Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Unnecessary Is Inevitable

This is the Industry Week take on the Solyndra solar cell company's crash and burn.

What a complete -- and unnecessary -- disgrace the Obama administration's performance in the Solyndra affair has been.

Admittedly, not all the facts are out about the administration's decision to award a $535 million dollar federal loan guarantee to the recently collapsed California-based solar panel maker. And admittedly, many free-market extremist politicians and think tank hacks are only too happy to blur a critical distinction: between criminal or otherwise corrupt activities (or simple incompetence, for that matter) on the one hand, and the inherent difficulties and risks on the other hand of subsidizing new, potentially game-changing, but by definition chancy products and technologies that will struggle to attract private capital from the short-term focused American financial system.
By the way he is wailing you know that debacle has hit a nerve. But think about it. Aren't all political decisions subject to cash under the table influence?

The way we handle looking out for the long term in America is that the government supports research and then attracts companies to put up their own money to capitalize on the fruits of that research. Perfect? No. Subject to manipulation re: who gets the patents? Yes. But at least companies are putting up their own money for a roll out. Which gives them some skin in the game.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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