• Crony capitalism….it doesn’t get any funnier or stupid than the “The Cellulosic Ethanol Debacle” as written up in the Wall Street Journal. Some excerpts……

    “It all started with G. W. Bush, 'We'll fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years."

    —George W. Bush, 2006 State of the Union address

    “To launch this wonder-fuel industry, the feds under Mr. Bush and President Obama have pumped at least $1.5 billion of grants and loan subsidies to fledgling producers. Mr. Bush signed an energy bill in 2007 that established a tax credit of $1.01 per gallon produced.

    Most important, the Nancy Pelosi Congress passed and Mr. Bush signed a law imposing mandates on oil companies to blend cellulosic fuel into conventional gasoline. This guaranteed producers a market. In 2010 the mandate was 100 million barrels, rising to 250 million in 2011 and 500 million in 2012. By the end of this decade the requirements leap to 10.5 billion gallons a year.“

    So far they have produced only 6.6 million gallons……but it gets even more bizarre.

    “In 2009 a jury in a civil fraud case ruled that Cello (the major cellulosic ethanol producer) had lied about how much cellulosic fuel it could produce. Some of the fuel that Cello showed to investors was derived from petroleum, not plants. The firm produced little biofuel and in October 2010 it declared bankruptcy.

    It gets worse. Because there was no cellulosic fuel available, oil companies have had to purchase "waiver credits"—for failing to comply with a mandate to buy a product that doesn't exist. In 2010 and this year, the EPA has forced oil companies to pay about $10 million for these credits. Since these costs are eventually passed on to consumers, the biofuels mandate is an invisible tax paid at the gas pump.”

    I assume the taxpayer got screwed (again) when the company went bankrupt…..bankrupt, gosh you hear that a lot with regard to subsidized businesses. Oh well, I guess we’ll never learn.

    December 13, 2011 at 8:36 p.m.

  • Bs Spotter.

    You can comment on my blog entitled “Hypocrites ‘R Us” ( )

    From where I sitting at I view many who write to the Victoria Advocate as hypocrites. Many of them I know personally. Just like one land owner angering voiced his opinion about a so-called Socialist President but urged OUR State Rep and OUR State Senator to be socialist with a certain county’s ground water.

    In closing let me repeat from my own blog. “People, who vote certain way, voiced their so-called opinions on this paper and this site daily. They stated that people should get a job etc. Yet these same people voted for and supported no new businesses, so that prevents/hinders the people, they routinely criticized, to WORK and get off the government teat. Not everyone wants or desire the government to feed, clothed, and shelter them.”

    Mr. Williams

    December 13, 2011 at 7:13 p.m.

  • It is the thing to do - oppose national level corporate welfare. At the local level it is somehow rationalized that a person can get some personal benefit if a local business is subsidized - maybe I can get a piece of the pie.
    Of course it is a double standard!

    December 13, 2011 at 2:35 p.m.

  • Why do we tend to oppose corporate welfare & cronyism on the national level but rally behind it at the local level?

    December 13, 2011 at 1:53 p.m.

  • Crony capitalism is nothing new it has been around for a very long time. In the 1850's Congress subsidized steam ship lines to provide service to California and elsewhere. Cornelius Vanderbilt competed with the subsidized lines and handily beat the pants off them, while the subsidized lines.....yep that's right they asked for more and more subsidies. By 1858 Congress came to the realization that the "lines were miserably managed." "The whole system was wrong; ought to have been left, like any other trade to competition."

    Then there was the "transcontinental railroad" a heavily subsidized project that was politically corrupt. All the subsidized railroads went bankrupt within a few years some in one year. A separate privately funded railroad again beat the H3ll out of the subsidized one. Why? It's because the roads were built and managed efficiently to provide quality service to its customers at low cost and to generate a profit for the owners as opposed to just getting more and more subsidies and political protection from competitors.

    In all cases the private unsubsidized enterprises provided lower cost to consumer and superior service. If anyone would like to read more about this I recommend "The Myth of the Robber Barrons - A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in American." What we have today is a political economy, this is not capitalism, we are on the road to socialism. Entrepreneurs today? It's not what you know it's who you know in the government - that's wrong.

    December 13, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.

  • I agree with Jared's quotes. Does that apply to small C and S Corporations, as well as micro-economies?

    December 13, 2011 at 12:58 p.m.

  • No incumbent returns to Washington in November election

    Limit terms to stop professional politicians

    Stop the media from airing everyone's laundry - if they can't find dirt - they make it up

    Force politicians to live by the same rules and regulations - our health care is their health care, I pump my own gas - so should they, I don't fly to Europe to see if the widget I just made has cause a major shift in work load for the French wine makers - they don't need to know either.

    We should be governed by real people - if they commit a crime - they go to jail - not get reelected.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.

  • Jared,

    Sounds like a good case for decentralization. Big Biz can't benefit from Big Gov't if gov't power isn't over-concentrated. Bottom-up, bottom-up, bottom-up!

    December 13, 2011 at 12:23 p.m.

  • "A healthy economy will not tolerate a condition where the whole nation works in the service of a few lords or even in the service of one lord."

    "It is simply not possible for an entire nation to go on working indefinitely for the well-being of a handful of capitalist magnates (read: corporatism) and speculators..."

    H. Pesch

    December 13, 2011 at 12:17 p.m.

  • Rebecca,

    That looks like a good place to start. I hope the course covers the principled motivations of the Anti-Federalists and doesn't use their opposition to the Constitution disingenuously. I find myself more & more in the Anti-Federalist camp every day.

    Be sure to peruse for history/economics media & literature.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.

  • I'm thinking of ordering this course (mainly because it's under forty bucks) to start our high school American History study. Whatcha think?

    December 13, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.

  • Revolutions can be more bloody than war.

    December 13, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.

  • "We're truly in taxation-without-representation mode."

    Time to reboot the system...

    December 13, 2011 at 11:19 a.m.

  • When corporations BECOME our government, we're hosed. We're truly in taxation-without-representation mode.

    December 13, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.

  • When corporations enjoy greater access to the powers that be than you and I, then you know the system is broken.

    Shame on us for being weak and insipid enough to allow this.

    December 13, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.