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So Socialist Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is proposing at the G20 meeting that nations agree to create green jobs as their way out of the current economic crisis. He says he will create a million jobs in the green sector, and we should follow him. This happens to be the same thing he said as Spain’s unemployment doubled to 20% amid a binge of debt-financed, job-killing mandates for ‘green ’ electricity. Now Spain is the ‘world leader’. Help!
Among Zapatero’s converts was one President Barack Obama. Obama no longer mentions Spain as his model, for very good reason.
Is Zapatero just remarkably stubborn or slow at learning? Not really. He knows things are even worse than originally exposed. He’s counting on others playing the role of Dunce. He is even counting on others playing that role — the Obama administration — despite also knowing the truth.
If I had to assign a word to describe Zapatero’s gambit, it wouldn’t be the tempting ‘Hail-Mary’, but instead ‘Solyndra’.
Solyndra is a Spanish solar panel company bailed out by the US taxpayer with no strings attached, which hundreds of millions borrowed by the Obama administration from China and in your name were proved almost immediately to have been squandered, as the company flounders. More please!
Of course, such companies are the most likely recipients of enormous infusions of taxpayer-debt. Viable firms get their money from the capital markets. These firms, however, turn to politicians, proving far too much with the argument that, unless they get such an infusion, it’s curtains. Somehow, they end up getting the infusion. Markets work. Politicians, well, not so much, at least when it comes to picking winners. Picking losers? They’re your guys.
Solyndra is just one of many Spanish companies that ran this game on the Obama administration which appears to at least have blindly looked the other way from these interests’ unique lack of viability. An American University investigative assessment titled “Blown Away” opened:
Overseas firms collecting most green energy money
Thursday, October 29th, 2009
One of the major selling points of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan was that it would put the economy back on track partly by investing in renewable energy industries, like wind and solar.
The president and many other advocates of alternative energy argue that an investment in green energy would lessen the nation’s reliance on foreign oil, cut greenhouse gases, and most importantly, create thousands of new jobs for out-of-work Americans.
But of the $1.05 billion in clean-energy grants handed out by the government since Sept. 1, 84 percent - a total of $849 million - has gone to foreign wind companies. Spanish utility company, Iberdrola S.A., alone has collected $545 million through its American subsidiary.
Even more striking is the fact that there are few restrictions on the how the grants can be used, according to a transcript of a Treasury Department briefing. In fact, more than $800 million has been given to firms for wind farms that were already producing electricity before they received the grants, according to a review of the records by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.
So Zapatero’s push looks a little less inane and more cunning. He doesn’t think much of us. But he’ll take our money to keep his teetering economy from becoming the next Greece. As the Economist wrote in 2009:
Big in America? Spanish firms hope to benefit from America’s stimulus plan
Apr 8th 2009 | MADRID A
MERICAN companies are not the only ones hoping for a boost from Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. Spanish firms are also positioning themselves to benefit from what they call el Plan Obama. Other foreign companies are jostling for some of the $317 billion of intended spending, but Spain is the only country to have built a campaign around it.
You see, Zapatero created (with the too-able assistance of his Popular Party predecessors/accomplices) a bubble of a phony industry, killing real and prospective jobs and sustained only by continued infusion of taxpayer debt and increased energy prices (further killing jobs), which bubble burst when that debt was admitted to be unsustainable.
As Madrid economics professor Dr. Gabriel Calzada exposed, the ‘green jobs’ industry in Spain saw their only hope in Uncle Sucker coming to the rescue and keeping the bubble filled with transferred billions. That is why he was decried as ‘unpatriotic’ by the renewables industry and communist-affiliated trade union. They complained he wasn’t supposed to let that cat out of the bag.
Zapatero has on his hands a bunch of rent-seeking welfare queens who exist and prosper not for reasons of performance or economic advantage, but solely because of politicians directing billions their way. Solyndra and other Spanish companies already received billions in a lifeline from the indebted US taxpayer, which also must be continued or these interests go bust, as has already begun to prove true.
So Zapatero is merely the ambulance-chasing plaintiff’s lawyer, the huckster who argues the facially absurd and who many will blame when the jury awards his client millions for spilling scalding coffee over his crotch. We are the jury. If we fall for this.