non-candidate who took on crony-capitalism in here speech Sarah Palin, at the Iowa Tea Party, great speech.

I know Ron Paul, but he’s a nut.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I hope the other candidates pick up on the theme. It's an opportunity for Republicans to point out that most of the cozy relationship between businesses and politicians is between megacorporations and the Democrats. They've been playing that populist crap successfully for a century, and it's time for Republicans to set the record straight and at the same time establish credentials as anti-crony capitalism.

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk. When I said "ammo" I meant ammonia capsules so when faints from my brilliance wecan revive him.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Ah, the classic remedy for the vapors.

Koshcat said...

I say we help out Bev.

"When the Chinese Repo man comes to collect on the loan, can we take your place first?"

"Why does Obama's, and everyone you supports him, economic plan only creates jobs in China and Texas?"

"Explain to me again how I benefit in (insert state here) with using my money building a high speed train between Miami and Orlando?"

"Is the plan to control illegal immigration just to have perpetual recessions?"

"Can you give us an example of a successful company that gave what the customer needed rather than what the government decreeded? Lawyers and tax preparers don't count."

"Is it too crowded in here for you?"

"Explain to me again how borrowing Chinese money and giving it to unemployed, single mothers stimulates the economy?"

"Are you willing to denouce Hamas as a terrorist organization?"

If any of those help, you are welcome to use them. Have fun!

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: Excellent questions all. If he comes to California, I'll phrase the train questions as "who benefits from a bullet train that runs from Bakersfield to, well, nowhere?

Koshcat said...

That is a company that gave what the government decreed rather than what the customer needed.

Guess I got a little excited and didn't proofread very well.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: I don't think anyone had any trouble taking your meaning, and if we counted typos (including our own) we wouldn't have time to do anything else. LOL Actually, I sorta like "decreeded." It's like an extra decree. Consider it a neologism that fits in the same category as "done decreed."

Koshcat said...

Another irritation. The term "settled science", it doesn't exist except in the pea brains of certain people.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: And don't forget that the Chinese don't have to submit twenty-five environmental impact reports, one for each useless insect that might be crawling around on the railroad tracks. They don't have union contracts and work rules to deal with. And that's only dealing with the escalators.

It only took Americans two years to build the Empire State Building, using 1920's technology. They couldn't even open the EIR paperwork in two years today. And that's only one regulatory agency out of dozens the proposed building would face in our socialist/green/bureaucratic nation today.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: You are so right. Science is only "settled" when there has been a full vetting of the problem, including people who don't agree with the hypothesis and aren't on the public payroll that pays for the predetermined conclusion. And even after that, there's always the chance that some enterprising scientist will discover an alternative answer that works better. In Demo speak, "settled science" means "shut up, those of you who disagree with us."

LawHawkRFD said...

LATE ADDENDUM: The FBI has now obtained search warrants for Solyndra's books and production records. That's a start. The Department of Energy (another huge waste of money) initiated the request for the warrants. Unless they can prove criminal wrongdoing, the taxpayers will get next-to-nothing back in the bankruptcy court. This is a perfect example of political payback, crony capitalism, and the inability of the federal government to make either fair or intelligent decisions on where taxpayer money should be spent when dealing with private industry.

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