Fisker: R.I.P

There are/were very few industries that did not have significant Government help. Or, X industries did not rely on Government contracts in its early development.

Can anyone name a few.

The US Government has long made a point of helping small businesses. They have small business set-asides, minority-run company set-asides, and who knows-what-else set-asides. Recognize that the priorities of government organizations are not always the same as a privately run business. Yes, they do want to be efficient. But there are political and social issues they openly address that a private company won’t or can’t. They shouldn’t be held to exactly the same criteria for success. If the Feds hadn’t invested heavily in semiconductors, we couldn’t have this conversation. If they hadn’t spent heavily in disease research, many of us would have been dead long ago. If they had a prifit motive in either of thsoe endeavors, they would have quit long before their expenditures were rewarded. One of the things our federal government has done well is invest in the future. We were talking about this at work yesterday. The Elephant in the Room (and the donkey) both agreed that current federal revenues are lower than in the 1950s, yet they didn’t pay for social programs at anything close to the levels we do today. Maybe the Feds aren’t nearly as inefficient as many people think they are.

Helping basic research like semiconductors is good (to a point). The Fisker funding is more like funding Zenith (actually, more like Baskin-Robbins) to make transistor radios. Why fund a company to make a $100,000 Volt?

"IMHO the question needs to be asked whether investing in private companies is a legitimate use of tax dollars. Is that the reason we pay taxes? "

If anyone hasn’t noticed, govt. insured low interest business loans have been available for many years. Whether the business succeeds or not is up to the business, not the loaner provided the loan was secured to begin with. The govt. has worked hand in hand with business for many years. It’s a political issue to get elected. What ever success Romney types have had, it’s been in large part with govt. support. You would be surprised how big some of these small businesses are.

Secondly, large businesses whose failure would have a direct impact on the welfare of large numbers of people, should be considered for help. Would it be less expensive to help a business then pay unemployment benefits for the people displaced by those businesses in their failure ? If it is, don’t we think it would be a good business decision to help ?