Third Party & Independents Archives

Out ! Darn Corpocracy, OUT!

It’s near pitiful to watch this failed government continue to wobble down the track. For Larry Summars the recession is over. For Greece, Singapore, Sudan, Italy, Jamaica, Lebanon, Japan, and Zimbabwe, their public debt is near or more than 100% of their GDP. In contrast the U.S. comes in at 37.5% of public debt to GDP. With the interest rate about to reset the largest crop of foreclosures are ahead of us. Yet, the President is pressuring banks to get out there and lend, lend, lend. Socialism, the Global Economy and the New World Order are on a roll alright, downhill in a barrel, IMO.

But, in the venue of never letting a good emergency go to waste the administration is headlong in pursuit of their goal to transform the world. This week the House passed a recommendation from the administration by creating yet another new government agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The mission of this new agency is to provide oversight for the financial sector, a duty in which several other existing agencies failed. A $450B Omnibus spending bill, likely to be passed today, was done without the transparency promised by Obama, the 72 hour scrutiny rule, and the Dems invoked cloture and worked behind closed doors to get the bill they want and ensure pork barrel issues were resolved to their liking. The bill increases government spending by approximately 10%. Now, it’s up to the Senate to agree to raise the cost of government while we remain in a recession.
The administration, in pursuing their plan for wealth redistribution, is offering to include prison inmates in their green jobs program using the slush fund created through the Recovery Act and the TARP program. Since Congress has once again abrogated their spending authority the administration can direct the slush funds to their pet projects. One such project is funding the Federal Prison Industries with $1.2B for inmate work projects. Eighty workers making solar panels were let go in order to hire 160 inmates making between $.23 - $1.15/hr working for FPI. The FPI was created in 1934, by Executive Order (unconstitutional). UNICOR , a government agency, employs 20% of federal inmates. Information relative to UNICOR and FPI is given:
Quote. It is the mission of Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI) to employ and provide job skills training to the greatest practicable number of inmates confined within the Federal Bureau of Prisons; contribute to the safety and security of our Nation's correctional facilities by keeping inmates constructively occupied; produce market-priced quality goods and services; operate in a self-sustaining manner; and minimize FPI's impact on private business and labor.
BOP recreation programs are intended to help reduce idleness, stress, and boredom associated with incarceration. Keeping inmates constructively occupied is essential to the safety of correctional staff, inmates, and the surrounding community. Further, these programs are designed to promote health, to reduce illness and related costs, and to increase the potential for post-release involvement in constructive recreation and health-related activities.
FPI is, first and foremost, a correctional program. The whole impetus behind Federal Prison Industries is not about business, but instead, about inmate release preparation.... helping offenders acquire the skills necessary to successfully make that transition from prison to law-abiding, contributing members of society. The production of items and provision of services are merely by-products of those efforts.
The Procurement Branch purchases raw materials in support of UNICOR, Federal Prison Industries (FPI) factories located in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities nationwide. These Federal factories produce goods and services for sale to government agencies only.
As required by Title 18, Section USC, 4124, UNICOR prices do not exceed current market prices. Unquote.

Eighty well paying jobs producing solar panels were sacrificed to employ 160 inmates at Chinese wages. If this project is implemented on a large scale can you see how it would perpetuate the breaking down of the middle class worker? Educating inmates should be the primary goal. The education programs offered inmates by the FPI are far lame of what is required to enter the workforce. Only training that leads to certification, licensure, and degree is meaningful to an inmate or an outmate. If you aren’t a licensed technician you will likely not be hired by a commercial firm. You might be more likely to indulge in the shipment and distribution of stolen Mexican oil products or some similar venture that would pay a living wage. Visit the Republic Sentry Party website and review inmate training as advocated on their VISION for the USA page.

Clearly, the policies and projects put forth by this administration show that this administration does not believe real government reform is possible. So, they continue putting band-aids on a severed artery. Promoting redistribution of wealth will not help solve our long term problems. But, it does play well with the Corpocracy’s goal of breaking down the middle class so that we may achieve economic parity with the developing world.

Posted by Roy Ellis at December 13, 2009 4:41 PM
Comment #292612

So, are Lord Conrad Black and Bernie Madoff making solar panels in prison? I doubt it. How many people are in federal prisons, anyway?

