American Elephants

A Quote from the Symposium: by The Elephant's Child
September 12, 2011, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, The United States | Tags: , ,

James Lileks, writing in a symposium on 9/11 at National Review:

If 9/11 had really changed us, there’d be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles. Instead there’s a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors. The Empire State Building took 18 months to build. During the Depression. We could do that again, but we don’t. And we don’t seem interested in asking why.


Another Battle in the Energy Wars! by The Elephant's Child

When President Obama gave his big Jobs Speech last Thursday, with short paragraphs punctuated with shouted exhortations to PASS THIS BILL NOW!, the problem was that The American Jobs Bill didn’t exist except in Obama’s rhetoric.

Republicans wrote a polite response to the White House suggesting that he put it in writing, so they can have the Congressional Budget Office score the bill — as the CBO has clearly stated, “they don’t score speeches.”

President Obama now has sent something in writing over to Congress. And on the same day that Mr. Obama brought out legislation that he claimed would produce job growth, the Texas energy company Luminant announced that it would lay off 500 employees.  A new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will force it to cease operations at two electricity generating plants, and close three coal mines.

Luminant CEO David Campbell said in a news release:

We have hundreds of employees who have spent their entire professional careers at Luminant and its predecessor companies.  At every step of this process, we have tried to minimize these impacts, and it truly saddens me that we are being compelled to take the actions we’ve announced today.

Campbell also announced that Luminant has filed a lawsuit against the EPA in an effort to “achieve [EPA emissions] goals without harming critically important Texas jobs and electric reliability.  Luminant supports continued efforts to improve air quality across the nation and across the state. Other groups, including those on the political left,  are speaking out for environmental solutions that do not so imperil the nation’s economy.

We have previously explored the collapse of Solyndra, and more will surely come out about that company’s relationship to the White House. Evergreen Solar also filed for bankruptcy. It goes on and on.

Sharing the box with Michelle Obama at the President’s Jobs Speech was GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who is chairman of Mr. Obama’s Jobs Committee, despite being a net jobs eliminator.  GE has been awarded 44 contracts totaling over $46,000,000 and 44 grants totaling more than $79,000,000 from the Obama/Pelosi Stimulus plan.  GE used millions of dollars in stimulus funds for green energy projects.

On Saturday GE announced that it was going to , um, scale back its efforts to expand its presence in the offshore wind power market.  GE is a leading manufacturer of wind-power turbines. But there is not yet any meaningful offshore wind market, and the market may not mature as rapidly as many boosters had claimed.  The company got into the offshore market by its acquisition of Norway’s ScanWind, a developer of direct-drive turbines, but may lay off about 40 employees in Norway as it scales back its operations there.  The company has also suspended plans to build a manufacturing plant in the United Kingdom indefinitely.

In his new $447 billion campaign fund, stimulus, jobs plan, the president expects to pay for a part of it by eliminating the “subsidies” for “Big Oil.” For every two cents of tax subsidies for “Big Oil,” wind and solar get nearly $1 dollar of subsidy.  Obama claimed loudly, that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for.

This is nonsense.  He hasn’t even paid for the first stimulus yet, and he wants another $447 billion.  Obama has already “invested” 4 Trillion to stimulate the economy, he’s on track to add another $973 billion next year. Why would anyone expect another $447 billion to fix things? Should we consider that just possibly Keynes was wrong?

Obama says “We’ve been able to stabilize the economy, and that’s an enormous accomplishment.” Stabilize? The economy is still going in the wrong direction, and the president apparently hasn’t noticed.

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