We talk often about how it is an infringement on our liberties when government gets in the business of picking “winners”, in other words, spending our tax dollars to assist specific businesses or industries that are friendly to the politicians doling out the money. We call this “crony capitalism” … government helping their corporate friends, at the expense of taxpayers and upsetting the natural competitiveness of the free-market landscape.
In the case of Solyndra, a solar panel maker, which was billed by the President as the shining example of the great potential of the “green” industry, and which was picked to receive $527 MILLION in federal stimulus loans, it appears the government picked a LOSER to be one of its winners. Like many government intiatives … it failed, and is further proof of the failure of the concept of government spending as a potential cure for a struggling economy.
Solyndra has since filed for bankruptcy, shut down its plant, and has laid off 1100 workers. Worse, the FBI has initiated an investigation:
“The FBI raid further underscores that Solyndra was a bad bet from the beginning and put taxpayers at unnecessary risk,” said Reps. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) and Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.) of the House Energy and Commerce Commitee.
Government should not pick winners and losers because the whole practice is a losing proposition and antithetical to free-market principles. When politics interferes with the free-enterprise system, as it did with the mortgage bubble catastrophe, not only our tax-dollars, but our liberties are put at risk.