Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blowing In the Wind

When Barack Obama ran for President, one of the promises he made was to create

millions of new jobs for emerging green industries. Auto makers would offer hybrids and

electric cars. New companies would hire Americans to make solar panels. Still more jobs

would be created by companies attempting to harness wind power. These are jobs which

couldn't be outsourced. This would be home-grown technology we could export to the rest

of the world.

A Chinese company, with the help of the Chinese government, has finalized a deal

to supply wind turbines to one of the largest wind farm developments in the United States.

The company will sell 240 of it's turbines to the developers and will receive more than one

billion dollars from the Chinese government to pull the deal off. It turns out that since the

beginning of the 1990's, manufacturing of wind turbines has shifted to Europe and China.

By 2005, less than 25% of the parts going into wind turbines were still made in this country.

Is this an example of Obama failing to keep his promise? Yes and no. Obama got

legislation which earmarked as much as $10 billion for alternative energy exploration

including wind turbines. However, at the same time, China is pumping as much as $100 billion

into the same technology. Spain created special pricing for renewable power. Of the 2800

jobs created worldwide by this "wind farm" development, only 15% will be in the U.S.

While the rest of the world was and is spending time and money on emerging

technologies and alternative fuel sources, what has the United States been doing? We have

been cutting taxes for the rich, running huge deficits, cutting back on research grants, and,

oh yes, fighting unnecessary and unwinnable wars. While the Germans, Chinese, and Spanish

are spending money creating new jobs in new industries; the United States will spend over

one trillion dollars to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. While our competitors, some would say

enemies, are pouring money into ways to create jobs for their people; we are pouring money

into the insatiable pit of our Military-Industrial Complex. While China finances our debt

and takes our jobs, we pour money into the historically least productive portion of our

economy and we continue to gloss over past mistakes. A dollar spent on the military has

almost no multiplier effect on the economy. In contrast, spend a dollar on education and

experts say it will return as much as $7 in benefit. While other nations aim their economies

toward the future, we spend more in our war department than the next five nations combined.

It gets worse. Even if the U.S. has companies that can compete with global competition

and create jobs here at home, they are having trouble getting financing. Why? Because of

the tight credit markets brought on by the global financial meltdown brought to you by

Wall Street and the Bush Administration. If George Bush had been an enemy agent he could

not have caused more damage to this nation. One trillion dollars spent on unnecessary wars,

$1.2 trillion spent on tax cuts for the rich, and presiding over an economic disaster of epic

proportions are just some of the accomplishments directly attributable to the Bush dynasty.

Just this week, the announcement that the University of California system was

raising tuition 34% sparked riots on various campuses. The community college association

says overcrowding will cause students to be turned away. So, while we make education more

expensive and turn away more American students; our competition in Europe, India, and China

provide university education to all who qualify and in many cases for free.

President Obama is in the middle of a perfect storm. The economy is in shambles;

so he's forced to borrow $750 billion, appropriated by Congress, to bail out Wall Street. He

touts $10 billion for alternative energy projects while our competitors are spending ten times

that amount. And if that wasn't enough, Obama is expected to make a decision on Afghanistan

soon. If he chooses to expand our presence there, it will require even more hundreds of

billions of dollars, money spent at the expense of future prosperity. We have choices. Ask

yourself, which is a greater danger to our national security: a 10% or higher unemployment

rate, falling behind on new energy technologies and the jobs created by them, an education

system available to fewer American students, or the future of Afghanistan and Iraq?

In a world of real changes, here's one we will soon be forced to live with. They are

going to build the world's biggest wind farm in Texas using Chinese workers and technology.

That's a fact! How is that possible? China says it will continue to fund new renewable energy

projects in the U.S. to create markets for it's technology and create new jobs in the U.S. and

in China. Pardon me, but who does the U.S. belong to? Do "We the people" still own the U.S.?

Simply put, we have to get out of the war business. We have to expand educational

opportunities, not limit them. We have to pour money into basic research to stimulate new

technology and innovation. We have to rebuild our infrastructure, expand high speed data

transmission, upgrade our energy grid, and revolutionize our transportation systems. If all

we can do is fight wars, we guarantee our children a future which is out of their control and

we hand over the levers of power to our competitors and enemies both at home and abroad.

A wise man I knew once said all freedom is economic. Do you feel free? What do

you think? I welcome comments and rebuttals. Please send them to

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