Monday, February 16, 2009

Subsidizing Underachievement (The Democrat Legacy in Schools, Business, etc)

At the Independent Women’s Forum, there is a short article entitled “Wind Industry Employs More People than Coal: And that is a Good Thing?” Its point is self-explanatory. Much like Amtrak has been funded by the government because it has not turned a profit since its inception -- thus, stopping private companies from creating a transit system that actually does turn a profit through better technology and free-market incentives (a prime example of government stifling competition). So to will the government stifle true competition and technological breakthroughs by their subsidizing the power industry (choosing one over another). Amy Watson's article speaks to this well:

I ran across a story today celebrating the fact that the wind industry employs more people than the coal industry. In 2008, wind industry jobs jumped to 85,000, a 70% increase over the previous year. The coal industry has remained fairly constant, employing approximately 81,000 people. I am sure this statistic sounds fantastic for individuals who are enthusiastic about producing electricity through wind energy; however this data point speaks to me in a different way. It screams inefficiency when you consider the amount of electricity produced by each industry.

According to the government's data, in 2007, coal generated electricity contributed to almost half of the electricity produced in our country. "Other Renewables," which I assume is comprised of solar and wind generated electricity based on the graph, produced a mere 2.5%. I realize these are data points for two different years, however, even if we assumed electricity production from wind power increased by 70% as well that is still less than 5% of the total amount of electricity produced. No wonder the government must continue to subsidize this industry, because it would never survive otherwise.