A post by Maynard
Tammy posted a link to this article, “Fun and games, but no work, at battery plant given $150M in taxpayer money”.
Workers at a Michigan battery plant built with a $150 million federal stimulus grant but never opened played games and watched movies while their wages were paid for by U.S. taxpayers, according to a government report.
South Korea-based LG Chem, which used the grant money to build a factory that was supposed to make batteries for the Chevy Volt … has no plans to start production in the facility or return the grant. The company makes Volt batteries at another plant in South Korea…
What was the thinking that led to this grotesque waste of taxpayer dollars? You may remember this story: Less than 3 years ago, Obama loudly proclaimed himself the savior of American industry. Here’s a report from July of 2010: “Obama touts new Holland battery plant”.
Seeking to boost economic spirits, President Barack Obama on Thursday hailed the construction of another car-battery plant as a symbol of a made-in-America rebound from desperate times.
Said the president to workers: “You are leading the way in showing how manufacturing jobs are coming right back here to the United States of America.”…
…“This is a symbol of where Michigan’s going,” Obama said. “This is a symbol of where Holland is going. This is a symbol of where America is going.”…
…The new LG Chem facility in Holland will open in 2012 and make enough battery cells for 50,000 to 200,000 vehicle battery packs…
The problem here is so obvious that it shouldn’t be necessary to say it: If projects such as this made any economic sense at all, banks would be financing them. But these schemes are far too irrational for even the most profligate of banks or the junk bonds or any other legitimate means of finance. So the politicians rush in, falling over each other to squander the nation’s diminishing treasure on yet another billion-dollar photo op.
The only surprising thing about Obama’s boondoggles is how quickly they go broke. You’d think voters would remember how they were deceived, and they would punish the responsible parties with unemployment or even criminal charges. But the attention span of voters is short indeed. (As Hillary said, what does it matter now?)
Like Charlie Brown rushing to kick the football, we fall for the same corrupt lies again and again. This is the tragic result of allowing the central authority to wield excessive power.
You cannot legislate against nature. A business must produce more than it consumes, or else it is a burden on society, and it should be allowed to die.
Anybody remember the film Other People’s Money? It included an eloquent speech by Danny DeVito, playing the moneyman who has come to either, take your choice, 1) inject some much-needed reality into a doomed enterprise, or 2) kill the dream to take his stinking profit. He is here rebutting a plea from the company management to the stockholders to maintain the status quo of the sinking ship.