American Elephants


Here’s How to Fix the Economy! by The Elephant's Child

My most recent post which indicates why I believe the government should get out of the energy business, and the video that asks “Why Can’t Chuck Get His Business Off the Ground?” are just two of my frequent posts about my belief that government needs to keep out of the business of business.

If they want to rescue the economy and create jobs, they might start with eliminating (yes, eliminating! permanently) the corporate income tax.  Businesses don’t really pay a corporate income tax anyway, consumers do.

If the corporate income tax goes up, the cost of goods goes up.  If the corporate income tax is eliminated, the cost of goods goes down, they sell more, they have more business, and they soon need to hire more people.  The administration would fret about the foregone taxes, but increased business means more income for everyone.  You could even call it a “multiplier effect” if you wanted to — maybe then they’d go for it.

In that vein, there is a wonderful post at Maggie’s Farm, on a solution for the economy.  Don’t miss it.



Get the Government Out of the Energy Business! by The Elephant's Child

Earlier this past week, down at the medical center, I was in the elevator with another woman and we engaged in a typical Seattle conversation.  I smiled and said ” It’s nice to see the sun again.”  She smiled back and said “yes, it is probably the last time until Spring.”  Typical Seattle answer.

This is only notable because when I got back home, I  heard a commercial on the radio suggesting that listeners install a solar panel on their roof.  The name of the sponsor escaped me, for I was so astounded — this was Seattle.  We go weeks without seeing the sun!

Also in the news:  1) The Obama administration has approved the world’s biggest solar-thermal power plant in the Southern California desert —and claimed, once again that renewable energy creates jobs — in spite of all evidence to the contrary. 2) Solyndra Inc., the solar panel maker celebrated by President Obama as a model for a green energy future, said that it has scuttled it’s factory expansion in Fremont, ending its plans to hire 1,000 workers, and it will close an existing factory in the East Bay.  That will leave them with only one factory in Fremont with 1,000 workers.  Over the next several weeks they will eliminate another 155 to 175 more jobs.

In other words the federal government invested a half-a billion in a company that could not compete on a price basis with foreign competition. The Chinese make them cheaper.

The Blythe “world’s biggest” solar power plant joins five other renewable energy projects on public lands:  Imperial Valley Solar Project, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, and the Calico Solar Project, all in California, and the Silver State North Solar Project in Nevada. The Blythe project is built by Solar Millennium subsidiary Palo Verde Solar I, a German firm.

Also in the news, California voters overwhelmingly rejected Prop. 23, a ballot initiative that would have suspended the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act until the state’s unemployment level dropped below 5.5 % for four consecutive quarters.  Many voters saw the proposition as a battle between out-of-state oil producers vs. environmentalists and in-state venture capitalists sponsoring a “clean energy revolution”.  But the vote was not about climate policy for the venture capitalists— it was about how they would lose a bundle if taxpayers did not artificially prop up their investment.

It’s called “rent-seeking.” Through lobbying, firms want their investments protected with taxpayer money.  The process should be driven by the market.  Venture capitalists should take their risks without public subsidy, and if new forms of energy can compete — they will supplant the old ones.

It has not been the case in other countries  that alternative energy works, is viable, or creates jobs. Spain’s vast experiment with solar and wind energy meant that 2.2 jobs were lost in the regular economy for every new job in the alternative energy industry because of the increased cost of power.

It is a Hoax, a Fraud and a Rip-Off. It will have no effect on carbon dioxide nor on climate.  It requires 24/7 backup from regular power plants, and is another huge regressive tax on consumers. We need to get the federal government out of the energy business — they don’t understand it and are wasting your money.




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