Tag Archives: free-market

Solyndra, a diversion by any other name would not be as sweet.

There it was again. A Republican, this time Marco Rubio in the Republican response to the President’s 2013 State of the Union Address, was using Solyndra as a reason to pull back from clean energy investment, sweet music to the Heritage-government-is-the-problem crowd.

“Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called “clean energy” companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration,” comes the Rubio sugary-soaked gruel.
What makes this appeal so dangerous is that it echoes the ignorance of a base which believes, after years of saccharine-sounding sedation, that free markets actually exist, a base which thinks that the reason that Solyndra failed was that it was a terrible company and that governments shouldn’t and don’t favor and aid industries in their bid to be successful. What Rubio won’t say to his base because his well-heeled donors won’t allow it is ““the Chinese government poured $33 billion into its solar industry in 2010, allowing Chinese companies to produce solar panels at a fraction of the cost that American companies like Solyndra were paying.” That’s what the oil and gas industry doesn’t want the Fox viewers to know.

“As part of the conspiracy to monopolize the solar market and as part of the Export Plan, the China Development Bank, the Bank of China, and the Export-Import Bank of China loaned defendants over $17 billion at below-market rates,” according to the suit. “Through a scheme known as “extend and pretend” the co-conspirator banks roll over loans from year to year, rather than requiring payment when the loans are due. Suntech, which has nearly $1.6 billion in loans due this year, has banked on the ‘extend and pretend’ scheme, intending to roll over most of its loans until (at least) 2013.”

But the Republican base cheers every mention of Solyndra seeing it as an attack on the Obama Administration, never realizing that China is engaged in a real honest-to-goodness trade war with their country (America) and this honey-coated dung pile leaves the American taxpayer less able to afford the medical and educational infrastructure it needs to thrive and aides and abets the demise of the American middle class which allows comfortable-cat-bird-seat conservatives to cast many more American’s, who don’t have the ability to stash cash and profits offshore, as 47% er’s while concentrating wealth in the hands of those most connected with fossil fuels by diminishing alternative energy’s appeal and viability. The Chinese sympathizers (those who selectively see and complain about and attack the American government’s involvement in markets conveniently ignoring the same by the Chinese) those sympathizers who benefit most as they amass wealth, some while capping wells for which they held leases that didn’t bring sufficient “profit,” must think everytime the product of Heritage-Cato-Koch-brothers propaganda, some misguided, middle-class conservative or poor conservative even in places like Mississippi, utters the name Solyndra, they must think “how sweet it is” to have so many “conservatives” naively preserving our putrid, perfumed poop pyramid, smothered in un-needed subsidies stacked on booby-traps of Deep-Water-Horizon-Exxon-Valdez-Colonial-Pipeline(Greensboro North Carolina)-sized externalities. And they’ve convinced the public that green energy technology is too expensive all the while gushing concern about debt left to our children. Yeah, that’s the ticket!!!

Lee Atwater’s dog whistle may kill Mississippi’s Insects

The silence of a significant portion of Mississippian Republicans illustrates how responsive they are to the smaller-government and free-market dog whistles. They should be howling at the obstruction of Medicaid expansion. Smaller government should be anathema to Mississippians when you consider the state’s median income ($$36,919 vs. $50,054 U.S.), and per capita income ($28,845 vs. $38,611 for the country), when you consider the number of people who supplement their income by joining the national guard, when you consider the state’s farm subsidies, when you consider the boon to ship building the government has been for Mississippi (Ingalls Shipbuilding is the state’s largest private employer). And then there is the irreconcilable differences between the call for free markets and all of the afore-mentioned government intervention. We won’t get into the godsend that the government programs Medicare and Social Security have been to Mississippi and how the “free market” god couldn’t have cared less no matter what it’s disciples claim. You began to understand how the dog whistle works when despite the reference to voters and some of their constituents as bugs (coming out of the woodwork to receive government subsidized healthcare) RepubliCons still get so much support from the poor in Mississippi many of whom count themselves as Republicans. You see Lee Atwater summed it up best: Make sure you’re “talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.” In light of the fact that not everyone who would get access to healthcare under Medicaid expansion is black, that Atwater dog whistle may prove deadly to some of the people responding to it.

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Et tu, Federal Government?

Thus comes the cry from Mississippi’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. Claiming somehow that he expected approval for a plan he submitted to the Department of HHS without the Governor’s signature he ridiculously cries betrayal(A State’s Declaration Letter must be signed by the State’s Governor). Futhermore Mr. Chaney chose to ignore the fact that the Affordable Care Act “says that the exchanges have to be one-stop shops for both private insurance and Medicaid.”
How can Chaney get away with such blatant misinformation? He is basically running interference for big insurance companies while pretending to be for the average working Mississippian. He and other Mississippi RepubliCons talk of free-market approaches as a remedy for rising health care costs when they know full well that the health insurance industry has the McCarran–Ferguson Act and lack of regulation, which saddles Americans with billions of dollars a year in excess costs, in place to maintain the existing order and to harden the stratification and widen the wealth gap.

This is understandable in Mississippi, where some are not entitled to freedom from want of health care. Mississippians, owing to a basic fear of change and obeisance to crypto-fascist “leadership,” are destined to remain last in so many categories. When you consider farm subsidies and military installations and the boon to ship building provided by the federal government and, historically, earmarks, the Federal government to Mississippi is not betrayer, Mr. Chaney, but the love which dare not speak its name.