American Elephants


Andrew Klavan, Once Again, On the Culture. by The Elephant's Child
February 26, 2010, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: , ,

Andrew Klavan’s videos, produced for Pajamas Media are always amusing. Hope you enjoy them as well.



The Administration is Very Anxious to Control More of the Economy. Be Nice if They Knew What They Were Doing. by The Elephant's Child
February 26, 2010, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy | Tags: , ,

Mitt Romney’s new book,  No Apology” The Case for American Greatness apparently makes the claim that “government is calling the shots on every major decision at GM, including which plants to expand and which to close.”

According to long-time Detroit newspaperman and political cartoonist Henry Payne:

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told the Detroit News: “While the president will continue to monitor the taxpayers’ investment in these companies, he has enough on his plate to have no interest in running them. Decisions and management are handled by the company alone.”

Payne lists the ways in which Washington isn’t running GM.:

  • The Obama administration forced GM into Chapter 11 last March and rejected its first restructuring plan as inadequate.
  • The Obama administration fired GM CEO Rick Wagoner.
  • The Obama administration appointed new GM board chairman, Ed Whitacre.
  • The Obama administration forced GM to reverse a decision to build its new small car in Asia.  To satisfy UAW demands, the car will be built in Orion Township, north of Detroit.
  • Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) strong-armed GM into keeping open a facility slated for closure in his district.
  • Congress has balked at GM’s dealer streamlining plans, passing a law requiring dealer arbitration.
  • And just today, the Obama administration GM announced that it would discontinue the gas-hungry Hummer.

Makes sense to me.  Once again, Obama’s ideology trumps the facts.  He believes firmly that oil and gas are dirty and evil, that “clean green” policies will save the planet, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  Or perhaps it is just payback for the environmental organizations that supported his campaign.  The Chicago Boys are very big on paying back your supporters.  It’s called “crony capitalism.”  Used to be called “graft.”



The Green Jobs Myth, and Clean Green Energy is a Myth As Well. by The Elephant's Child
February 26, 2010, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

In spite of the hoopla of the Blair House theater summit yesterday, the American people keep trying to remind the President and Congress that health care ranks pretty far down on their list.  They are much more concerned about the economy and unemployment.

“Green jobs” remain a central pillar of the Obama administration’s policy to promote clean energy.  New jobless claims were up by 22,000 this week, over last week.  But how does the administration’s claim stand up? The facts challenge policymakers’ wishful thinking.

The Obama administration has allocated more than $4 billion in funding from the Stimulus bill to the “smart grid,” for its job-creation potential.  Much of this is to be spent installing close to 20 million “smart meters” over the next five years.

Smart meters are digital versions of the spinning electric meter on every house.  Spinning meters haven’t changed in the last century, and must be read by workers.  Smart meters automatically transmit consumption data for electricity to a utility.  By essentially eliminating human intervention, smart meters promise more accurate usage measurement as well as efficient management of energy production resources.

Farewell to meter-readers.

It takes one worker today roughly 15 minutes to read a single meter. So in a day, a meter reader can scan about 30 meters, or about 700 meters a month. Meters are typically read once a month, making it the base period to calculate meter-reading jobs. Reading a million meters every month engages about 1,400 personnel. In five years, 20 million manually read meters are expected to disappear, taking with them some  28,000 meter-reading jobs.

Nearly 40 million smart meters have been installed worldwide, mostly in Europe.  The jobs created in this industry can be broadly classified into four categories: installation, manufacturing, research and development and information technology services.

It takes two certified electricians about 30 minutes to replace a spinning meter.  About 5,000 a year, for 400 installation jobs or 1,600 jobs over 5 years to install 20 million meters.

Manufacturing is highly automated, and mostly accomplished overseas, with American jobs only in the hundreds.  In R&D and IT services, the number of jobs created is forecast to be in the hundreds or low thousands.

So smart metering will result in net job destruction.  The “clean energy” jobs from wind and solar, in Spain resulted in a loss of 2.5 jobs in the private sector for every “green job.” Electric vehicles are a promising green sector, but the technology is not yet there, and jobs would simply be cannibalized from gasoline powered cars.




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