STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
DB Briefs: Solyndra Hits Obama Hard / Germany's Pirates Storm Berlin / Mainstream Economists Favor Carbon Tax?
By Staff News & Analysis - September 21, 2011

Solyndra Hits Obama Hard … Issa to launch probe of Obama actions on Solyndra, LightSquared … Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that his committee plans to investigate government loan programs to private corporations in light of allegations of improper dealings between the White House and failed energy company Solyndra and wireless start-up LightSquared. "I want to see when the president and his cronies are picking winners and losers… it wasn't because there were large contributions given to them," the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday morning on C-SPAN. – The Hill

Germany's Pirates Storm Berlin … Pirates' Strong Showing in Berlin Elections Surprises Even Them … The party won 8.9 percent in elections in the city-state … With laptops open like shields against the encroaching cameramen, the young men resembled Peter Pan's Lost Boys more than Captain Hook's buccaneers when they were introduced Monday as Berlin's newest legislators: They are the members of the Pirate Party. Asked if they were just some chaotic troop of troublemakers, Christopher Lauer, newly voted in as a state lawmaker for the district of Pankow, replied with no lack of confidence, "You ought to wait for the first session in the house of representatives." – NY Times

Mainstream Economists Favor Carbon Tax? … Do economists all favour a carbon tax? LAST week, a Twitter conversation broke out among a few economists concerning whether any serious economists opposed a carbon tax. No, concluded the tweeters, but Tyler Cowen begged to differ. Mr Cowen writes that he personally favours a carbon tax but can imagine a number of principled reasons other economists might not. – Economist

Solyndra Hits Obama Hard

Issa to launch probe of Obama actions on Solyndra, LightSquared … Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that his committee plans to investigate government loan programs to private corporations in light of allegations of improper dealings between the White House and failed energy company Solyndra and wireless start-up LightSquared. "I want to see when the president and his cronies are picking winners and losers… it wasn't because there were large contributions given to them," the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday morning on C-SPAN. – The Hill

Dominant Social Theme: Corruption is a fact of life. Plus, Obama is an honest president. His enemies are just trying to take advantage …

Free-Market Analysis: Is it serious? Darrell Issa's committee is now looking at whether it was improper for members of Congress or White House staff to select companies eligible for subsidized government loans when those companies could give campaign donations.

Here at DB we cannot be faulted over a slow response. The day the FBI raided Solyndra, back on September 9, we noted the raid in these electronic pages and asked "Is Solyndra the End of Obama?" We're convinced that Obama is a creature of the Anglosphere power elite, and given his lamentable performance as US president, we wonder whether the powers-that-be have tired of him. The best way of getting rid of someone in high office is through scandal. Could Solyndra be a shot across the bow?

Obama was supposed to be the second coming of FDR, a young man with boundless energy and charisma. A cool cat who was "hot." An analytical fellow who was also a man of the people. It didn't hurt that he was black and was perceived overseas as having a Muslim heritage. This was doubtless intended to make him a great conciliator.

But Obama has muffed it. His endless vacations and golf outings have revealed a man who is either overwhelmed or uncaring. And his expensive jobs and health care legislation has done little or nothing to improve people's health or employment prospects. The US is headed toward an ever steeper recession (depression, really) and nothing Obama has tried has in any way alleviated the economy's evident difficulties.

Thus when we heard that Solyndra had gone bust owing the federal government some US$535 million in federal loans under a green energy program of President Obama's, we figured the "tea leaves" might be aligning in ways that were not favorable to America's hippest prez.

Barack Obama, we wrote, "has been a great disappointment to the elite central banking families that want to run the world … Have those with the real power in America decided that Obama's days are numbered? … Is someone trying to send a message?"

We concluded the case "bears watching." And it does.


Germany's Pirates Storm Berlin

Pirates' Strong Showing in Berlin Elections Surprises Even Them … The party won 8.9 percent in elections in the city-state … With laptops open like shields against the encroaching cameramen, the young men resembled Peter Pan's Lost Boys more than Captain Hook's buccaneers when they were introduced Monday as Berlin's newest legislators: They are the members of the Pirate Party. Asked if they were just some chaotic troop of troublemakers, Christopher Lauer, newly voted in as a state lawmaker for the district of Pankow, replied with no lack of confidence, "You ought to wait for the first session in the house of representatives." – NY Times

Dominant Social Theme: Well, this is a sign of the times. But no worries. The establishment is still in charge.

