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Author: Subject: Obama awards $2 billion for solar power, hails new jobs

Zen Peach





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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 01:58 AM

Obama awards $2B for solar power, hails new jobs

by JULIE PACE Associated Press Writer
updated 7/3/2010 2:51:39 PM

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is handing out nearly $2 billion for new solar plants that President Barack Obama says will create thousands of jobs and increase the use of renewable energy sources.

Obama announced the initiative in his weekly radio and online address Saturday, saying the money is part of his plan to bring new industries to the U.S.

"We're going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America," Obama said.

The two companies that will receive the money from the president's $862 billion economic stimulus are Abengoa Solar, which will build one of the world's largest solar plants in Arizona, creating 1,600 construction jobs; and Abound Solar Manufacturing, which is building plants in Colorado and Indiana. The Obama administration says those projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

Obama's announcement came a day after the Labor Department reported that employers slashed payrolls last month for the first time in six months, driven by the expected end of 225,000 temporary census jobs. Meanwhile, private-sector hiring rose by 83,000 workers.

The unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent.

Obama said that while it may take years to bring back all the jobs lost during the recession, the economy is moving in a positive direction. He placed some of the blame for the slow pace of recovery on Republicans, saying their lawmakers, "are playing the same old Washington games and using their power to hold this relief hostage."

Obama has said that to bring the nation's economy back from the brink of a depression, it was necessary to add to the country's debt in the short term.

Republicans have tried to capitalize on that growing sum. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss said in the Republican's weekly address that the country's $13 trillion debt is a national security issue that will leave the U.S. vulnerable and force future generations to "pay higher taxes to foot the bill for Democrats' out-of-control spending."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38072510/ns/business-oil_and_energy/

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 09:25 AM
Oh c'mon now 6string, hire the hopeless, they'll help you escape later when all hell breaks loose on the planet.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 10:03 AM
2 million for the two guys 'hired'. typical corrupt chicago thug politics.
resign obama.

 

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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 10:45 AM
quote:
resign obama.


A fan of VP Biden, are you?

 

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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 10:50 AM
We better hear a lot more of this a lot more often. China is going to clean our clocks on clean energy jobs if we don't get our ass in gear.

 

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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 10:52 AM
quote:
2 million for the two guys 'hired'. typical corrupt chicago thug politics.
resign obama.


You must not have read the article or else your reading comprehension is piss poor.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 10:53 AM
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Oh c'mon now 6string, hire the hopeless, they'll help you escape later when all hell breaks loose on the planet.


Gina, get out while you can

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 11:35 AM
Any step in the right direction is welcome these days and solar is the right direction.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 03:35 PM
We can't possibly give Obama props for doing anything positive can we? I think it's a good start.

 

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  posted on 7/4/2010 at 10:53 PM
quote:
We better hear a lot more of this a lot more often. China is going to clean our clocks on clean energy jobs if we don't get our ass in gear.


What makes you think they can't or won't clean our clocks with it anyway? Anything we can do they can do....cheaper. Unless the federal government is going to mandate content laws, enact tariffs or continually fund the clean energy industry with billions of dollars in subsidies foreign companies or countries will take that industry away just like they have taken about every other one.

 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 02:22 PM
Anybody do the math on this? I always like to do the math when politicians are tossing big numbers around, especially when its our tax dollars.

$2 billion divided by 5,100 jobs = $392,157 per job. Bravo! At this rate, we'll be bankrupt long before the "green" revolution begins.

And for those thinking that these investments will spur private sector manufacturing jobs and a new industry here in the US, consider some other factors. We are on the verge of becoming the #1 nation in regard to corporate/business tax rates. Japan has held that honor but finally has awoken to the fact that it hurts business growth - especially manufacturing. So why; with our higher labor rates, burdensome regulations, and now #1 status as business taxer, would anyone set up major manufacturing facilities here without huge govt subsidies?

We can't afford to subsidize the favored and politically connected forever. As taxpayers we should be revolting against all these public/private partnerships. We have billions going into giant subsidies for the politically favored, while at the same time threatening to raise overall business and investment taxes, negatively affecting all businesses. Its schizophrenic govt at its finest.

We're no longer rich enough to be this stupid.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 02:28 PM
quote:
$2 billion divided by 5,100 jobs = $392,157 per job. Bravo! At this rate, we'll be bankrupt long before the "green" revolution begins.




