What I Noticed in Passing….
Waiting for his bus, Ethan proudly surveys the evolving eco-world with a captivating sense of élan. He’s committed to and fulfilled by the roll he plays as part of the Administration’s plan to change the face and complexion of America. It’s a new day, a new way and a new war; a people and a planet that must be saved, regardless.
He leans toward the two men sitting next to him and begins his song of salvation: “So much has been accomplished, do you realize how we’ve managed to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint and so quickly! We’ve advanced the eco-centric model of both efficient and renewable energy aaaaaand with the next round of EPA mandates, we fully expect that by 2015 we’ll seal the seeping lid on the greatest curse of all – carbon emissions!”
Anthony, one of the two men, is repelled by Ethan’s rather peevish notions and so he inquires, “What is it that you do, I mean, do you have a job?” “Yeah, of course I do” replies Ethan, “I’m assigned to the Public Affairs Office as a Liaison Clerk. My job is to observe system-wide efficiencies and then report to the Chief Liaison Officer. The success of the economy’s conversion to efficient and renewable energy sources keep us quite busy, why just over the last two months we’ve overseen the national transition to compact-fluorescent lighting, increased production of ethanol, the closing of several non-compliant manufacturing facilities, various foundries and other heavy industries. Why the simple outsourcing and off-shoring conversion of these industries alone has accelerated this country’s ability to comply with the current guidelines and, I’m pleased to say, puts us on target with the 2015 mandates too!” Anthony looks over at his friend Paul for an affirming nod and then asks, “So let me get this straight Ethan, am I to understand that you believe by exporting jobs outside the country and importing wind-powered generators, hybrids, toxic light-bulbs, solar panels and electric trains that this is a good thing? Let me ask you something: Now that you’ve unemployed all of these people, what do you suggest they do now?”
Only weeks before, Ethan submitted a memorandum to the Chief Liaison Officer titled Public Transit: Building Ridership Solutions for which he received a pay-grade advancement and a personal commendation from the Chief Public Affairs Officer who assured him that his “visionary contribution is cause for great hope!” By now the bus has arrived and the men rise to board; Ethan follows closely behind consumed with bright and child-like enthusiasm and he dare not miss this teachable-moment so he quickly responds: “You see guys, the way I figure it is this: while the country integrate itself into the global green-economy we can provide people with jobs training and if the People use public transportation to and from classes, well, don’t you see, in addition to cutting their carbon footprint it will help them save money too! We’re committed to public transit as a more environmental conscious approach to getting to and from work. You know, we all must do our fair share for the common good of the planet.”
By now Paul’s willing silence has reached its limits and just as Anthony was about to speak and placing his hand on Anthony’s shoulder, it was now time for Paul to vent:
“Ethan, you’re an idiot! But it’s probably good that you work for the EPA and I hope that more like you fill the ranks of the government employed this way we’ll know where to find the lot of you when America wake up to the fact that much of the Government is run by unemployables much like yourself. Now, so that you know, Anthony and I ride the bus because we lost our jobs. He used to work for a foundry that produced plumbing fixtures which are now made in China and I was a production foreman for a company that produced incandescent light bulbs. Yeah, they still make them only now they do it in India and China. Good news if you’re the EPA or you run some multinational, bad if you want to live and work in the U.S.” His voice now becoming colored by a more deliberate tone, he continues: “I can’t speak for Tony but I had to sell my car because it came down to a choice: Gas and insurance for the car or food on the table for my kids and a roof over their head. Yep, you and the government are economic geniuses; problem with your plan is that it’s killing jobs and to pay their bills, most folks we know are selling-off their stuff just to keep themselves afloat! Oh, and you might find it interesting to know that the guy who bought my car works for the EPA! Now, if that doesn’t make you all giddy and bursting with pride, last night my brother called to let me know that he was being fined for not having enough handicap parking spaces. Don’t turn your head away, you listen to me and tell your bureaucrat friends what they’re doing to people! You see, my brother runs a landscape maintenance company and not only does he not employ any handicapped gardeners and doesn’t know anyone that does, let me ask you something; when was the last time you saw a handicapped gardener pushing a lawnmower?”
