By Gary P Jackson
The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Government, at every level, is certifiably insane.
You could write one of these stories every day until the end of time. Government funds a so-called “green” company, because, you know, it’s the hip thing to do, and that green company, after taking a crap-load of tax payer money, goes broke. Well here’s one that not only went broke, stealing tax payer money from every level of government, it did it twice!
Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air writes:
This isn’t a recent case, nor the worst we’ve seen from the Obama administration’s green-tech stimulus bubble. However, it may be one of the most instructive about how governments don’t pick winners and losers in markets, but just losers. Genesis Poly of Mankato, Minnesota received subsidies from almost every level of government — city, state, and federal — to open its recycling center that transformed agricultural plastic waste into pellets used to create plastic goods.
Both the city and state spent hundreds of thousands of dollars each, part of which got backstopped by $500,000 in Obama stimulus money. Meanwhile the federal Department of Agriculture guaranteed 70% of a $7.44 million loan to Genesis Poly issued in the fall of 2009.
By the spring of 2010, however, Genesis Poly had closed its doors, swallowed by bankruptcy. For the second time. KEYC in Mankato reported on the case of Genesis Poly’s collapse in October of last year:
In the spring of 2010, Genesis Poly went belly up. And with it went Mankato’s money. Along with a $100,000 loan from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and another $7.44 million through a loan with U.S. Bank… 70% of which was backed by the Department of Agriculture.
Genesis Poly was in talks with the Minnesota USDA well before they went to U.S. Bank, and small government advocates are saying the USDA’s involvement could have played a role in U.S. Bank’s willingness to throw money at Genesis Poly.
David Strom, a policy fellow at the Minnesota Free Market Institute says, “There’s an implicit sense of Too Big To Fail. If the government is in, they’re going to keep throwing money at it. It looks like a less risky way to spend your money. You don’t even have to look at the books, ’cause it doesn’t matter. Government is going to back you up.”
But perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this whole story: this isn’t the first time Genesis Poly has gone bankrupt.
Back in 2008, with the same idea and the same investors, AGSI Recycling, as it was called, out of Savage, disintegrated as well, costing another $57,000 for the MPCA, and taking the 8 million pounds of plastic they had collected for production and dumping it all in a landfill.
Strom says, “This company in particular had already gone out of business once. The business model didn’t work. Yes they could produce something that was useful, but not at a price that anyone was willing to pay. If government has to shove money in, you’re burning up that kind of green to create another kind of green coming out the other side. And it just doesn’t make sense.”
Read more here.
I have a radical idea: How about governments stop trying to pick winners and losers? Their track record on this is abysmal. In fact, how about me make it illegal for governments to do this.
If an idea is truly worthy, and there is a market for the product being proposed, there is ALWAYS private money out there to fund it. In fact, the Republican nominee for president knows of such a firm!
By allowing government to fund these projects, controlled by easily corruptible politicians [or just plain dumb ones] we’ve created the perfect storm. Governments have bought into the global warming hoax, and related hysteria, all the way. You mention “green” to these people and they go weak in the knees!
The result is hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars handed out to people of dubious intent. Rarely does the product or service ever make it to market, and never is the money paid back. It’s insane.
The nation is nearly $16 TRILLION in debt, not counting unfunded mandates that bring us over $100 TRILLION. The federal government currently borrows forty cents, of every dollar it spends, from China. How absolutely insane is that!
Democrats cry obsessively for more and more taxes so they can continue to fund this insanity, and Republicans come up with budget plans far too timid.
We need bold leadership that will cut entire government agencies, and stop funding projects that are not commercially viable.
If businessmen, whose livelihood, depends on spotting good ideas and making money off of them, pass on these stupid “green” follies, it’s time for government to follow suit. We simply can’t afford any more of this nonsense.