Posted by: ohrealy at December 13, 2009 5:32 PM
Comment #292627

tom, was using figures from the Saturday’s Wash. Post. Fine print notes that the data is from 2008. A startling change over one year. Greece is expected to break 135% debt to GDP in 2011. Ireland announced a $4B cut in government spending which will effect the unemployed, disabled and government salaries.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 14, 2009 10:12 AM
Comment #292628

Roy assuming this is the situation you are referring to, it seems what is new is the fact that private industry is now partnering with UNICOR to build these solar panels, supposedly for government buildings only. It also appears that the FBOP is helping certain small business’s to become bigger in order to retain it’s NASDAQ listing which shows a little favoritism IMHO.

It is a shame that this is the best situation the FBOP can come up with to provide solar panels for its buildings.While it would seem to save taxpayers money there are at least 80 taxpayers that have not benefited from this move. However one has to wonder why 80 people would be displaced if these panels are being used for federal buildings only, are the Feds the only customer for these products?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 14, 2009 10:27 AM
Comment #292630 “”Manufacturers are cutting prices to move inventory. Uncle Sam is helping too. As part of the economic stimulus package, the federal government this year boosted tax credits to homeowners who switch to solar power. Together with state incentives, those subsidies could slash the cost of some systems in California by 50% or more. Some homeowners are banding together into buying groups for even bigger savings.”” California was always good about rebates on energy for homeowners, NY state is terrible, Last time i checked for solar or wind Nada..

Posted by: Rodney Brown at December 14, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #292635

Roy, your asserted equivalency doesn’t work.

You say: “Eighty well paying jobs producing solar panels were sacrificed to employ 160 inmates at Chinese wages.”

Which entirely ignores the savings to taxpayers for energy efficiency in the use of their products for federal use. This is a good and productive cost saving program for tax payers.

Trying to use it to extrapolate to the enormous issue of job creation throughout the economy is logically indefensible, (can’t use the isolated case to prove a global argument), as well as unreasonable, since, the objectives in this case of using prison workers are many, and not at all primarily the creation of jobs.

The Administration is headlong in attempts to fulfill campaign promises to reform what doesn’t work for our future. This is not a bad thing, as you seem to imply by your choice of words, “goal to transform the world.”

The Administration’s attempts are laudable. One has to acknowledge however, that our President is NOT a dictator, but a leader, and whether Congress chooses to follow the lead or not, usually has nothing to do with the merit of the President’s lead, and everything to do with lobbyists, campaign donations, and reelection contingencies.

Everyone with any knowledge of the topic on the Left, Right, and in the Middle, knows we need health care reform to save our economic future and domestic tranquility. Yet, our Congress is incapable of the job or effecting such reform.

I strongly suggest you focus your critiques on the Congress, not the President. The direction of his lead is outstanding compared to the last president. It is the Congress that is denying the majority of the people the objectives which they elected Obama to help bring about.

The way to change the Congress requires the voters to send en masse, an unmistakable and unequivocal anti-incumbent message toward both of the duopoly parties, which cannot be misunderstood. Then, and only then, will one or the other, or both of the parties force themselves and their elected officials to achieve the people’s demands for more transparent, accountable, efficient, and responsible government which solves more problems than it creates or exacerbates.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 14, 2009 4:14 PM
Comment #292655

Solar panels are a great pipe dream, but they have yet to produce electricity at competitive prices.

Older panels are more durable and efficient, but more expensive. And newer panels are cheaper, but less durable and less efficient. There has yet to be a battery technology breakthrough. If everyone had a solar power system, we’d be overwhelmed by the battery pollution problem.

Posted by: gergle at December 15, 2009 8:22 AM
Comment #292656


Think economies of scale. First PC, first car, first plane, first space ship, all were astronomical in price. With economies of scale come dramatic price reductions. Also, wait till China gets up to speed with production to the extent that it has extras to export. Then, the price will really drop, if America want’s to dither away the interim on fossil fuels.

Also, I think your facts are reversed regarding efficiency. Newer design solar panels are very much more efficient than older ones, and flexible as opposed to rigid.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 15, 2009 8:47 AM
Comment #292675

Roy wrote: “For Larry Summars the recession is over.”