“Wait a minute!” squeals the floundering Ethan; “I’m just an Observer, I don’t make policy I just make observations and report on what I observe, you can’t blame the EPA for your problems! It’s not our policies that have failed it just that people don’t seem to understand the good we’re doing; it’s sort of a PR problem. You know, really, we just want to save the planet!” “From who?” says Anthony. “Failed? What you all are doing is far worse than failure; you’re incinerating the life-blood that drives a nation’s economy! What you fools don’t seem to understand is that you’re incentivizing failure and that just plain wrong! You people haven’t the foggiest idea about what make or drives the need for a job or even how to create a job but you just keep on busying yourselves creating rules and regulations. Sure it keep you employed but you’re destroying the very businesses that exist to provide people products and services that they want and the jobs that go along with it! Who in the hell do you think you are? No, Ethan, you, your bureaucrat pals and the politicians are the problem. But you’re right about one thing; you’re observers all right but you’re the worst kind of observer; you’re the meddling busy-body kind who go about imposing your untried, unproven idiotic notions through a twisted sadistic form of entitlement all its own: Government! Damn the lot of you and the rest of us for letting you get away with it! Somehow buddy, this crap has got to end so enjoy it while you can, you might very well be the next addition to the list of the recently unemployed and the way I see it, it won’t come soon enough.”
This is a slightly modified rendition of events as they occurred. The story was shared with me at a recent event I attended and I’m certain that the general picture is not at all uncommon and as we know, when there is no price for failure, there is never an assurance of success – government habitually and faithfully proves the point.
Focusing on the Green-Tech movement of the last few years serves well the purpose of illustrating one of the great failures of Government.
“The moment you license government to take on a roll for which it is not designed is also the instance where failure is most certainly assured. Yet there is a point at which this occurrence is far Worse Than Failure; it occurs from ignoring the truths which signal its inevitability.”
To believe these truths are recently evolved applicable only to the Obama Administration and their political-hackery is to silence or suspend all evidence to the contrary. The truth of the matter is that the Obama Administration is just a bit more willing to abuse the licensing process which permits it all to occur. By all means and measures of reason the abuse-of-power practices are well out of control and a global assault is well in order but for now let us consider only those relevant points as to why the government fails so fabulously particularly when it breaches established boundaries. Refining the intended points even further, permit me to introduce a few economic fundamentals which I trust you will find useful:
Native Economic System (Native Economy): The fundamental human components which when engaged require the condition we refer to as “economy”. These human components are inseparable from and integral to a functional organic economic system and are best described as follows: Intuitive, self-driven and a perfecting life-sustaining-source which compel demand in search of supply. In practices, this kinetic force fuels the purest possible form of free-market capitalism.
Organic Economic Engine: A component of the Native Economy concept defining generative demand/movement as being driven from the bottom up and not the top down. It is never contrived or synthetic in nature. It is intuitive, kinetic and inertial by nature; it is native-demand in its purest form met by the inertial components which drive and provide supply. A willing buyer accommodated, equally, by a willing seller.
Tortional Economic Tension: A term which describes the organic/native forces applied to or confronted by an economic function serving to expose and eliminate deficiencies as a means to compel refinement toward positive measured outcome. This is, in effect, the self-perfecting component of the Native Economy. In practices, it is the refining force behind free-market capitalism.
Normal Business Cycle: A term which identifies an environment where the Economic Function(s) occur void of the impositions of Government-induced actions.
Physiological-Sociological Economics (PSE): (aka Physio/Socio-Economics) The practices and tendencies of how economic actions/events or enterprises alter or orient themselves in response to sociological/political interferences and/or inducements. The motive force is typically advantage-driven by nature while simultaneously aggravating inefficiency and progressive economic degradation. In practice this feature defeats all native, organic and normal economic cycles.
For a more complete study of economic fundamentals might I suggest reading my book “Value Given, Value Received” were each of these issues are discussed in greater context however for now accept, if you will, the following:
The reason why government fails so effectively in any economic function is due to the fact that it is not capable of conforming or responding to the first four attributes of market-based economics mentioned above and always promotes or insures the fifth effect (PSE). It is for these reasons why government has never measured an economic success in any of its functions and precisely why, when it meddles in economic ventures, it requires perpetual and expansive funding requirements.
“Government is not constrained by any mandate imposing economic efficiencies/success primarily because its processes possess no economic consequence for failure.”
Now then if one considers the affecting influences of political graft and corruption you then have the entire process accelerating into and beyond the realm of what otherwise would be deemed extreme.
