Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The Real Solyndra Scandal - the huge success of the government program behind it (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: The Real Solyndra Scandal - the huge success of the government program behind it
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As with the many wildly inaccurate Obamacare assertions of conservative critics, the criticism of the program that included the Solyndra failure has provided significant net benefits to the economy. As a follow-up prediction, I suspect that no one who criticized the Solyndra deal will be willing to discuss the net benefits and retract any false assertions that they have made...

quote:
Early on, the program was known for its failures, especially Solyndra, which was like Benghazi before Benghazi was Benghazi—a three-syllable slogan that signified to conservatives the Obama administration’s fecklessness. A startup solar panel manufacturer, Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee and in 2011 went bankrupt.
quote:
Far from the scandals that animated conservatives, most of these loans are doing quite well. They’re virtually all current, paying interest and principal every quarter. Indeed, the interest payments received so far outweigh the losses on the failed borrowers. And the gains for the U.S. power industry at large have been far greater.
quote:
A good chunk of the money in the period from 2009 to 2011 supported giant, first-of-their kind, utility-scale solar and wind projects, like the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente project in Arizona, which reached full operation in 2014, or the 240-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Ranch plant. They’re called utility-scale because they approach in size the type of fossil fuel–powered plants that utilities can rely on. And prior to 2009, nobody in the U.S.—or in the world, really—had attempted to build several of them at once
quote:
the U.S. utility-scale solar sector grew 38 percent in 2014. From nothing before the loan guarantees, utility-scale solar now accounts for about 4 gigawatts of generating capacity. It’s a genuine growth industry, financed largely by private funds.
link
Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Slate. Was this written by administration officials?
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rafi, why dodge the question of whether or not this is true?
Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's essentially a Obama administration press release. Besides, what do you care if it's true? If it wasn't, would that force you to re-evaluate your support of fascism?
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
By the way:

quote:
Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government’s energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.

Nearly $1 billion in loans have already defaulted under the Energy Department program, which included the infamous Solyndra stimulus project and dozens of other green technology programs the Obama administration has approved, totaling nearly about $30 billion in taxpayer backing, the Government Accountability Office reported in its audit.

That was just a few weeks ago.

More:
quote:

GAO investigators have been warning for nearly a decade that the loan programs are unlikely to pay for themselves overall.

From the beginning, the investigators said because companies knew more about their projects and their own creditworthiness, they had an advantage over the Energy Department. The GAO said the companies were more likely to accept a federal loan guarantee if the Obama administration underestimated the actual risk of a project, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

It's a multi-billion dollar loss.
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How much is a functional alternative to fossil fuels worth?
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Can you explain to me how "GAO investigators have been warning for nearly a decade" about loans made during the Obama Administration six years ago? That's not just rhetorical, I really want to you to defend your choice of this source and the accuracy of your allegations.

[ June 16, 2015, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
How much is a functional alternative to fossil fuels worth?

Since there is no real need for one, not that much. And we should also dispense with the term "fossil fuel" since the idea hydrocarbons are formed by dead animals is no longer valid.

[ June 19, 2015, 08:13 AM: Message edited by: Rafi ]

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No real need, eh? I suppose you get points for monstrous internal consistency.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is more than enough oil and gas to last, America has just become the biggest oil producer with reserves that will last a century or more. You seem to misunderstand a great deal about he current situation.
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So when you mean "last," you mean "assuming that fracking doesn't wind up being made illegal due to things like increased earthquake risk," and "for around another century," and "irrespective of cost?"

Good to know. So we agree, then.

For my part, I think that there remain pretty important arguments for the discovery of alternative energy sources, especially for things like residential grids. But you're welcome to be wrong.

Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Junk science may feed your biases as do ideological arguments that feel good but have limited base in reality. If you feeling good and superior was all its about and that was the end of it I'd be happy to let you toddle along with it but there are real world implications that hurt people.
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's a question to ponder, Rafi: how can you tell if what you just wrote applies to Tom or to yourself? [Wink]
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you believe such comments are witty or insightful, I wouldn't expect you to know the answer. [Wink]
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My comment was neither witty nor insightful. I was just trying to politely point out the HUGE (I presume unintentional) irony of your post.

I mean, I couldn't have written a better post describing you if I tried. [Smile]

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DJQuag
Member
Member # 3582

 - posted      Profile for DJQuag   Email DJQuag       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wait, what? I'm more interested in the idea that hydrocarbons don't solely come from dead animals and plants that died tens of millions of years ago.

What's the source on this? Or, assuming that I'm asking one of our google resistant members, what's the general idea behind it so I can look it up myself?

