Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 11:13:52 AM EST
Here's another eye-opener on the cause of the Great Recession, and one of the reasons why appeals to private industry to employ people with their hordes of cash ($1.8 TRILLION last heard of) will lead to naught. Industry really no longer cares about employing people, as "social contracts" now appear to be so "yesteryear" ....
So, if oodles of tax credits and tax breaks won't employ people at a rate that is SOCIALLY REQUIRED, maybe it's time for Plan B. Maybe the Federal govt needs to directly employ a few million people for a few years doing necessary things, like building passenger rail at a prodigious pace ($100 billion/yr type rates). This is something that will directly replace petroleum used in cars and airplanes, and private industry is incapable of operating passenger rail in this country (or just about any country).
Remember, the U.S. emits more CO2 pollution via burning diesel, gasoline and kerosene (jet fuel) than from burning coal, and by a considerable amount. And the U.S. exports about $330 BILLION/yr just to import petroleum and petroleum cuts; this is the largest single import item, and it is definitely a major "bleeding" of money from our economy. And less demand for oil means lower prices, too.
Other ways for direct governmental expenditures would be for governmental (Federal, State, local) OWNERSHIP of some renewable energy generation projects such as onshore wind farms. Instead of bribing huge companies (often foreign companies, too) and/or really, really rich people with tax credits and tax deductions, just cut out the middle man/speculator class out of this altogether.
And of course, then there is the Feed-In Law approach, which is tailor made for all sorts of private investment (local government, too). This is because Feed-In Laws lead to a stable investment climate by taking away the completely valueless added gambling that goes on when electricity prices are based not on the cost of production, but one how much can be extracted from customers. Feed-In Laws actually lead to lower installed costs for renewable energy by lowering the risk premium associated with unknown future electricity prices - often unknown and unknowable due to unknowable fossil fuel prices. See http://wagengineering.blogspot.com/2010/09/hardscrabble-wind-fram-bit-of-mystery.html . Cut the costs of running a renewable energy system with bribes to big companies/rich people, by eliminating the need to bribe them.
Anyway, a hint to the Obama administration. If they (Corporate America) won't do it (create jobs, start hiring millions of people really fast), somebody else will HAVE to. Whoever does will get really popular, really fast (though they will be hated by the rulers of Corporate America - tough). And until the Federal Government steps up to fill in the gap left by Corporate America, they will remain pretty unpopular among the Democratic Party base. Maybe because it is NOT the time to wimp out.
What's so difficult to understand about that?