The Lesson Not to Learn From Solyndra
September 16, 2011
Scott Galupo, U.S. News
David Frum is certainly right that the bankruptcy of Washington-backed solar energy firm Solyndra makes the federal government's support for an individual firm look laughably inept.
"If the U.S. government wants to discourage the use of oil, there is one powerful mechanism at hand: tax the stuff," Frum concludes. "Private actors will respond to the incentive. They will conserve and substitute and innovate all on their own. But when it comes time for investments in individual firms? Back off and let Mr. Market do the job that he does best."
Yet I think the episode gives the concept of a national economic strategy?one hesitates to utter the verboten phrase "industrial policy"?an unnecessarily bad name.
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