Center for Equal Opportunity

The nation’s only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity.

Sun11192017

Last update07:30:05 AM

Back You are here: Home Other Issues

Other Issues

Trayvon Martin and a different view of 2012 race relations

The facts we know about the death of Trayvon Martin seem to change every day, but we do know one thing for sure: It would be a mistake to draw sweeping conclusions about race relations in this country based on one event in one suburb on one night.

Read more...

True Terrorist Threat

       Much of the attention in the Middle East over the past few months has been focused on the suffering of the people of Syria. But the Assad regime in Syria, which is slaughtering its own people by the thousands, does so with help from its only ally, Iran. And it is not only in Syria that Iran wreaks havoc; Iran is the chief state sponsor of terrorism throughout the world.

Read more...

The Clean Energy Crash-and-Burn

The biggest star in the Obama firmament of green-jobs companies has just imploded. Solyndra, a California-based firm that produced solar panels, declared bankruptcy this week, putting more than a thousand additional workers on the unemployment line.

The Solyndra story tells you all you need to know about President Obama's ability to "create" jobs -- green or otherwise.

Solyndra was no ordinary startup. When the company broke ground on its plant, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and California's then-governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, used a golden shovel to dig the first hole. And it wasn't just the shovel that was gold-plated. The company received over half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees for the project. But U.S. taxpayers will likely never see a dime repaid now that the company has gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The loan guarantees were controversial from the outset. The chief investor in Solyndra was George Kaiser, a major Obama fundraiser. The guarantees were part of a $90 billion federal program, but Solyndra was first in line to receive the largesse. House Republicans have subpoenaed White House documents and are now investigating whether Solyndra received favorable treatment because of its political ties. There seems to be more than a whiff of old-fashioned corruption here, but only a thorough investigation will tell.

One thing is certain: The president and secretary of energy made repeated trips to Solyndra's Silicon Valley plant over the last couple of years, using the facility as a backdrop to deliver clean-energy agitprop. The president's most recent trip there occurred in May 2010, not long after a government audit questioned whether the company could even survive.

But that didn't stop Obama from crowing, "The promise of clean energy isn't just an article of faith. It's not just some abstract possibility for science fiction movies or a distant future or 10 years down the road or 20 years. It's happening right now. The future is here."

Indeed -- but the future may be very different from the one Obama sees. Solyndra is one of three major solar companies to declare bankruptcy this summer alone. No matter how many speeches the president gives, he can't turn an economically unsustainable enterprise into a profitable one, even if he siphons from the U.S. treasury to do so.

Obama has been obsessed with the idea of creating new clean-energy jobs since the 2008 campaign, when he promised 5 million such jobs over the next decade. The administration claims that it has created or "saved" a quarter million green jobs since the president took office, but there is no way to verify that assertion, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics has yet to even collect data on those jobs.

Despite the dubious track record, a Washington Post report noted that as of June, half of the president's trips to visit private businesses outside of Washington were related to promoting green technology. In all, Obama visited 22 clean-technology projects in 19 separate visits in a two-year period. That's nearly one a month.

What motivates the president's fanaticism? Is it simply blind faith in green technology, or is he chasing another shade of green -- namely, cash for his campaign coffer? In 2008, Obama raised twice as much as his Republican opponent from those in the green-tech businesses. Republicans are routinely accused of being the pawns of big oil, but where is the concern that Obama is beholden to the green machine?

Whatever his motivation, the real issue is that government cannot "create" jobs -- other than those on its own payroll. There are plenty of private businesses that fail. But the difference between Solyndra's failure and that of, say, the restaurant down the block or even a national chain like Kmart, is that Solyndra was artificially propped up from the get-go by federally guaranteed loans.

If Solyndra's technology, which rested on a new design for solar panels, was as promising as the Obama administration seemed to think, investors willing to risk their own money should have been plentiful. Where were Warren Buffet and the president's other billionaire supporters?

Capitalism has worked to create more jobs than any system since the dawn of civilization. But it works because individuals take risks with their own money or with borrowed money that they're personally liable to repay.

What doesn't work is commandeering other people's money in a crapshoot where there are more losers than winners. But Obama has yet to learn that lesson. And we can expect more government-funded fiascos like Solyndra on the horizon as long as he is president.

Linda Chavez is the author of "An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal." To find out more about Linda Chavez, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM

Who Is a Citizen?

Linda ChavezIs Mitt Romney in favor of increasing the number of illegal immigrants in the United States? You might not think so, given his tough anti-illegal immigration rhetoric, but his leading immigration adviser wants to do just that. What's more, the proposal this adviser is pushing would impose a new tax -- from $1,200 to $1,600 -- on every American family for the birth of each child. These are the conclusions of a new study put out by the conservative think tank the National Foundation for American Policy. The whole study calls into question the motives behind the radical anti-immigration groups that have been trying to make illegal immigration a central issue in the campaign.

Read more...

Ingratitude, Insolence and Entitlement

The riots that have wracked England in the last week should be a sober warning to the United States: This is what happens when a country breeds a generation of welfare dependents who are happy to bite the hand that feeds them. For days, roaming gangs of young people have engaged in looting, setting fires, intimidating citizens, even killing innocents.

Read more...

Making Things Worse by Trying to Do Better

Linda ChavezThe Department of Labor is about to release figures on long-term unemployment that suggest a major shift in employment patterns in the U.S.

Read more...

Obama's Leadership Deficit

When the history of the debt limit fight is written, the failure of presidential leadership will constitute a major chapter.

Read more...

Steve Jobs -- a Relentless Visionary

Like millions of Apple users around the world, I learned that Steve Jobs had died when I turned on my Mac on Wednesday evening. There his picture was, staring out from the Apple homepage when I went to my browser: his signature black turtleneck; his close-cropped grey hair and beard; his piercing, pale eyes.

I felt enormous sadness -- the kind that makes your throat constrict to force back tears, and at first, I couldn't quite figure out why. I certainly didn't know Jobs. I couldn't even have told you whether he had a family or how old he was or where he called home. But I know the world would not be the same if Steve Jobs had not lived.

Read more...

Exhibitionist Nation

Anthony Weiner's bizarre saga appears to be at an end. The seven-term congressman announced Thursday that he is resigning his congressional seat 10 days after admitting that he "sexted" at least a half-dozen women from his Twitter account and almost three weeks after the scandal broke. But what have we actually learned from this weird spectacle that has dominated the front pages of the country's leading newspapers and aired 'round-the-clock on cable news?

Read more...