Posts: 476 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Rafi, are you the commenter formerly known as G3?
Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mynnion
Member
Member # 5287

 - posted      Profile for Mynnion   Email Mynnion   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was wondering that also.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm more interested in the idea that hydrocarbons don't solely come from dead animals and plants that died tens of millions of years ago.
It's a fringe theory that has little support from geologists. If you happen to distrust science in general, you might find it intriguing.

Here's an article from my favorite site for fringe theories of all stripes. You can also google "oil does not come from fossils."

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
See this answer at stackexchange, there is almost certainly abiotic oil, but the quantities are so small as to be be meaningless.

http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/41684/abiotic-oil-vs-the-traditional-theory-of-oil-deposit-formation

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DJQuag:
Wait, what? I'm more interested in the idea that hydrocarbons don't solely come from dead animals and plants that died tens of millions of years ago.

What's the source on this? Or, assuming that I'm asking one of our google resistant members, what's the general idea behind it so I can look it up myself?

The theory of hydrocarbons like coal, oil and gas being created from compressed plants and animals is a popular one but there is a problem:
quote:
According to Cassini data, scientists announced on February 13, 2008, that Titan hosts within its polar lakes "hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth."
So if you hold to the current theory of oil coming from dead trees and animals, you hold to the idea that Saturn's moon was once roamed by vast herds of dinosaurs or something. For me, space dinosaurs seems a stretch but I look forward to the rationalizations.
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mynnion
Member
Member # 5287

 - posted      Profile for Mynnion   Email Mynnion   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the idea that dinosaurs are responsible for the vast amounts of oil/coal is indeed unlikely however the same cannot be said for a billion years of plant vegetation. While you may make an argument that methane is naturally generated the same arguments do not hold for coal and crude.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm honestly curious why fuel-wasters would care, beyond purely academic curiosity, as it's not like -- regardless of the source -- we're making more in a timely fashion.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rafi,

you can get abiogenic methane and ethane, it is the longer chain carbons that are in dispute. There don't appear to be significant longer chain carbons on Titan.

quote:
three-quarters of an average polar lake is ethane, with 10 per cent methane, 7 per cent propane and smaller amounts of hydrogen cyanide, butane, nitrogen and argon.
Awesome article explaining the methane cycle on titan.

quote:
CH4 will undergo photolysis process at the altitude of organic haze layer, leaving ethane (C2H6) behind. In Titan, where the CH4 mixing ratio is large, the limiting factor for ultraviolet photolysis is the availability of photons, and shielding by the photochemically produced haze is limited. Additional loss of methane occurs owing to the impact of charged particles in the ionosphere. Hydrogen is removed from CH4, and escapes to space. The remaining fragments form higher-order hydrocarbons (ethane, acetylene, propane, polyynes, benzene, and so on) and nitriles. The process is irreversible because of the escape of the H2 and the formation of more complex molecules polymerize which subsequently condense into aerosols and fall to the surface.



One of Titan’s greatest mysteries is the origin of CH4 in the atmosphere. With a lifetime of 20 million years, CH4 must be regularly resupplied to the atmosphere to be as abundant as it is today. Another mystery is the sink of C2H6. Continuously CH4 photolysis over the age of solar system will have created a global liquid layer of ethane ocean hundreds of meters deep, which is not seen in any image of Titan. So, to fully understand Titan’s methane cycle, we need to find out

1. The source of CH4 that resupply the atmosphere against photolysis;

2. The sinks of C2H6 in the absence of a deep surface layer.

http://atoc.colorado.edu/~tfan/index.files/page0003.htm

Also note from above that the methane on titan probably isn't from titan.

[ June 20, 2015, 11:47 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Comes from space dinosaurs... [Big Grin]
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If the government is going to act like a VC firm, then it should use the same rules to judge success. Breaking even is not winning, because of the time value of money. Add to that, the fact that you'd have to subtract the interest cost of the money you borrowed in order to lend it. That's 2.5 to 3.0 percent during that time period.

The only real way to describe such programs is that the government is spending money to try and develop a technology. It's not trying to break even.

Then there's the question of whether the guarantees are really needed to accelerate the technology. Solar was "hot" from an R&D perspective well prior to the loans.

We would generally want to evaluate each investment and guarantee individually for such a case. If we look at Solana (not Solyndra), a $1.45B loan guarantee was issued 4.5 years ago.

Solana


Here's where it gets tricky. Until the loan is paid back, there's always that risk of default. So the government might not look like it is spending, just like the rate of return on mortgage debt looked fantastic right up until it collapsed. Long term, operating costs could be higher than expected for new technology plants, and then the taxpayer pays again in their utility bill.

