Former employees of the defunct solar company Solyndra are now eligible for a combined $14.3 million in federal aid, the Labor Department announced Monday. Approved through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, the 1,100 employees who were laid off after Solyndra went belly up in late August are set to receive payments of about $13,000 each, which will be tacked on to the $535 million in loan guarantees that taxpayers are already on the hook for.
TAA is a federal program designed to compensate and bolster American workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign competition. The program offers a variety of reemployment services and training to help participants obtain new jobs and retain wages comparable to their prior employment.
The notion that fervent Chinese competition is the sole catalyst to American solar companies’ financial woes has been long touted by congressional Democrats and the Obama administration, particularly as Solyndra’s bankruptcy has placed them in the political hot seat. The Labor Department’s approval of the TAA aid reinforces a trade complaint directed against China by a conglomerate of U.S. solar panel manufacturers, and by granting the assistance the department has seemingly indicated that the allegations hold at least some merit.
From Reuter’s interview with former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien in August came a much fuller understanding of the forces that moved the Canadian economy from a basket case to a decade of robust growth and budget surpluses.
A liberal much in the mold of liberals in the Democrat Party in America, Chretien took over in November 1993 as his country was suffering from high unemployment, a stagnant economy, and increasing interest rates on its national debt. Its ratio of debt-to-GDP was approaching 70 percent while its annual deficits were nearly 6 percent of GDP and increasing. The economy was ranked just above Italy among the Group of Seven, Canada’s peers. As Scott Clark, Chretien’s Deputy Finance Minister put it: “We used to thank God that Italy was there because we were the second worst in the G7.”
In a rare interview, Chretien was forthright about what happened to turn the economy around and set the stage for the country’s “Payoff Decade.” He said, “There would have been a day when we would have been the Greece of today. I knew we were in a bind and we had to do something. I said to myself, I will do it. I might be Prime Minister for only one term, but I will do it.”
We frequently hear from the particularly naïve that they want to take the money out of politics. That claim recently resounded from the Occupiers of Wall Street and other locations — apparently so they could keep the loot for themselves, if the $500,000 they raised was any indication. Scratch a Marxist with a bank-roll, and you’ll expose a hypocrite every time.
Ditto for politicians. Extracting money from their hot little hands is like prying the BlackBerry from Anthony Weiner’s. Just ain’t gonna happen.
Politics is money. Lots and lots of it. Why else would bums with no discernible skills but a burning lust for other people’s hard-earned bucks flock to public office?
Consider the average politician. Tragically, he’s born without the sense God gave amoebas — but with a whale-sized ego. How will he ever reconcile the two?
Then the whiz-kid hits kindergarten. You remember him: the crybaby everybody hated for tattling on us about everything, all the time.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement’s list of crimes grows daily. Since this writer last reported on the leftist OWS, citing John Nolte’s blog at Big Journalism, the list of crimes has increased more than 30 percent.
Many people are lamenting the failure of the Congressional "Super Committee" to come up with an agreement on ways to reduce the runaway federal deficits. But you cannot judge success or failure without knowing what the goal was. If you think the goal was to solve the country's fiscal crisis, then obviously the Super Committee was a complete failure. But, if you think the goal was to improve the chances of the Obama administration being re-elected in 2012, it was a complete success.
Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb, the phonograph, the DC motor and other items in everyday use and became wealthy by doing so. Thomas Watson founded IBM and became rich through his company's contribution to the computation revolution. Lloyd Conover, while in the employ of Pfizer, created the antibiotic tetracycline. Though Edison, Watson, Conover and Pfizer became wealthy, whatever wealth they received pales in comparison with the extraordinary benefits received by ordinary people. Billions of people benefited from safe and efficient lighting. Billions more were the ultimate beneficiaries of the computer, and untold billions benefited from healthier lives gained from access to tetracycline.
President Barack Obama, in stoking up class warfare, said, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." This is lunacy. Andrew Carnegie's steel empire produced the raw materials that built the physical infrastructure of the United States. Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft and produced software products that aided the computer revolution. But Carnegie had amassed quite a fortune long before he built Carnegie Steel Co., and Gates had quite a fortune by 1990. Had they the mind of our president, we would have lost much of their contributions, because they had already "made enough money."
Class warfare thrives on ignorance about the sources of income. Listening to some of the talk about income differences, one would think that there's a pile of money meant to be shared equally among Americans.
Four of MF Global’s former clients have made public their experiences with the failed financial derivatives broker, each of them losing their money and two of them their businesses as a result of MF Global’s bankruptcy. One, a commodity trading advisor who wishes to remain anonymous, described her experience when she first learned that MF Global was in trouble:
This is the perfect time to view this video exposé of Newt Gingrich by John F. McManus.
Voters beware the salesmen who come with hat in hand, pitching shiny or miraculous services and benefits for a bargain bottom price and the promise of a profit. Your wallets and blank checks are their target. With a ballooning price tag and doubts about federal funding, it is increasingly obvious that voters were sold a bill of goods by the backers of California’s high-speed train to nowhere....
Occupy Wall Street’s latest grievance centers on student loan programs and higher education reform, and the group’s most recent campaign involves a movement-wide boycott on student loan debt repayment. Early Monday afternoon, a crowd of faculty and student organizers assembled at the southeast corner of New York City's Zuccotti Park to announce Occupy Student Debt, a national initiative directed at recruiting student loan borrowers and requesting that they willfully default on their loan payments. The campaign consists of three pledges:
1. A refusal to make loan payments. This pledge will take effect after a million debtors have signed on to the campaign.
2. A faculty pledge of support for the "refusers."
3. A general, non-debtors' pledge of support for parents, the students and other public sympathizers.
"Since the first days of the Occupy movement, the agony of student debt has been a constant refrain," New York University professor Andrew Ross announced to a crowd of more than 100 people. "We’ve heard the harrowing personal testimony about the suffering and humiliation of people who believe their debts will be unpayable in their lifetime."