It sort of goes without saying that many of us who frequent the LRC Blog and blogs like it tend to be a little distrusting of the MSM. (MSM = main stream media for those without access to a copy of the home game.) Occasionally, I find myself thinking that some of us are a little too convinced of inherent bias in the MSM. I mean, really, the content of any mainstream news outlet is created by people, often smart people, no more naive than any of us, right? Then I come across an article like this one, published by an ostensibly respected site offering financial news, CNNMoney.com. The linked piece, entitled, "How stimulus saved renewable energy" profiles several renewable energy projects and attempts to illustrate how they would have failed if not for the infusion of stimulus money. With due respect, such an assertion is not only economically illiterate but borders on insulting as well. (Don't steal my money and expect me to say, "Thank you!")
Consider: At one point the article states, "Without stimulus, First Wind's project—and most renewable energy projects across the country—may not have happened." The article also says, "Gaynor, chief executive of First Wind, is using $40 million in federal funds to help build a wind farm that will produce enough power for 13,000 homes and has created 200 construction jobs." Let us contrast these statements with previous industries that could have been "stimulated" if that particular scam—er, um, economic tool—had been available.
"Without stimulus, First Horse Pattie's project—and most horse-drawn carriage projects across the country—may not have happened."
Maybe that's too obvious. Let's try another one.
"Without stimulus, First Button Pusher's project—and most elevator operator job retainment projects across the country—may not have happened."
Still no traction? I'll keep trying.
"Without stimulus, First Boiler's project—and most steam engine life extension projects across the country—may not have happened."
No, I'm not done yet. Not even.
"Dr. Elvin Poopshoveler, chief executive of First Horse Pattie, is using $40 million in federal funds to help equip carriages all across America with automatic crap sweeper devices that will clean up enough horse droppings to fertilize 13,000 fields and has created 200 hole digging jobs."
One would hope that I needn't get into the fallacious economics of this lunacy. Ideas that have merit do not require government largess to fund them. Either customers will willingly pay for the product and/or the service or both, or they won't. If the prices charged for these ideas is too high to generate adequate sales, then the product or service cannot morally be made affordable or the idea made "good" by taking money from some* to give to others. It is truly a sad state of affairs when supposed financial news is laden with this type of craptrap.
Sad, but unfortunately not unexpected. One is reminded of a blistering quote from Manuel Ayau's "Not a Zero-Sum Game."
Had we achieved job security in the Stone Ages, we would still live in caves.
The way things are going, at least we'll have a nice wind turbine outside!
* - Some might argue that since stimulus is generally funded with newly-printed money it does not result in the type of theft against which libertarians normally rail. This is untrue. In fact, printing money systematically redistributes wealth from those less to those more favored by the banking-government complex. Such redistribution is actually worse than taxation-theft.