Larry Summers is absolutely correct. reports just today:

Economy: Wholesale prices rose more than expected last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday morning.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 1.8% in November after rising 0.3% previously. Economists surveyed by thought it would climb 0.8%. The so-called core PPI, which strips out food and energy costs, rose 0.5% versus forecasts for an increase of 0.2%. Core PPI was up 0.3% in the previous month.

The Empire Manufacturing index, a measure of manufacturing in the New York area, slumped to 2.55 in December from 23.51 in November, missing forecasts for a rise to 24.

In other manufacturing news, the Federal Reserve said November capacity utilization rose to 71.3% from 70.6% in October. Economists thought it would rise to 71.1%.

Industrial production rose 0.8% in November after holding steady in October. Economists thought it would climb 0.5%.

The economy is growing again. The recession is definitely over. And as with all recessions, job losses and job gains follow some time after the economy has achieved a head of steam, again.

It borders on being a Greek Comedic/Tragedy that the very people who allowed this Recession to occur and even promoted it to an extent, are in part, to be lauded for having rescued the economy from a deep Depression. Folks like Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, and Timothy Geithner played roles in bringing the recession about, but, also minimized the Recession with bold and timely steps.

Should we praise them or incarcerate them? I say neither, since, in reality, the majority of all Americans were complicit in bringing this Recession and threat of economic collapse about.

When Americans fail to pay attention to both their economy and government’s actions, when they fail to pursue the most objective and comprehensive education available to them, they abrogate their responsibility as citizens of this great nation, and abet its greatness being diminished.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 15, 2009 4:00 PM
Comment #292678

Roy, The trustees in prisons, Prison Industries have been making lenses for glasses and cutting and edging and fitting them into frames for all the Medi-Cal patients in California for many years, They had about 50-90 trustees learning to be ophthalmic lab technicians they paid them about 20-25 cents an hour, Basic no frills thick cr39 lenses and basic frames, It provided new sight and vision to many including children and helped quite few folks learn a profession inside prison and outside.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at December 15, 2009 5:28 PM
Comment #292680

Rodney, I’m all for inmate training and education. I do believe what the administration is doing re solar panel assembly doesn’t meet the criteria for creating ‘living wage’ jobs.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 15, 2009 6:45 PM
Comment #292686


There is lots of research going on in Solar cells, many claim high efficiency results, those are yet to be proven in real world conditions.

In general, efficiencies of around 22% is top of the line. Thin film runs in the teens and has much shorter lifespans. I have searched looking for backing data, but cannot find it easily at this time. It makes me suspicious that there is a dearth of such info. I recall reading this on a website of a commercial installer, but I no longer have that link.

What I mean by older cells is this:

Crystal silicon type PV’s (older technology) are generally more efficient and have a longer life.
Thin film type solar cells (newer technology) is generally less efficient (commercially available) and has a much shorter lifespan.

Module performance is generally rated under Standard Test Conditions (STC) : irradiance of 1,000 W/m², solar spectrum of AM 1.5 and module temperature at 25°C.

Electrical characteristics include nominal power (PMAX, measured in W), open circuit voltage (VOC), short circuit current (ISC, measured in Amperes), maximum power voltage (VMPP), maximum power current (IMPP) and module efficiency (%).

In kWp, kW is kilowatt and the p means “peak” as peak performance. The “p” however does not show the peak performance, but rather the maximum output according to STC.

Solar panels must withstand heat, cold, rain and hail for many years. Many Crystalline silicon module manufacturers offer warranties that guarantee electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power output and 25 years at 80%

Trust me. The second I see something efficient, durable and cost effective, I will go off the grid. I am still investigating but am working on doing something partial as soon as possible, in part, to educate myself on the practical issues.

Posted by: gergle at December 15, 2009 9:43 PM
Comment #292791

gergle, what about hydrogen generators? They have been selling large KW’s right along. Military field units, kitchens, hospitals, etc. use them. But they don’t mfctr and small size units efficient for residential use, or according to the literature. When available wouldn’t that be preferable to solar, hit and miss?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 17, 2009 7:59 PM
Post a comment