There you go. Also, why are these two companies the ones to throw this kind of money at? They may be in the long run, I don't know. But why not give a broader incentives program and tax breaks across the board so that any of a number of companies can come forth and benefit, and then the best technology, ideas, innovations and plans can win out?? $392,157 per job. Hey, why don't we do this for the whole economy?? Also, kind of odd that Obama announces this on a saturday of a holiday weekend when no one is paying attention. Maybe it is a carrot on a stick for the Left, who has been showing signs of leaving him.

 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 02:32 PM
And in some related news, President Obama has announced the capping of the Deep Water Horizon oil leak. "Hey, I just decided to kick the leak's ass instead of some BP dude, and bam!....no leak," Obama said as he peeled off his scuba suit, revealing perfectly chisled pecs and lighting a Kool.

Arf,
Dinah

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 03:30 PM
Let me see if I get this right.....no matter what anyone tries to do to create jobs, it's not going to work, the country is going to go bankrupt and no one will even end up with a job... unless we give it all to wall street and the banks and big business and then it will trickle down so really we should just give up, declare national bankruptcy and everyone who doesn't die of starvation can try to pick up the pieces. Is that about it? Because no matter what anyone suggests to try to jump start the economy, it's baaaaaaaaaad news so there doesn't seem to be any answers.

 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 03:36 PM
quote:
Let me see if I get this right.....no matter what anyone tries to do to create jobs, it's not going to work, the country is going to go bankrupt and no one will even end up with a job... unless we give it all to wall street and the banks and big business and then it will trickle down so really we should just give up, declare national bankruptcy and everyone who doesn't die of starvation can try to pick up the pieces. Is that about it? Because no matter what anyone suggests to try to jump start the economy, it's baaaaaaaaaad news so there doesn't seem to be any answers.


This just in: bigann comes to the realization there are "no answers." Film at eleven...

Arf,
Dinah

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 03:42 PM
quote:
Let me see if I get this right.....no matter what anyone tries to do to create jobs, it's not going to work, the country is going to go bankrupt and no one will even end up with a job... unless we give it all to wall street and the banks and big business and then it will trickle down so really we should just give up, declare national bankruptcy and everyone who doesn't die of starvation can try to pick up the pieces. Is that about it?


Nope. Small business creates 75% of the new jobs in this country. I have pointed out three times that Barack Jimmah Obama has mentioned small business in his speeches. Unfortunately, he obviously didn't write one word of it. Whoever did should be in every cabinet meeting. When you focus on Stimulus packages aimed at the public sector and unions and the like instead of the engine that drives actualy real job creation, then you get what we have now. When you are anti-business, how is that you are going to encourage business to create jobs?? Equals Barack Jimmah Obama.

The biggest, and most recent, embarrassment was when BJP literally went to the G20 meeting and tried to talk the EU and other countries to NOT cut their deficits but to increase deficit spending. It was literally borderline obscene.

as for the $392,157 per job, that is typical government spending. Why should these two particular companies be the ones that get the cash? How about letting the best innovators compete in an enviornment of incentive by the government instead of spending $392,157 per job? No jobs being created, no local tax revenue, no school levies passing and the rest that goes with that. Where does the government get its money?? Should we simply print more money and head down third world lane??

[Edited on 7/5/2010 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 05:07 PM
Solar is great. I moved into a solar house last December. Every day I enjoy going into the basement and seeing how much electricity I'm selling to the electric company in prime time. And while the electric companies are squeezing everyone else, I'm selling them electricity.
 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 05:48 PM
quote:
Let me see if I get this right.....no matter what anyone tries to do to create jobs, it's not going to work, the country is going to go bankrupt and no one will even end up with a job... unless we give it all to wall street and the banks and big business and then it will trickle down so really we should just give up, declare national bankruptcy and everyone who doesn't die of starvation can try to pick up the pieces. Is that about it? Because no matter what anyone suggests to try to jump start the economy, it's baaaaaaaaaad news so there doesn't seem to be any answers.
No, you don't have it right. Maybe it's right if you support the current administration and Congress, but its definitely not right in any balanced, free-market economic scheme.

It does appear you may be caught in the beliefs that some politicians would like you to accept: that govt creates jobs. That politicians are smarter and better business-minded than entrepreneurs risking their own money and effort. Or that politicians should use our tax money to select which businesses and industries should prosper, instead of letting the free market sort that out. Of course, none of those things have ever been proven true, but hey.... we've got plenty of spare hope around here somewhere.

Govt can only do a few things regarding jobs...

-- They can hire more people directly, which requires a permanently higher infusion of taxes to keep those people employed. This is only healthy and sustainable as long the tax burden on the private sector does not inhibit investment, growth, and job-creation. We're long past the point where that was true.

