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Tertium Non Dant

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 13 years ago, in 2011, on the World Wide Web.

From Tim Cavanaugh, Steven Chu, Oh Where Are You? (Solyndra Roundup), at Reason.com:

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that a new poll indicates few Americans are paying attention to the Solyndra scandal, and most still support so-called clean energy initiatives . . . . More surprising than the continued support for solar power is the apparent support for spending taxpayer dollars on it, which the report from Public Opinion Strategies has at 62 percent, versus 31 percent opposed. However, I’m a little skeptical of the strongly leading questions:

There are thousands of successful and profitable clean energy and clean technology companies all across America; the failure of one California company should not stop us from continuing to make targeted public investments to help create American clean energy jobs. 62%
The collapse of Solyndra shows that investing taxpayer dollars in so-called green jobs is a waste of money; these businesses cannot compete or succeed on their own without government assistance, and we cannot afford to prop them up with government funding. 31%

I hope the remaining 7 percent answered, as I would have, Both of these options are stupid. I don’t want my taxes subsidizing private companies of any kind, and I’m aware that the amount of energy conventional solar power generates is modest. But how the hell should I know whether solar businesses can compete or succeed without government assistance?

The only way to find out whether these companies can work in the marketplace is to let them compete without government assistance.

— Tim Cavanaugh, Steven Chu, Oh Where Are You? (Solyndra Roundup), at Reason.com, 29 September 2011

See also.

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