Patterico's Pontifications


The Great Leap Forward in Green Jobs

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:15 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

First, let’s look at the micro level, shall we?  At Right Scoop they have audio from the Mark Levin show.  Yes, I grit my teeth at the thought of promoting the guy, but I have to admit he did well, here, getting a person who worked on constructing the Solyndra plant to speak on the show and tell us this:

While we were out there, while we were building it – cause it is a half a billion dollar plant – everyone already knew that China had developed a more inexpensive way to manufacture these solar panels. Everyone knew that the plant wouldn’t work. But they still did it. They still built it.

As Right Scoop notes:

She then emphasized that she isn’t even that high on the totem pole and she knew this stuff. So there’s no doubt in her mind that Obama and the White House knew that it wasn’t feasible.

And then on the same day, we learn this, on the macro level:

A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.

The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy tallies.

So do the math, okay?  Since it says “almost half” let’s round down the amount to $19 billion.  So if you divide that by 3,545, that comes out to $5,359,661.5, or a little more than $5 million per job.  It would literally be cheaper to just pay each of these people $200K a year for five years.

In Right Scoop’s Levin clip, he likens all of this to the Potemkin Village, but I think of another story from Communism: China’s Great Leap Forward.  I won’t recount the full sad history of this chapter in Chinese history except to say that China thought that they could will themselves into greater agricultural production.  Soon local officials in rural China began to report ridiculous levels of production, so much so that people reporting normal levels of production were considered suspicious and likely enemies of the state.  China had always been barely able to feed its people, so moderation was necessary, but based on those false reports, the government began to tell people to eat like as if there was plenty, and quickly what little food was there was depleted.

And one particular story that leapt out at me when studying this was how sometimes people would come to inspect the fields, and the local officials would quickly transfer three to five fields worth of crops into one field, and show the inspector that field, alleging it to be typical.  After the inspector left, however, the transferred crops would quickly die, further reducing the supply of food.

The result of all of this was famine, resulting in death on the scale of the holocaust.

And that is what we are doing today.  Obama is taking what little productivity there is left, and pouring it down into giant holes.  Like those local officials transferring crops, they are taking a bad situation and actively making it worse, in the name of appearances.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Why Rick Perry is the likely GOP nominee

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:49 am

[Posted by Karl]

…with a major caveat, of course.  But first, a disclaimer and a sideshow.  The disclaimer is that I am currently not supporting Perry or any of the other candidates.  Perhaps I am overly cynical, but I have not been excited about a presidential candidate since Reagan — and that was as likely the result of youthful exuberance as it was Reagan’s merits.  The sideshow:

After Monday’s debate in Florida, most people expected Rick Perry’s rapid rise to the top of the polls for Republican presidential candidates to slow or halt, having taken a beating over the Gardasil mandate and immigration.  His attack on Social Security was supposed to scare off seniors.  However, as RealClearPolitics reported last night,  a new poll by Insider Advantage shows Perry grabbing a nine-point lead in the Sunshine State in a survey taken the next day…

The effect of debates — and any debate in particular — is greatly exaggerated.  Monday’s debate was seen by fewer people than watched Monday Night Football, The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Pawn Stars, American Pickers or WWE Entertainment (The NBC/Politico debate had higher ratings, barely edging out an episode of Storage Wars).  That’s why Allahpundit was smart to view the current Rick Perry-Mitt Romney slugfest from the outset as more of a metaphor for the  “electability vs. principle” conundrum, which will play out over the entire course of the campaign.  But even that narrative frame may overstate the campaign dynamic. (more…)

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