I'd rather my government be risk-averse. I believe that solar plants will deploy as soon as they are economically viable. Rising oil prices do more to encourage such things than any government stimulus.

Many infrastructure programs helped to generate new commerce. Highways, railroads, Internet, Electric power... all these justify some subsidy because of the improved conditions for economic activity. I don't see it in this case.

portfolio projects

Now, honestly, the best program I could imagine would simply be to remove the oil and gas subsidies that give an artificial advantage to hydrocarbons. That policy would be much more beneficial in terms of government return on investment!

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The only real way to describe such programs is that the government is spending money to try and develop a technology. It's not trying to break even.
It shouldn't be, really. It should be working on spending though the necessary failures to get any given technology to the point where it's viable enough to be profitable enough for private investment to be worthwhile,, because that significantly accelerates the pace of technological development. Technological development is all built on a pattern of failing till you succeed- the private market is much more risk adverse, and so takes much longer to burn through the requisite failures to get to the point of success.

quote:
I'd rather my government be risk-averse. I believe that solar plants will deploy as soon as they are economically viable.
That's completely backwards. Private investments should be more risk adverse, because private investors actually have something to lose, whereas public investment is essentially free, so it should absorb the necessary risks and losses specifically so that the technology advances more quickly and the private sector takes less of a hit dragging it through those initial failures required to reach viability.

If the private sector has to do it, it's going to turin to surer short term bets because it's naturally risk adverse, leaving the technology to founder, and many people will significantly lose out on those initial failures. If the government issues money to help fund the process, then not only will we get through that failure stage more quickly, but the private sector ends up with, on net, more to invest on its own because of the additional money circulated by the government in the process.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
If the government is going to act like a VC firm, then it should use the same rules to judge success.
Think back to early 2009 when this legislation was passed - the economy was in free-fall. At that point, there was not a huge amount of significant venture capitalist activity.

quote:
Solar was "hot" from an R&D perspective well prior to the loans.
I don't remember anyone suggesting that big new investments in anything were likely to have a big payoff, and while we had always heard of Administrations going back to Jimmy Carter talking about alternative energy, nothing major ever seemed to come out of it.
Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My wife is currently developing a nitrogen reclamation method that is, at present, just about as expensive as existing fertilizer manufacturing processes, but has the advantage of reducing nitrogen in wastewater. It enables a wastewater facility to manufacture pelletized fertilizer at a cost equivalent to traditional methods, while also bringing the nitrogen concentration in their effluent down to acceptable levels. But the implementation is still buggy and the cost of installation is high, and as a consequence it wouldn't make a lot of sense for a treatment plant to agree to deploy one of the prototypes if there weren't some other incentive. Which is, thankfully, where federal grants come in. They're not particularly sizable, but they help reduce the risk and exposure of those plants in the hope that a viable technology of widespread benefit might emerge -- which is, I believe, an entirely appropriate role for government to play.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mynnion
Member
Member # 5287

 - posted      Profile for Mynnion   Email Mynnion   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tom-Your wife's work sounds interesting. Is she working with the Environmental Engineering program at UW? My son-in-law is in the EE grad program.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, excellent! She's not, currently, but has thought about reaching out to them due to some difficulties she's having getting the tolerances right on their prototypes. (Her background is in NRES, but she's currently with the Soils Department.) The tanks appear to scale up better than they work at lab size, which was contrary to her expectations, so she's trying to decide if refining smaller prototypes is really the way to go -- especially since each failure winds up spraying human waste over the lab. [Smile] *laugh*

[ June 24, 2015, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Which government investment led to Intel's success and dominance? They're getting them now that they are big and not risky. I'm not sure if early Intel was getting loan guarantees to revolutionize microchip technology, and that is a very capital intensive business to build fabrication plants.

Intel gets $300M from Israel

I can't argue against the idea that we should spend for environmental benefit. I'm not sure I agree with it, but if you accept the premise then it matters a great deal.

Smaller grants to fund research are much more acceptable to me than underwriting deployment in for-profit facilities.

The idea that this is somehow free, as Pyr suggests, is not fathomable from any economic perspective I can comprehend. That money is being borrowed under deficit spending, and has an opportunity cost.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
That money is being borrowed under deficit spending, and has an opportunity cost.
Which is to say, creating it also improves the ability of the population to save more money. "Deficit spending" is issuing money; federal "borrowing" is allowing people to make savings deposits. We have too little federally spent money circulating (leading to too many people having to take out private loans and rely on private credit instead) and net savings is far to low, so those are both good outcomes.

