Solyndra, a manufacturer of solar panels, is bankrupt, which is inconvenient for the Obama administration, which extended half a billion dollars’ worth of loan guarantees to the firm as part of the president’s stimulus effort. The inconvenience extends to the 1,100 Solyndra employees who have just lost their jobs and to the U.S. taxpayers who may be on the hook for the bankrupt firm’s loans. The project was indeed “shovel ready,” as the president likes to put it; unhappily, in this case, the shovel belongs to the gravedigger. Perhaps the gravestone could read: “Another project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
Solyndra was an irrestibly juicy piece of bait for stimulus-happy progressives. President Obama, like all Democrats, labors under a special challenge when it comes to economic affairs: His economically illiterate base spends its time decrying “corporations,” but urban-gardening cooperatives don’t create a lot of jobs, and community-based nonprofits by definition don’t create any profit, and therefore no investment capital, and therefore no economic growth. You want to see some real, sustainable, long-term jobs created, your best bet is to look to a “corporation”—“corporation” simply being the word for a business that has grown large enough or profitable enough to require the legal organization of its affairs. But if you’re Barack Obama, not just any corporation will do: It has to be just the right sort of corporation.
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