In the present case of the Obama Administration, let’s take a quick look at just a few examples of Government Green-Tech induced failure:
1. Solar debacle: Solyndra Inc. received $535 million in Energy Department loans. Instead of creating work for Americans, the company shipped half its manufacturing jobs to China declaring bankruptcy in August of 2011 and laying off 1,100 workers.
2. Government Motors: The $70+ Billion bailout of GM came with a price: The so-called ultimate Green-Vehicle, the Chevy Volt, produced and offered with a near $50k price tag and despite taxpayer funded credits, still nobody wants to buy it. To date a mere 3,200 vehicles have been sold.
3. Solar debacle II: Evergreen Solar Inc. of Massachusetts received $58 million and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August and closed its plant in Midland, Mi. cutting 800 jobs. As the company attempts a restructure it is anticipated that there will be additional cuts.
4. Weatherizing Program: The city of Seattle received $20 million in federal stimulus money aimed at helping homeowners make their properties more energy-efficient. After 16 month, 14 jobs were created. Most of the money went to training for a service that had no public demand.
5. Green Jobs: Yet another program doomed to predictable government failure from delays orchestrated by Union Influence Meddling to insure prevailing-wage enforcement. In its first year, the program spent $508 million to create 600 jobs which managed to update a mere 9,000 homes nationwide. $840,000 per job!
6. Johnson Controls manufactures batteries for electric and hybrid cars at its plant in Holland, Mich. The Company received $300 million in taxpayer help and created a grand total of 150 jobs—or $2 million per job.
Economic history is littered with various products and services that failed in the free-market place. More often the cause of failure has nothing to do with the idea or its purity of purpose, design or intent but more so it’s simply due to a lack of demand and no amount of government mandates or stimulus money will ever alter demand or the economic efficiencies demand inevitably requires. Case in point: Government attempted to reduce water used in the toilet flushing process. Result: Folks were forced to extend the single-flush cycle resulting in an estimated 150% increase in water use. No improvement in form and function, no effect on demand however an increase in waste and inefficiency. Government: No consequence for failure!
Yet even as the current Administration began to formulate its Green-Agenda and throughout the process there were many formidable voices offering advice and counsel:
George Mason University economist Russell Roberts says, “It’s like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of a pool and dumping it into the shallow end. Funny thing—the water in the shallow end doesn’t get any deeper.”
Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, writes in U.S. News, “The president’s own Council of Economic Advisors admitted recently that only 225,000 clean energy jobs were either created or saved and cost the tax payer $355,000 per job (assuming a low-ball estimate that $80 billion in economic stimulus went towards green jobs).”
The Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce writes, “In February, the Renewable Fuels Association put out a report which claimed the domestic ethanol sector directly supports 70,000 jobs. The CBO estimates that each gallon of gasoline displaced by ethanol costs taxpayers $1.78. With the ethanol sector now producing the equivalent of 9.1 billion gallons of gasoline per year, the total cost to taxpayers of the ethanol scam is therefore about $16.2 billion. That works out to $230,000 per job created by an industry that produces a product that is inferior in nearly every way when compared to conventional gasoline.”
It has long been known that the Obama Administration based much of its Green-Tech euphoria on Spain’s foray into the green-hole but their quest to create a green-jobs economy should have been a lesson for the United States. Spain’s subsidizing of windmills and solar farms created hefty utility bills for consumers while a study by economist Gabriel Calzada found that for every one green job created, 2.2 jobs in other industries would be lost. Price tag: Each green job came at a cost of $774,000 to Spanish taxpayers.
When Gabriel Calzada was asked for his input on the U.S. plans for Greenification he stated, “How is it possible, having the example of Spain, why would you like to repeat the same story?” Rest assured that even the Dutch with their considerable windmill-mastery have not escaped similar peril: A Danish study determined that every wind-energy related job costs $90,000 to $140,000 in subsidies.
In the end there is no reconciling the actions of foul government with the ideals of sound governance much as there is no making a wrong in to a right. There is, after all, only the correcting of error and championing the cause of those whose sense of greater good and conscientiousness are willing to see to it occurring. Ultimately we are all going to have to arrive at a point where we see aberrant outcome for precisely what it is; the dilution of highest and best outcome. If excellence is the desired outcome then nothing short of a superior effort will do.
“The least possible outcome is a choice few prefer yet all too often it is one they willingly accept.”
A fate Worse Than Failure!
Curtis C. Greco, Founder