The argument calls for government to get out of the investment business:
The government’s rightful role in this competition is at the beginning -- and the end. We favor government support for research labs that can put hundreds, even thousands, of interesting ideas in play. Trying to pick winners in the midst of the action is ill-advised. The government can accomplish more, with less risk, by simply becoming a big, reliable customer for solar, wind and geothermal power.
A well-conceived alternative energy program could save the U.S. many hundreds of billions in the years ahead. If the Solyndra debacle gets U.S. policy pointed in the right direction, the loan-guarantee losses won’t have been totally in vain.
The problem is that government would still be using OPiuM (other people’s money) to consume products based not on subjective market inputs, but rather on political ties, popular memes, and various other political factors. Such heavy demand would cause competition to dry up as the anointed businesses crowd out their competitors.
Investing is consumption-based to begin with. Private investors pick and choose the products which interest them. So, in effect, we’re seeing government act as a consumer when it invests. Am I missing something or is this really the same old central planning idea being spun anew?