The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
 
Infrastructure Re-defined
Now its light bulbs, building insulation, solar panels, electric cars,
windmills, eco- toilets…and what a bargain for the future!
You know, it’s all about the kids and grandkids.
 
Third in line to the Hertz counter at DFW airport Monday one felt hostage to the large HD flat screen mounted on a column nearby.  CNN was carrying the president’s speech live from an energy-saving light bulb plant in Durham, North Carolina.  Trapped fore and aft between the velvet ropes by other stone-faced patrons, there was no choice but to stand quietly and pretend like everybody else that you were actually able to ignore the echoing cadence. 
 
 “At Cree, you’re putting people back to work in a field that has the potential to create an untold number of new jobs and new businesses right here in America—and that’s clean energy.  And my administration has invested heavily in clean energy manufacturing, because I want to see the LEDs  [see also] and solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars of tomorrow made right here in the U.S of A.  I want them made right here.” (Applause.)
 
No doubt about it, LEDs are brilliant in more ways than one.  If they’re making them brighter and more efficient, more power to them, we’ll buy a billion of them.  Solar panels and wind turbines?   Neither has sparked enthusiasm in our capitalist society because neither makes any economic sense.  It makes all kinds of environmentalist utopian sense, but no economic sense.  Fabulous sums have gone to subsidies for manufacture and sales of solar panels, yet they’re relatively rare.  If they were actually capable of supplying our energy needs while eliminating that stout monthly energy bill (without requiring a second mortgage) why wouldn’t they be on every rooftop?  Meanwhile, the subsidies must flow!
 
And wind turbines?  There are any numbers of circumstances beyond man’s control that prevent them from generating any power.  Britain’s froze up solid for weeks last winter and generated nary a kilowatt.  Worse, sometimes the wind doesn’t blow, usually when it’s really hot, but not always.  What then?  Nobody seems to want the coveted icons in their own backyard, and for some reason their installation and operation continues to require vast sums of federal funding. The wind turbine has been the ultimate icon for years.  No television commercial for anything failed to contain a dolly shot of a green hillside festooned with windmills.  Or if they couldn’t rationalize an excuse to show a windmill in the promotion of their product or service they at least paid respects to recycling or some other green doctrine sanctioned by the hip religion of Global-Warming
 
But back to the Hertz line.  The presentation continued with the logic that since the government subsidized the LED plant, and the whole thing looks to balloon into a major commercial success providing lots of good jobs, that the government must continue identifying other green-compatible infrastructure investments to create even more good paying jobs.  And here it comes.  “So this is what led us to create what we’re calling the Better Buildings Initiative – putting people back to work doing the work that America needs done.  Upgrading buildings for energy efficiency could save America’s businesses up to $40 billion a year on their utility bills.”  This is great isn’t it?  The government has identified another place to spend nonexistent money to further the practice of environmentally sound investment.  (Is anybody wondering what the price tag might be on this vital new government agency?)
 
But successful businesses in our capitalist society will always spend money to upgrade if it makes good economic sense, will they not?  Isn’t that why they’re still in business?  And just what groups, organizations, unions or “workers” will be hired for these government jobs that will save so much money?  Surely not political support groups!  Surely not. 
 
“And as we get this moving it can snowball…Jobs Council…Bill Clinton…premier experts who are going to be able to help us design this program to really get this to take off.”    Economic analysts tell us it already has snowballed into a looming economic “Armageddon”.  “We should be able to agree on developing clean energy and manufacturing jobs that come with it.  It makes sense for us to rebuild our infrastructure and all the jobs that it can create.  That’s what’s going to be required to grow our economy.  That’s what it takes to help our people prosper.  That’s how we’re going to get to the future that we dream about for our children and grandchildren.” [see Remarks by the President at Cree, Inc.].
 
So, our children and grandchildren will flourish in the green utopia where government provides an unlimited supply of good paying green jobs, everyone recycles materials that have no salvage value, drives electric cars, works in green buildings upgraded at taxpayer expense, derive all their home energy needs from windmills and solar panels.  Wow!  What a life. 
 
Unfortunately, that future will never arrive.  Instead of green utopia, our children and grandchildren are destined to inherit a debt more colossal than Carl Sagan could fathom. (Famed astronomer, known for his references to “billions and billions” of light years or whatever.)   America’s current debt surpasses $14.3 trillion, and projections into future decades (should current spending policies continue) rocket toward one hundred trillion dollars.  But meanwhile we need to create new green initiatives so that the green utopian dream can be kept alive for our children and grandchildren. 
 
Have you seen what’s going on in Greece again?  That’s what happens when a government exhausts its ability to fund everybody’s green job.  Whether they succeeded in redefining “infrastructure” to mean light bulbs, battery cars, windmill projects, recycling plants, or solar panels is pretty much moot at this point in Greece.  The government is broke, its debts look bad and lots of Greeks are mad that their government-subsidized utopia ran out of wind power.  The result is a breakdown of law and order.  This once proud culture has given way to massive protests, battles with police, blocked transportation systems, shortages, you name it.  It’s starting to look like something out of the Middle East. 
 
When “infrastructure” no longer means roads, bridges, railways, water and sewage plants, ports, airports,  power grids (carrying adequate wattage from coal, oil or nuclear power plants) but is redefined to mean any make work boondoggle to accommodate the windmill gods or a “smarter planet” you ultimately get what Greece has.  By the way, the United States has just promised (during Angela Merkel’s recent visit to the White House) to guarantee EU/IMF loans to bail out Greece, a debt which is figured to be eighty percent likely never to be paid. 
 
Mind you, more guarantees of bad debt all over Europe will be needed from the U.S.  The threat of collapse will demand it.  Don’t worry, more stimulus billions, maybe trillions, will be urged upon us very soon.  Just as the threat of collapse here in the U.S. will demand more “quantitative easing” which means simply creating more money out of thin air and then directing it to organizations, unions and agencies sure to vote for who’ll ever keep it coming.  It feels like déjà vu back to ’08, and the prognosis is that it’s chronic.  Makes you wonder how the kids and grandkids will feel when they grasp the magnitude of the economic chasm that’s been dug in the name of green, social justice, diversity and it goes on and on. 
 
The surest route to the bad side of town is wildly wasteful spending and deep indebtedness, even if in homage to the greenest gods.  Lawless “protesters” are destroying the civility that once defined Greece, even after all the assurances of bailout.  We are courting that same future unless somebody calls a halt to the dizzying array of urgent schemes in the name of “social justice,” or in this case, green “infrastructure.”  What help will the “green infrastructure” be when the rioting breaks out?  Without our sound influence it is likely our kids and grandkids will have been brainwashed and peer pressured to flood the streets and demand their handouts, just as somebody’s kids and grandkids are doing right now in downtown Athens.  The third world has arrived in Greece.  It’s scheduled to traverse Europe and like a virus with no known cure, will likely reach our shores.
           


Mark Armstrong


 

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Further reading:
Resources
Remarks by the President at Cree, Inc by the White House
 

Photos:
Left: Compact fluorescent lamp
Center:  wind turbines
Right: solar panels