Green Job Maker Succumbs to Imports

September 1, 2011

Remember when “green jobs” were going to be the salvation of our economy?  When Obama made this claim, I questioned how such “green jobs” would be immune to the effects of the same idiotic trade policy that sank the rest of our manufacturing sector.  Now comes proof of that.  Yesterday, Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy. 

In 2009, Solyndra received a half-billion dollar loan guarantee from the federal government, with Obama using Solyndra as an example of the new “green economy,” one that would create 3,000 jobs.  Only 1,100 workers remained on the payroll when the company filed. 

This morning on Good Morning America came revelations that Solyndra’s loan guarantee may have had more to do with payola than investing in the “green economy.”  It seems that the owner of Solyndra was a huge backer of Obama in the 2008 election. 

“We smelled a rat from the onset,” Representatives Fred Upton of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Cliff Stearns of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee said in a joint statement. “In this time of record debt such disregard for taxpayer dollars cannot be tolerated.”

As though Republicans haven’t done the same thing. 

Henry Waxman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce had this to say:

We should be doing everything possible to ensure the United States does not cede the renewable energy market to China and other countries.

Oh, really Mr. Waxman?  Does that include withdrawing from the World Trade Organization and fixing trade policy that gives away not only the renewable energy market but every other market in the U.S.? 

The “green economy” is only the latest to be cast upon the scrap heap of other “new economy” ideas that were supposed to be our economic salvation.  Remember when “high tech,” including personal computers and cell phones, were to be our salvation?  Even though both were developed in the U.S., is a single one made here any more?  Remember when we were going to become a “service-oriented” economy, as though manufacturing no longer mattered and we could build an economy out of continually emptying our closets to have our clothes dry-cleaned, or grow grass faster and build an economy out of having it mowed?  Remember when housing would be our economic salvation?  Remember when NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) would somehow magically create jobs while moving factories to Mexico?  Or how about when we could build an economy around infrastructure spending?

It’s been a decades-long, steady stream of BS with the intended purpose of obsuring the truth:  trade deficits don’t work.  You can’t have a viable economy while carving out and giving away its biggest sector – manufacturing.  The American people know it.  What will it take for economists and political leaders to get a clue?