Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Here they go again

Sam Adams is just back from DC where he was trying to get $20 million out of the feds to help pay for the latest "linchpin" project that they are just CERTAIN will pay for itself many times over by attracting untold levels of economic activity.

Untold, of course, because nobody can actually explain in concrete terms exactly how the thing will create any jobs or value.

The story is in Willamette Week. The want to build a monument to "sustainability" - an office building that produces all its own electricity. Of course that requires the thing to be hotter in summer and cooler in winter than most of us would want in a building for $31 per square foot. (Which puts it a level above class A office space.)

Heck all sorts of people will line up to have their office in a place where they sweat all summer and freeze all winter, especially if it costs more. Guess who will occupy the space? Sustainability-trough-feeding non-profits and government agencies.

But I mostly LOVE the serious economic analysis they did to show how if we build this outrageously expensive building with taxpayer funds, that it will spur all sorts of economic benefits. Here is what the Chancellor of the Oregon University System, a financial partner in the deal to the tune of $80 million in bonds, says:

"This is going to brand Oregon as a leader in the sustainability movement,” Kenton says. “We think of this building as a portal. People are going to want to come here and connect with it, and it will drive a whole bunch of economic value to the state.”

So there we have it. A "portal" that will "drive a whole bunch of economic value" to Oregon.

And on the strength of that extensive econometric analysis, we commit tens of millions of taxpayer funds.

OK then.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Central planning is dead. Long live central planning

An article in the Portland Tribune this week is a great example of the ability of our local politicians and planners to refuse to acknowledge the failures of their policies.

The article, to summarize, says: "Shucks, it turns out that remodeling an entire region into our vision of new urbania, with bike paths and lite rail and high density makes those dastardly folks who actually employ people want to leave. Who knew? Guess we need our planners to turn their talents to planning the economy."

The hubris of these folks is startling. Faced with the utter failure of their "livability" dreams and schemes, now they pretend to be able to plan what industries will have job growth. "Clusters" they call them. And they want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to put their helpful stamp on these burgeoning new employment sectors.

Never mind that the last next big thing, Biotech, which was the justification for their last several hundred million dollar boondoggle, so far has been an utter failure.

Nothing like failure to make them create new plans! It certainly couldn't be that planning itself is a failure. That would mean they wouldn't have jobs!

And THOSE jobs are the ones that these folks REALLY care about!

Friday, October 02, 2009

On cue, the Oregonian praises Nike

What a surprise that the day after Nike announces it wants everyone in the U.S. to pay higher energy prices, the Oregonian praises them and the other large corporations that are on board with carbon tax legislation.

The lead editorial also praises the "forward looking" companies that support Cap & Trade, such as General Electric, Duke Energy, Exelon, and PG&E.

Forward looking? Is the Oregonian really that gullible, or are they just fundamentally dishonest? Do they NOT know that each and every one of these companies is simply "rent-seeking?" These corporations have a huge financial stake in the the government making fossil fuel energy less competitive. The mandates and controls that would result from carbon taxes will put billions in their coffers.

For the Oregonian to pretend that somehow these companies are just being good corporate citizens is just plainly dishonest.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I'm boycotting Nike

Nike announced yesterday that the company is withdrawing from the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because if its opposition to the Waxman-Merkey Cap & Trade legislation. So Nike supports raising domestic energy prices.

Pretty hypocritical for a company that makes ALL of its consumer products in places like China, Vietnam, and India - places that never agreed to any CO2 controls - to support making energy more expensive in the U.S.

No more Nike stuff in my house.