-- They can fund infrastructure projects, like roads, bridges, rail, etc. These construction jobs are usually temporary by their nature. While construction projects are often famous for cost overruns and fiscal corruption, the long term benefits are felt across the whole breadth of society and measured in decades. Hence, these projects can be valuable, if addressing an important problem. Too bad then that the recent Obama Stimulus allotted less than 10% for infrastructure spending. So much for "shovel-ready".

-- They can direct money via grants or loans, or by tax breaks, or limits on regulations, to specific companies or industries. Call it corporate welfare when you don't like the party in power, or wise investing when you do. But it ends up being the same thing: political manipulation of the free market with the people's money. Govt has a miserable record picking winners in this manner.

Remember Synth Fuels? That was Jimmy Carter's baby. Billions directed to create an alternative to gas, with nothing to show for it. Corn-based ethanol is traveling the same path, albeit with more success, but with questionable economic and environmental benefits. And these investments in solar, wind, etc will likely end up in the same dustbin. Billions and billions spent at a cost of hundreds of thousands per job. We simply can't afford this, given our giant debt and deficit. If any of these possibilities were even remotely close to economic viability, the private sector would be funding them.


Those are the things most politicians would like you to believe are the best uses of taxpayer money to help job creation. They all share one thing: they keep politicians in control of where the money goes. Convenient, huh? Fortunately, there is another option...

-- Reduce taxes on all businesses and investment. Heck, eliminate these taxes entirely. For businesses; all taxes are only hidden pass-throughs to tax the income of the citizens anyway. For investment; we want to encourage as much as possible, not hinder or have it go elsewhere. End the billions wasted by business complying arcane tax regulations. At the same time, end all corporate welfare funding and activities. In short; make the US business environment as level and friendly to investment, profit, and job-creation to everyone and every business as possible.

These "green" solutions will only come from private industry, and the only way to ensure they (and all sorts of other businesses) will remain here is to make the environment as business-friendly as possible. The current administration and Congress is doing exactly the opposite. When the CEO of GE, a company well-placed to reap the rewards of any "green" revolution (and friend of Obama), blasts Obama the other day for being hostile to business, you know there has to be something to it.

Don't accept that govt spending is the only way to create a positive business and job-growth environment. When has govt ever managed money more responsibility than the individuals who earn it? There are other options, but it takes power away from the politicians, which is why they never propose it.

 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 07:49 PM
Isn't reducing taxes on business a form of government subsidy in and of itself? That always seems to be the answer.....lower taxes on business. I can't see that it's done much good so far. Just buys bigger toys for the people at the top.

 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 08:13 PM
quote:
Isn't reducing taxes on business a form of government subsidy in and of itself? That always seems to be the answer.....lower taxes on business. I can't see that it's done much good so far. Just buys bigger toys for the people at the top.
Nope. The business taxes are just passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. That's what too many in the public don't understand. Business taxes are another means of taxing more of your income because the money to pay those taxes must be included with the prices charged for all the items we buy.

Businesses ultimately don't pay taxes - people do. However, in a global business market, the cost and difficulty of tax compliance, along with any taxes levied, make one product from country "A" (with lower taxes) less than from country "B" (with higher taxes). When you have global customers, those differences are one of a few major factors of why one country builds a strong manufacturing base versus another looses theirs.

And why shouldn't the folks at the top have nice toys? Somebody has to make those too, and typically, they are highly-paid craftsman building fine homes, yachts, luxury cars, etc. Jimmy Carter felt like he should punish the rich once by placing a luxury tax on larger boats and yachts. All he succeeded in doing was to wipe out the US yacht building industry and thousands of jobs, as the wealthy just bought from foreign sources. Jimmy II has his sights set far higher though...

[Edited on 7/6/2010 by Fujirich]

 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 10:38 PM
quote:
The ‘Green Jobs’ Scam Unmasked

By Howard Rich

A year after it was passed, it has become painfully obvious to anyone with open eyes that the massive federal “stimulus”—along with several other trillion-dollar government interventions in the free market—has utterly failed to turn around America’s economy.

In fact, all this massive infusion of taxpayer cash has done is deprive our consumer-driven private sector of much-needed oxygen, while sending our annual deficits and national debt soaring to previously unthinkable heights.

It’s the classic Washington approach to the economy. When times are good, politicians in both parties spend excessively. When times are bad? They spend uncontrollably.

As a result, at a time when families and small businesses were—and are still—forced to go without, government continues to grow by obscene levels, using every excuse in the book to justify its largesse.

Among those excuses?

