Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and here’s the proof. Way back in 2008 — just three days after Barack Obama was elected, and way before he took office — I critiqued the idea of using federal stimulus dollars on renewable energy projects. I wrote
Governments are pretty bad at “picking winners” when it comes to making investments. This is something markets are better at. Entrepreneurs, who have their own personal wealth at stake when making business decisions, are motivated to figure out which forms of alternative energy investments are likely to pay off. This is a setting where markets are likely to make better investments than governments.
And here’s a link from the Washington Post to their coverage of the Solyndra scandal, where a green energy startup collapsed after having been granted $535 million in federal loan guarantees. Governments — whether Democrat or Republican — are just really bad at this sort of thing.
I wonder how many elementary schools you can build with $535 million?