If we were at anywhere near productive capacity and zero unemployment, there would be opportunity cost. As it stands, not doing it represents squandered time and resources, because if the people and resources were not being employed for this research, they would be unemployed and left to go to waste.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Which government investment led to Intel's success and dominance?
We can probably trace all manner of contracts and grant programs from around the time of the invention of the integrated circuit, but there's an easy one off the top- at the time it was developed marginal taxes on high profit/income levels were high, so rather than take the money out in profits companies were much more likely to invest them in tax deductible training and R&D in pursuit of future value instead of pulling the money out of the company to enrich shareholders.

Effectively all technology companies were subsidized to invest in speculative research at the time because the marginal value of profit taking was less than the risk of loss from initial failures associated investing in technological development.

The lower tax rates were set, the less relative ROI such research produced, so tech companies became more and more conservative in their investments, going for incremental progress on known technologies, and leaving universities or companies founded in response to loan or grant programs like the one in question here, mostly, to actually try to push the envelope.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Those tax treatments also lead companies to leverage excessively to avoid taxes, which leaves them vulnerable to financial meltdown, but that's another story.

I also dislike the impact of subsidizing one company versus another and one industry versus another, which leads to lobbying, favoritism, cronyism, and an unequal playing field for new companies versus giant conglomerates.

Again, I draw the separation between speculative research (more like first round VC or angel investing) versus paying someone to expand or deploy a technology that is beyond the prototype stage - like the Solar plant expansion to the tune of $1.5B. There is no doubt that University grants have advanced many techs as well as government contracts to develop prototypes.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't remember anyone suggesting that big new investments in anything were likely to have a big payoff, and while we had always heard of Administrations going back to Jimmy Carter talking about alternative energy, nothing major ever seemed to come out of it.
Well, here's just one reference well prior to the program that we've been talking about. It is fair to point out that deployment subsidies in the form of tax breaks to end customers helped attract this investment. It seems that is a much less risky strategy to get government involved, and it doesn't play favorites with individual corporations.

quote:
In the first three quarters of this year, U.S. venture-capital firms funneled $67.7 million into the solar-energy sector, up from $31.4 million for all of 2004, according to the National Venture Capital Association, an Arlington, Va., trade group.
That's more than 30 times the amount invested 10 years ago and presents more evidence that record-high energy prices have incited a monumental push for cheaper forms of energy.

link
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was an investor in First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) when it made its huge rise around 2007. They were very much fueled from installation subsidies, not only in the US but also countries like Germany.
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Re: tax treatment, when Truman instituted a war profits tax on the aerospace industry during the Korean War (it had something like an 80% tax on profits in excess of what the same companies had earned a year or two earlier), a clever CEO who understood taxes decided that rather than share higher profits with the shareholders, he re-invested in a project they called the Boeing 707 and created a viable commercial jet aircraft. High corporate taxes leading to a break-through development that contributed significantly to economic growth
Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow, that's a really odd treatment, Greg. Yes, it is possible for a company to make the best of a bad situation, like massive taxation. What makes you think that had shareholders received profits that it would not be invested in various other endeavors resulting in economic growth? Why do you think that there is a difference between stockholders gaining value from growth rather than dividends? Or that they would have to be forced to make that choice, since many contemporary companies choose growth over dividends?
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Wow, that's a really odd treatment, Greg. Yes, it is possible for a company to make the best of a bad situation, like massive taxation. What makes you think that had shareholders received profits that it would not be invested in various other endeavors resulting in economic growth? Why do you think that there is a difference between stockholders gaining value from growth rather than dividends? Or that they would have to be forced to make that choice, since many contemporary companies choose growth over dividends?

Easy, this goes straight back to the Wealth of Nations- reinvesting in growth rather than profit-taking benefits the economy as a whole.

We can see the difference in our current economy where "growth" doesn't point to investments in R&D and other long term payoffs, but now refers to pump and dump type activities, where actions are taken to spike short term stock values and then get out before the crash from bad decisions comes home to roost. What's more it makes prioritizing consumer credit far more profitable than real investments, setting up financial crises as those profits are taken out of productive companies (particularly wages) and pushed int financial derivatives, forcing banks to seek out less and less credit worthy people to generate the most profit (while stagnant income means that the average level of creditworthiness declines at the same time)

The kind of "growth" that is invested in now is the kind that leads to financial crises like the one we just got out of and will again until we fix our tax incentives to penalize profit-taking, speculation, and financialization ot the point where their risk/reward ratio is well below that of investing in higher wages for workers, long term R&D projects, etc

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1