Free-Market Analysis: The Pirates Party was started in Sweden in 2006 and by winning 8.9 percent of the Berlin vote in Sunday's election, the party apparently surpassed all expectations. It's main theme – Internet freedom – proved to have an unexpected resonance. The Pirates ran 15 candidates, expecting perhaps that a few might be elected. Instead, all of them were.

There were other surprising results, the Times reports. "The pro-business Free Democrats, Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partners in the federal Parliament, crashed and burned, again, receiving less than 2 percent of the vote. That is well below the 5 percent needed to remain in the statehouse. The Green Party continued to build on its recent successes and may well become one of the governing parties in Berlin."

In with the new, out with the old. What is the attraction of parties like the "Pirates"? Issues of online privacy and data protection may seem incredibly narrow to older generations, according to the Times, but for young people who spend a great deal of time on the Internet, such issues are relevant and important

Additionally, the Pirates promise something other than politics as usual. They have called for complete transparency in politics, a meme we have already identified with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange. Of course, when it comes to Assange and Wikileaks, we have made a case that the group may be a kind of controlled opposition. The whole issue of "transparency in politics" is a bit suspicious to us.

One of the ways that the powers-that-be control the current system is by sponsoring movements to "reform it." Are the Pirates a kind of controlled opposition? There are mutterings to that effect in the alternative press. Thus, as much as the party seems to constitute a bold, new force in German politics, we will withhold our enthusiastic support. Too much is not as it seems these days.


Mainstream Economists Favor Carbon Tax?

Do economists all favour a carbon tax? Last week, a Twitter conversation broke out among a few economists concerning whether any serious economists opposed a carbon tax. No, concluded the tweeters, but Tyler Cowen begged to differ. Mr Cowen writes that he personally favours a carbon tax but can imagine a number of principled reasons other economists might not. – Economist

Dominant Social Theme: A carbon tax makes perfect sense, but still there may be other options. Not serious ones, though.

Free-Market Analysis: The Economist is the thought magazine of the global elites. Its mission is to analyze the world's problems and suggest globalist solutions. It is relentlessly international in its focus and unquestioning in its support of the elite's dominant social themes, those scarcity memes promoted by the Anglosphere in order to consolidate global control.

One of the biggest and most controversial memes of the elite is global warming. The idea is that global warming is a terrible, almost existentialist problem – and that only a variety of world-spanning institutions have the expertise to deal with it. Of course, global warming has received considerable pushback, with an increasing number of people, especially in the West, being dubious about its reality or at least the depth of the danger it poses.

The Economist has no such skepticism, however, or not in this article. It doesn't even bother to bring up the idea that someone could oppose global warming on the grounds that it is not real. It begins with the idea that the science of global warming is "established" and goes from there.

The issue, in this article, is not whether global warming exists, or even whether "all" economists support a carbon tax to counteract it. The issue is simply whether a carbon tax is the "best" solution. The article is written to bring up the provocative point that it may not be.

Tyler Cowen is the vehicle utilized to examine the Economist's thesis. Cowen apparently wrote to the Economist that while he favors a carbon tax, he can imagine why other economists might not.

According to the Economist, "The carbon tax is an elegant solution to a complicated problem, which allows the everyday business of consumer decision-making to do the work of emission reduction … it is the one we'd expect economists to embrace."

Cowen, however, argues that a carbon tax will be less effective if it's not universally applied. "He worries that where carbon fees have been applied innovation has not been quick to respond … He suggests that a 'green-energy subsidies first' policy might make more sense, and he talks about distributional and rent-seeking costs of the policy.

There you have it, dear reader …The issue is not whether global warming exists, but how best to tackle the consequences: either by taxation or via green subsidies. And this from what is supposed to be one of the most sophisticated business and finance magazines available in the Western world!

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