How Many Solyndras?

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 10, 2011

A. Barton Hinkle on the really scary part about the Solyndra scandal:

Viewed in isolation, the Solyndra story is mildly troubling. But it is nothing Washington has not seen before. The late, great columnist Molly Ivins wrote some crackerjack pieces about the return on investment that corporate sharpies used to get from their campaign donations to Republican politicians. The Solyndra story sounds like the same old, same old.

Except it isn’t. The Solyndra story encapsulates a much bigger issue than mere crony capitalism, bad as that is. Because Solyndra is not alone. The Obama administration has sunk billions into loan guarantees for dozens of other renewable-energy companies as well.

As Hinkle notes, scandals like Solyndra may have been avoided if only government would take to heart the teaching that it should at the very least try to keep the picking of winners and losers in the marketplace to a minimum. I wonder how many more instances of crony capitalism we have to witness before that lesson finally gets learned.

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