This week Solyndra, a California firm engaged in making solar panels, went bankrupt. The company blamed the Chinese, who have figured out how to make solar panels at a lower cost. So it goes in private enterprise; some firms thrive and some firms go broke. The Solyndra story, however, is messy; VERY MESSY.
George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire and major Solyndra investor, raised substantial amounts of money for Obama’s 2008 election. A year later Kaiser was rewarded as the Obama administration, through the Federal Department of Energy, gave Solyndra a $535,000,000 guaranteed government loan. Folks, that’s more than half a BILLION dollars.
Solyndra, like Obama, was full of hype but not much substance. Promising to create 3,000 high tech renewable energy jobs, when Solyndra went bankrupt last Wednesday it laid off only 1,200 employees. When the workers asked about severance pay they were told by company officers that there was no money remaining.
Lessons in the above story:
1. The president’s number one priority is his political career and re-election. Those who help him are rewarded. There is enough “stink” in this loan deal to put an average citizen in jail for 20 years. Don’t expect Mr. Kaiser to see iron bars anytime soon.
2. Picking winning industries is difficult. Picking winning firms is even harder. This is better left to private investors than the Federal Government, who’s “experts” aren’t any smarter than the rest of us.
3. There was probably a reason that Solyndra couldn’t arrange financing from private investors. A few come to mind. Perhaps private investors saw an incomplete business plan, or over compensation of executives, or exaggerated cost calculations. Don’t forget; the government runs in with your tax dollars where rational investors fear to tread. It does this because no one spends someone else’s money (especially tax money) more carefully than they spend their own.
4. Where did the half a billion dollars go? At $535 million bucks, the feds created 1,200 jobs. That’s roughly $445,833 per job. It’s a good guess that the Chinese firm that has been kicking Solyndra’s hiney isn’t paying wages like that. Neither did Solyndra. Maybe someday we’ll find out how many hundreds of millions of dollars were siphoned off by Solyndra’s officers and directors…and perhaps even Mr. Kaiser.
Barack Obama desperately wants to be our “jobs President,” but his administrations favoritism toward alternative energy firms has misallocated society’s resources. Once again our omnipresent leader has demonstrated his superior intellect and vision for the United States of America.