Monday, February 1, 2010

Adversary Economics, ctd.

I was planning to blog on this tomorrow, but Stossel beat me to the punch:
Watch out, says a front page article in this Sunday's New York Times... like former Soviet premier Nikita Khruschchev, those ultra-wise economic planners in the Chinese government are going to bury us!
China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year.

China has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels...
Vaulting and leaping, oh my! The Olympics ended 15 months ago, but the New York Times editorial staff can't resist Olympian metaphors. Too bad they (and the president) are also stuck in a Cold War mindset.
President Obama, in his State of the Union speech last week, sounded an alarm that the United States was falling behind other countries, especially China, on energy. “I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders — and I know you don’t either,” he told Congress.

The United States and other countries are offering incentives to develop their own renewable energy industries, and Mr. Obama called for redoubling American efforts. Yet many Western and Chinese executives expect China to prevail in the energy-technology race.
Let them. The only way China will "prevail" in the green energy race is if they dump more money on politically correct, money-losing forms of energy production. If China wants to waste its money to scare the New York Times, providing consumers artificially discounted energy as part of the deal, they are welcome to it.
...China’s commitment to renewable energy is expensive. Although costs are falling steeply through mass production, wind energy is still 20 to 40 percent more expensive than coal-fired power. Solar power is still at least twice as expensive as coal.
Got that? China will leave America in the dust because they are committed to spending more money for the same amount energy they can get from other sources. Do we have to go through this again? How many times does History need to bash the New York Times over the head with the failures of central planning before they understand?
Bravo.  More good analysis on this nonsensical NYT article is here.  My earlier thoughts on the President's misguided and antiquated "Adversary Economics" are here.

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