Friday, September 2, 2011

Another green investment fails

I picked up and read The Death of Conservatism yesterday which argues that movement conservatism expired at the hands of Barack Obama, “a leader of rare political skills.” I also read yesterday that solar panel maker Solyndra is declaring bankruptcy and closing its doors.  According to the report at Bloomberg “the company had borrowed $527 million of the $535 million covered by the Energy Departments loan guarantees.  Solyndra was part of the Obama administrations efforts to create green jobs.

What caught my eye in the story was this:

“The Energy Department’s portfolio of dozens of other government-backed investments ‘continues to perform well and is on pace to create thousands of jobs’.”

The claim that these investments are actually on pace is dubious, as other noted stories have pointed out, but the real question is what is the government doing talking about its investment portfolio?  The typical justification for government is need, but if there is one thing you would think isn’t in short supply in America it is capital and people willing to pursue riches (at least prior to the Obama administration).

It is also my understanding that government officials like the president have to put their investments into a blind trust so as to avoid conflicts of interest.  Are we then to assume that a government portfolio is conflict free?  I doubt it.  Those obviously outmoded ideas of conservatism--like the idea that government isn't very good at picking economic winners--are looking pretty good these days

Addendum:  Rich Lowry on Solyndra

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