“Green Jobs.”

I wrote on this issue just last month, making the fundamental point that investing billions in “Green Jobs” had failed to stimulate the economy (or create jobs), and that Barack Obama’s pledge to invest billions more in “Green Jobs” was the wrong answer moving forward.

This month, we’re discovering in detail why that is true.

According to a series of new reports, billions of dollars in “stimulus” money that was supposed to go toward creating “Green Jobs” here in America instead went to foreign-owned companies—who “created or saved,” the vast majority of their jobs overseas. Obviously there is nothing wrong with America investing in foreign businesses, as protectionism is a recipe for disaster.

According to an ABC News report, though, almost $2 billion in “stimulus” funding has been spent so far on wind power, and yet 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign-owned companies.

“Most of the jobs are going overseas,” researcher Russ Choma told ABC. “According to our estimates, about 6,000 jobs have been created overseas, and maybe a couple hundred have been created in the U.S.”

In fact, despite receiving this windfall of “stimulus” cash, the U.S. wind-manufacturing sector actually lost jobs in 2009, according to a year-end report by its professional association. Also, most of the jobs “created or saved” in America have been temporary construction positions, or “management” hires.

The real job creation (or job salvation, to use Obama’s disingenuous math) has taken place beyond our borders.

Consider these examples, courtesy of a recent report from The Watchdog Institute:

Eurus Energy America, a subsidiary of a Japanese-owned firm, received $91 million in “stimulus” funds and created only 300 to 400 temporary construction jobs. Permanent jobs created? Less than a dozen.

EnXco, a French-owned firm, received $69.5 million in “stimulus” funds and yet produced only 200 construction jobs and “about a dozen” permanent positions.

A-Power, a Chinese-owned firm, is in line to receive nearly $450 million in “stimulus” funds—for a project that will create thousands of Chinese jobs but only a few dozen American positions.

Cannon Power Group, an American-owned firm, received $19 million in “stimulus” funds but spend most of that on German-made turbines. So far they have created fewer than 300 construction jobs and “20 to 30” permanent positions. Cannon is in line to receive another $150 million in “stimulus” funds, by the way.

In case the trend isn’t clear, America’s massive investment in “Green Jobs” has been a colossal, costly failure—unless you’re looking for work overseas. For all the promises of the Obama administration, here at home these taxpayers billions have amounted to little more than a few thousand temporary construction positions and a few hundred management jobs.

In fact, there’s a good chance that the government employees hired to promote “Green Jobs” outnumber the actual permanent “Green Jobs” created. However you do the math, these positions are obviously a mere drop in the bucket compared to U.S. job losses in the wind-manufacturing segment of the energy economy alone, to say nothing of the millions of lost jobs nationwide.

Worse still, the lunacy isn’t stopping. We are continuing to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed framework, which uses American sweat to create permanent positions (and profit) for foreign companies.

Frankly, it’s time for Obama to come clean on the “Green Jobs” scam—and to explain why his so-called “transparent and accountable” administration didn’t catch it sooner.


 

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  posted on 7/5/2010 at 10:43 PM
quote:
"Chinese" Wind Farm in Texas: Green Jobs FAIL?

The buzz around the green blogosphere today is another record-setting Chinese wind farm, with 240 turbines producing 648 megawatts. But this one isn't in Inner Mongolia -- it's in Texas.

This $1.5 billion wind farm -- a US-China joint venture paid for in part by Chinese banks -- will be built not with turbines from usual suspects GE or Vestas, but with Chinese-made machines from a year-old company called A-Power.

Needless to say, most of the project's green jobs will be created in China. And don't shoot the messenger, but it's hoping to secure 30 percent, or $450 million, of its financing from, yes, U.S. stimulus funds.

Someone better turn on those spin machines right about now.

Green Jobs in China
Cappy McGarr, a managing partner at private equity firm U.S. Renewable Energy Group, which is financing the project with China's Shenyang Power Group and Cielo Wind Power, said in a press release the project would "spur tremendous growth in the renewable energy sector and directly create hundreds of high-paying American jobs."

In fact, the project will create just over 300 American jobs, but most of them will be temporary construction jobs. (Thirty permanent positions will need to be filled once the wind farm is operating.) Back in China, 2,000 Chinese jobs would be created by the deal.

The project is an illustration of the kind of investments and incentives that Beijing has used to rapidly boost its renewable energy sector, and the relative sluggishness of similar initiatives in the U.S.

