Streetwise Professor

September 9, 2011

Yeah. Pass the Bill. By All Means.

Filed under: Economics,Energy,Politics,Regulation — The Professor @ 10:16 pm

I consider the entire $500 million plus squandered on solar panel manufacturer Solyndra by Obama the Beneficent to be an appalling combination of green (as in money)-worshipping crony capitalism and green unicorn-worshipping foolishness.  That said, I am deeply uneasy over the Masky Raid that was unleashed on the company soon after its bankruptcy.  Like R, I find it all too redolent of Russia (pace BP’s and Prokhorov’s recent tortures).

Perhaps there is a crime here, but given the increasingly pronounced predilection of prosecutors and law enforcement to engage in what appears to be more headline seeking than serious attempts to deal with true wrongdoing, I have my doubts as to whether the company engaged in serious malfeasance.

Either alternative explanation of recent events is disturbing.  Under one explanation, Solyndra was not a criminal enterprise, but just not an economically viable one that the government pumped nearly half-a-billion into.  In that case, there is no justification for a raid.  Under another explanation, Solyndra’s management was engaged in criminal acts–but the Department of Energy (which participated in today’s raid) couldn’t figure that out when it gave the company $585 billion in March 2009, or when the company restructured mere months ago.

In other words.  Case 1: an economically unsustainable but legally clean company is harassed by Big Brother.  Case 2: Big Brother is so incompetent that it couldn’t figure out that it was shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars into a criminal enterprise, and didn’t engage in proper oversight of such a huge debtor, and hence financed the operation of a criminal enterprise.   Hard to see another alternative.

The incompetence alternative gets a boost from Nobel Prize winning Secretary of Energy Chu.  DOE’s Inspector General participated in the raid, but Chu apparently thinks that Solyndra is a success.  Yes.  You read that right.  A success:

Mr. Chu’s spokesman argued that “the project that we supported succeeded. The facility was producing the product it said it would produce, and consumers were buying the product.”

Then I guess every firm filing through bankruptcy court is really a success.  Chu is obviously a brilliant physicist and an economic numbskull.  Which wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

Seeing what has transpired with the spawn of the first stimulus, by all means, let’s “pass the bill” so we can watch Son of Stimulus.  By Chu’s standards, it’s guaranteed to be a smashing success.

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  1. Stimulus Plan

    [0] Take $1,000 billion from the economy. ($3,000 per man, woman, and child). Do not adjust the GDP statistics, because this money was surely just lying around doing nothing.

    [1] Spend (or give if you must) the money on worthy projects and people associated with the government.
      (see Crumbling Infrastructure at )

    [2] Make an accounting entry in the statistics “US GDP +$1,000 billion”.

    [3] Proclaim to the public that you have increased GDP by $1,000 billion and have created 3.3 million jobs (or job equivalents).
      How to compute jobs: Divide $1,000 billion by $33,000 per job = 30 million jobs. Over three years = 10 million jobs sustained each year. Adjust for government fraud and abuse (n/3) = 3.3 million jobs.

    [4] Proclaim that all intelligent economists agree with you, to gain more public confidence.

    [5] If it doesn’t seem to work, repeat until re-election.

    – –
    Important Note:
    Omit step [0] above from all interdepartmental communications and press releases. This step is classified. If you are questioned, and really pinned to the wall, go off the record and explain that we are merely transfering some wealth from the future (where it isn’t yet needed) into the present (where we desperately need it for re-election).

    Avoid any speculation that we cannot really take resources from the future. We can only take resources available today and put them to a different use, supporting our friends in the government and infrastructure community. The future will eventually arrive and take care of itself, when we may be out of office anyway.

    Comment by Andrew_M_Garland — September 10, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  2. Steven Chu is a progressive ideologue that has done good work in very specialized areas of Physics. Why that would make him an expert on climate science or Gulf Of Mexico blowouts is beyond me. The people that regard him as an expert in these areas just know even far less about it than he does and. Gee Steven has a Nobel prize so he must know EVERYTHING.

    I will be glad when he returns to the lab. Maybe he will figure out a way to protect us from extermination by alien invaders for allowing global warming. Geez.

    Comment by pahoben — September 12, 2011 @ 7:09 am

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