Saturday, January 28, 2012

Government Shouldn't "Invest" My Money

From Power Line Blog:
But this got me to thinking: just what does a investment specialist with the Steadman Funds do after crashing and burning in such a comprehensive fashion? I wonder if maybe they went to work for the Obama administration’s “green energy investment” program? I offer this as a possible explanation after seeing the news this week that yet another green energy company backed with over $100 million in taxpayer dollars has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Ener1 Inc., a battery maker, has joined the ranks of Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, and Beacon Power in the Obama Administration’s Steadman-like portfolio of energy investment losers. More failures are thought to be in the pipeline, according to a recent CBS News report.
If the president really believed the Abraham Lincoln quote that he mentioned in this past week's State of the Union Address, that government should only do for people what they cannot do for themselves, then it has no business making risky "investments" in companies. Any one of us can do that all on our own. This president seems hell-bent on using his office to enforce his view of society on the rest of us, and I hope this dystopia ends next January.


muckdog said...

I have a feeling Obama will prevail and that means the entitlements will flow.

Just like in CA where the state supreme court just rule in favor of the redistricting moved and the likelihood of a super majority of democrats will be able to finally raise taxes at any whim.

To invest, of course.

DADvocate said...

If the president really believed the Abraham Lincoln quote that he mentioned in this past week's State of the Union Address,...

Bwahahahaha! What does Obama believe? I'm not sure he believes anything he says. He's a prototypical sociopath who says whatever he feels will make him look good and keep him in power.

mazenko said...

On the other hand, manufacturing and industrial policy has been the engine behind the consistent growth and prosperity of Germany and most recently China.

In fact, when an Apple exec went to scout a location for iPhone production in China, he found a factory already built. They built it on the expectation of business. Who can do that? They can, with govt subsidy. They got the job. For when it comes to financing business start-up, govts act like venture capitalists. They throw money at many projects - and no company can keep up with a country in terms of financing. And, if you are opposed to govt investing your money, you have little understanding of the manufacturing growth of the 20/21st century. Consider the growth in science/technolgoy/space/ industries that all came with government "investment."

I get your criticisms, D. I really do. And you have a point about some "failures" of govt investment. But it's not an either or. The government should use tax funds to invest in the private economy. It's one of the greatest drivers of prosperity.

It's simply not the either/or thinking you like to promote.

Why do you cling to that?

Darren said...

Really, Mazenko? You hold up a Chinese company as an avatar of good government investment?

I "cling" to my belief, like I do my guns and God, apparently, because I believe it's correct.

mazenko said...

No, I hold up the United States of America for the past 150 years. No comments or refutations on the US govt's investment in health or military or space or transportation or communication technology, or the invention and growth of the internet economy?

Figures. That's your MO of not "getting into a discussion on my terms" when you have no details. I'll at least credit people like MikeAT and Maxatillus and Mark Roulo - and myself - for actually backing up what they say with examples and historical evidence.

(and I already predict your Al Gore joke - but it doesn't refute the primary and indispensable role of govt investment in the invention and growth of the web)

As far as your beliefs, I'll give you an adage used by Reagan - "If your map doesn't match conditions on the ground, ignore the map."

Darren said...

We got the internet because govt scientists needed a way to communicate. We got atomic energy because we needed a master weapon with which to beat the axis powers. We have a CDC and other medical research labs and universities to find ways to improve public health. We *don't* need to throw taxpayer money at unproven companies and hope they turn out well. That is *not* what the United States should be doing, and a perusal of the Constitution tells me I'm right.

Anonymous said... seem to have confused investment with program. Many of our programs NASA, military, etc. spun off industries...Private individuals took ideas begun in government programs and built something from them. The government did not fund those spin offs. Venture capitalist (private equity) backed those opportunities. Did the government have a hand in the beginning (you bet). Did the government bet on the individual spin off? There's a huge difference between developing an idea and politically rewarding one.

W.R. Chandler said...

Is this what you really want? The Chinese totalitarian economic model? Let's see what is happening with Apple taking advantage of all these Chinese government goodies:

From the New York Times (1/21/12):

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

Yes! Yes! Let's emulate this over here!

Darren said...

Mr. Chandler, perhaps you also want to discuss this article:
Apple: Make the iPhone 5 ethically