In that sense, it's stoked growing concerns about China's renewable energy development and Chinese companies' intentions to outsell American-made green tech in the United States. Consider China's Suntech, which has announced plans to create thousands of jobs to the U.S., but which also revealed that it's selling below cost in the U.S. too (it later claimed that it wasn't).

But coming the same week that the Associated Press suggested that the White House may have overstated the number of American jobs its $787 billion stimulus package has created, news of the wind project is also egg on the face of the green jobs-touting Obama administration.

More Expensive Too?
Another curious aspect is the price of the project. The attraction of China-made stuff is their low cost. But as Keith Johnson at Environmental Capital notes, the unit price, at $2.31 million per megawatt, is above the typical cost of $2 million, and at a time when turbine prices are falling. That might point to the capability of Chinese banks.

Banks which, it bears repeating, have helped finance, among other things, that stimulus package.

China's Green Tech Growth: a Wind-Lose Situation?
On one level, the wind farm is a symbol of China's promising green economy. China's efforts are to be commended for their domestic impact -- the country is on track to meet its main climate change target, which is a 20 per cent reduction in energy intensity by the end of next year, says a new report by World Resources Institute.

That's because China's got the world's largest set of high efficiency coal plants and it's likely to meet its target of generating 15 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, when 150 gigawatts of wind power are set to be installed - over five times the current US level. What's more, one in 10 Chinese homes already has solar heaters, a number growing by 20 per cent each year.

But on the global market, if clean tech development is also a race to make the stuff that the world will use to produce low-carbon energy, China is also widely perceived as a serious threat to green tech companies the world over.

Of course, with the right incentives, a lively competition in the marketplace can ramp up production and slice prices of relatively new clean technology.

The thing is, it hasn't been a fair playing field. China is widely perceived to be a place where Western green technology goes to get stolen -- a serious challenge for officials in both countries who want to see more technology transfer.

And Beijing is infamous for its green tech great wall: it was only last week that US officials persuaded China to begin backing off a protectionist policy on renewable energy that mandated that 70 percent of solar and wind turbine machinery be domestic-made, and disqualified bids from foreign companies on questionable grounds.

The Texas project will generate as much energy as a large coal-fired plant. But at a time when US-China cooperation is key to build a low-carbon economy, it's also generating more American suspicions of Beijing's clean development policies -- and of the those of Washington too.


 

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  posted on 7/6/2010 at 07:44 AM
quote:
We better hear a lot more of this a lot more often. China is going to clean our clocks on clean energy jobs if we don't get our ass in gear.


Sadly, they already are. And so is South Korea. As we continue to pay for their defense, they're spending more money per capita then we are on alt. energy. SOUTH KOREA for god's sake.....

But in Obama's defense, he's been pushing AND subsidizing "green" projects since he landed in the White House. However, not enough as far as I'm concerned. What we need is a national effort, a bond program the average American can buy into as an investment tool which can create the large amount of capital needed to truly revolutionize not only the production of alt. energy (solar, wind, geothermal, bio-fuels, advanced nuclear, etc.) but also the delivery (smart grid) and use (green building, energy efficient homes, electric cars, electric highways) etc...It's all interconnected and requires huge amounts of capital. Instead of war bonds to win WWII, a bond program to revolutionize our energy use. Obama could have created such a program with an executive order and then pushed for legislation to make it permanent.

 

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  posted on 7/6/2010 at 07:59 AM
Fuij,

Your post is indicative of a serious problem of foreign ownership of our resources by other countries as well. The Maple Ridge wind farm, here in my neck of the woods (195 turbines, soon to have 40 more installed) is owned by a Spanish energy firm. So the American tax payers subsidized its building only to have it sold about one year after its completion to Iberdrola SA. This same company is also proposing several more wind farms along the St. Lawrence river and Lake Ontario here in upstate, NY.

 

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  posted on 7/6/2010 at 08:59 AM
You know Chain, folks ask what problems come arise from our debt and deficit, and your example is indicative of what can happen. When we're not producing the wealth necessary to support ourselves, due to industry and jobs going elsewhere, a vicious cycle begins. We deficit spend and create stimulus to spur the economy, but with a hollowed-out industrial base, we're not making the things we most need. The money ends up in other pockets (foreign), wealth is not retained in our society, and we only make our hole deeper.

The only route out of this is saving, investment, and creation of the friendliest business climate possible via significant tax changes. We have to make stuff other people - not just our own population - want to buy in order to create real wealth again that can reverse our debt and trade slide.

 

____________________
Obamacare: To insure the uninsured, we first make the insured
uninsured and then make them pay more to be insured again,
so the original uninsured can be insured for free.

 
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