Sensata vs. Solyndra

Friday, 09 November 2012 10:28 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | Op-Ed
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The public looked at the stories about Solyndra and Sensata and voted. They voted for clean energy jobs IN the US, not for vulture capitalism that ships our jobs and industries OUT of the US. They voted to act as a unitedcountry instead of a leaving everyone on their own, in it only for themselves. They said We, the People are a people, not just a bunch of dorks out there on our own, alone at the mercy of the wealthy and powerful.

Solyndra Was About Jobs Here

Our government’s investment in solar-manufacturing companies was part of an attempt to bring clean energy jobs to the US. Solar power is obviously a big industry of the future, and the countries that can build up a manufacturing/research/education/skill/supply chain ecosystem will do well. Solyndra was one of several companies working on solar technologies that the government thinks will help our economy.

After solar-panel prices dropped, partly as a result of Chinese government subsidies to their own companies, Solyndra and some other solar-power companies didn’t make it. But the country still gained from the investment in expertise, research and other parts of the solar-manufacturing ecosystem that occurred in this country through the Solyndra investment.

Remember, the investment in Solyndra and companies like it is an attempt to trigger a manufacturing ecosystem here in the US, not to make a profit from individual investments.

Voters decided this is a good thing. In California, in fact, there was a ballot initiative, Prop 39, to tax out-of-state corporations and use half the money on energy efficiency projects, create 20,000 to 30,000 construction related jobs. It passed 60% to 40%.

Voters want more government help creating jobs and companies, especially green-energy jobs and startups!

Sensata Was About Jobs There

Sensata is a company that Mitt Romney’s old company Bain Capital bought, and immediately announced they are moving the jobs and manufacturing equipment to China. Sensata makes sensors for the auto industry. This is a key technology and a key component of the auto-industry supply chain. Bain is moving this technology and the manufacturing to China.

Voters said that what Bain Capital did with Sensata is bad. Voters said that what our government did by investing in a solar-manufacturing ecosystem is good.

Romney tried to knock down American clean energy jobs by blasting our investment in Solyndra...
But the public looked at Sensata and chose.

Voters chose Solyndra over Sensata. Voters want investment in America, not China.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.

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