Do you need a Congressman to know which way the wind blows?

February 23, 2010

The Los Angeles Times provides interesting evidence why it might be a bad idea for government to decide which emerging technologies deserve investment.  The paper reports that many clean energy projects are “on hold” because investors are uncertain about which way the political winds in Washington are blowing.

When government meddles in the market, it creates uncertainty among buyers and sellers that leads to inaction.  It also unfairly picks winners and losers –typically the companies with the best lobbyists win, not necessarily those with the best products.

In his State of the Union address the President declared, “The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.”  Only time will tell how valuable clean energy will be in determining who leads the global economy.  Though one thing is for sure: the private sector must make this determination.  This is the only way Americans can be certain that worthy technologies and the most promising projects receive funding.

Voters agree: a new survey found 51 percent of adults, including 49 percent not affiliated with either party, believe business leaders know how to grow their businesses better than government.

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