Some of the People, Too Much of the Time
©2011 Ross Williams
Headline: Chu to Testify on Solyndra
Article Synopsis: US Secretary of Energy Chu “looks forward” to the opportunity to dazzle Congress with plausible excuses why the Obama administration funneled $535 million to a solar panel manufacturer in California just in time for it to go bankrupt and lose it all.
The Man Behind the Curtain: The Department of Energy knew in 2009 that the solar panel company was doomed to failure. They make a very expensive product that – despite all the hype – does not work as advertised and probably won’t for decades. A large part of the reason they make a very expensive product is because of the high price of US labor; the same item can be bought from China for a fraction of the cost so that dealing with the inherent shortcomings of the product isn’t so maddening.
But that doesn’t work with a government more interested in ideology than governance. It doesn’t matter that solar energy is a niche energy at best. The current administration made “green technology” a cornerstone of its economic recovery plan, so niche energy...? economic inefficiency...? doesn’t matter.
Some things, such as politics, are simply more important than the laws of economics and the laws of physics; reality just has to take a back seat. Those who originally invested in Solyndra should not have to lose their money just because their own ideology clouded them to the reality that the company they invested in was making an overrated product at an unsellable price. So let’s have the Department of Energy give the company a half billion dollars to pay back the original investors and let the taxpayers eat the cost of unsound solutions that defy physics.
With the deficit at $1.5 trillion, who’ll notice a measly half billion? That’s pocket lint.
Conclusion: Barack Obama-wan doesn’t have enough Jedi mind tricks in his bag to convince people that these are not the loans they are looking for.
Headline: Obamacare Penalizes Marriage
Article Synopsis: Analysts looking at the Obamacare legislation have noted that it contains several perverse incentives including a marriage penalty and a working woman penalty. Democrats respond by claiming, “Yabbut... yabbut...”.
Thank you, Nancy: Another of the “Let’s hurry up and pass it so we can find out what’s in it” shoes has fallen, as almost everyone not blinded by ideology could have predicted. A law purports to do one thing, yet does something else entirely. Who knew that was possible?
Just because the law written to prevent teen drinking doesn’t penalize teens who drink but instead penalizes everyone around them ... and has also created the largest pool of pre-alcoholics since Prohibition ...
Just because the law written to make home-ownership easier for those on the bottom rungs of society instead took those homes away from those on the bottom rungs ... and also from many of those on the middle rungs as well ...
Just because the law written to ensure medical privacy and portable insurance has instead inflated the cost of medical care by creating a blizzard of paperwork that ensures neither privacy nor portability ...
Just because the law written to prevent another Enron fiasco has instead made it impossible for publically-traded companies to hire anyone but beancounters who can spit out the alchemaic brew of witch-doctored financials that mean nothing and don’t prevent another Enron in any event ...
...who could have guessed that a law that no one knew what was inside it could create unintended consequences? ...besides anyone smarter than a rock? ... and by ‘rock’ I mean liberal, Democrat or [ironic term] “progressive”?
The underwriting of mandatory health insurance is based on family income, not individual income. Two people who individually earn little enough that they’ll have health insurance given to them by ... well, me ... but if married they will earn so much that they’ll have to buy their own. Who’s going to get married? If married, who’s not going to reduce to a one-earner family when the second earner is marginally employed? This is another Man In The House rule.
Johnson’s “Great Society” legislation created more unwed pregnancies among the poverty class than crack, meth and Colt 45 malt liquor combined. Women could game the Welfare system by whelping baby after baby ... as long as the father did not live in the household. A male over the age of 18 would disqualify the female head-of-household from receiving benefits from most individual welfare programs, including especially the biggie: AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
Welfare apologists claimed for years that “no one would ever deliberately have children in poverty just to get free money” ... yet they did, by the millions. Welfare apologists claimed for years that “no one would deliberately seek to stay on welfare because it doesn’t pay enough to live on” ... yet they did, by the millions.
This particular perverse incentive gave us serialized baby machines and an epidemic of inner-city males made homeless at the age of 18, who themselves are ineligible for welfare because they aren’t female. And with nothing left for them to do and not much education to speak of to do it with, let’s see how many guesses it takes to figure out what these young inner-city males actually do with their lives.
We have the perverse incentives of idiotic feel-good [ironic term] “progressive” legislation to thank for it. “Aww, those poor, pitiable people ... let’s help them by causing them long-term damage.”
Conclusion: When will enough be enough?
Headline: Democrats Drive Drop in Obamacare Support
Article Synopsis: Two-thirds of Americans do not approve of Obamacare while only 34% approve; this is an improvement [or not, depending on how you look at it] from earlier this year when a simple majority failed to approve. Neither Republicans nor independents have ever approved, hovering at around 1-in-8 and 1-in-3 respectively, but Democrats’ support fell from 2-in-3 to just over half. A majority of Americans also disapprove of the President and Congress.
The bloom is off the fart blossom: The majority of Americans have never supported the notion of Obamacare, though there was a bump in the numbers due mainly to the relief, just after it was passed, of no longer having to listen to the haranguing. From that point to this, however, support has gone nowhere but down.
The last month has seen the biggest drop in Democrats’ support, coinciding with a daily observation of those in whose benefit Obamacare would be most keenly felt: the Occupy Wall Street protesters. It also coincided with a daily viewing of those for whom Obamacare has been enacted for over a half century. I do not believe it is a coincidence.
Many Democrats are self-absorbed ninnies who don’t pay particular attention to the rest of the world unless they can help it – sorta like Republicans – and being force-fed a steady diet of the images of the Occupiers, a lot of Democrats are undoubtedly thinking to themselves, “These self-absorbed, brainless ninnies who can’t figure out what they’re protesting are what we supported Obamacare for? Geez, was I dumb!” And they’ve changed their minds about it.
And still other Democrats are undoubtedly seeing Greece stumble-bumming its way into receivership on the German dime and finally understanding that not even the government can endlessly give away social goods without having someone pay for it. ...and realizing that the ones paying for our social goods is now China, who pretty much sneers at us in the same way that liberals, Democrats and [ironic term] “progressives” sneer at anyone who can actually do basic arithmetic. These Democrats are possibly thinking to themselves, “Is China going to take fifty cents on the dollar to keep us afloat like Germany did for Greece? or are they going to take California instead?” and concluding the latter.
Conclusion: Fooling most of the people long enough to get elected to a second term is not a prescription for national prosperity. If the main purpose is to be lionized with the statue you’re perpetually posing for, though, it might work.