I have a better idea, just close the Ballet Bludgers down

One of the biggest bludger groups in New Zealand is moving to a new home while their home base is quake strengthened.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet is “firmly committed” to Wellington and will continue to hold performances in the capital despite its performance venue closing for earthquake strengthening.

The St James Theatre, which houses the ballet, will be closing for about a year to undergo earthquake strengthening.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency spokesman Aaron Alexander confirmed the strengthening would start about this time next year. ? Read more »

Another subsidised “green” energy company goes tits up

This is why politicians should not subsidise anything, let alone “green” energy projects:

A cutting-edge battery maker that received millions from taxpayers has become the latest government-backed energy firm to file for bankruptcy ??reviving the controversy over how stimulus dollars were spent under the last administration.

Seven years after Aquion Energy received a $5.2 million stimulus-tied grant from the federal government, the Pennsylvania company on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

?Creating a new electrochemistry and an associated battery platform at commercial scale is extremely complex, time-consuming, and very capital intensive. Despite our best efforts to fund the company and continue to fuel our growth, the Company has been unable to raise the growth capital needed to continue operating as a going concern,? Scott Pearson, Aquion’s outgoing CEO, said in a?press release.

The company, which is now seeking a buyer, produces batteries to store solar and renewable energy. It had been touted as a rising star in the energy storage business, even attracting investment from Microsoft founder Bill Gates and millions more in state funding. ? Read more »

The crony capitalism of electric cars

Eric Peters discusses the crony capitalism of Elon Musk:

If Elon Musk?s various projects are so fabulous, why do they all need government ?help??

Musk will tell you all about the virtues of his Tesla cars. They are sleek and speedy. This is true. But they are also very expensive (the least expensive model, the pending Model X, will reportedly start around $35K, about the same price as a luxury sedan like the Lexus ES350).

The real problem with Tesla cars is that no one actually buys them. Well, not directly.

Their manufacture is heavily subsidized ? and their sale is heavily subsidized. Either way, the taxpayer is the one who gets the bill.

On the manufacturing end, Tesla got $1.3 billion in special ?incentives? from the state of Nevada to build its battery factory there. This includes an exemption from having to pay any property taxes for the next 20 years. Another inducement was $195 million in transferable tax credits, which Tesla could sell for cash. California provides similar incentives, including $15 million to ?create jobs? in the state.

Tesla does not make money by selling cars, either. It makes money by selling ?carbon credits? to real car companies that make functionally and economically viable vehicles that can and do sell on the merits ? but which are not ?zero emissions? vehicles, as the electric Tesla is claimed to be.

Laws in nine states require each car company selling cars in the state to sell a certain number of ?zero emissions? vehicles, else be fined. Since only electric cars qualify under the law as ?zero emissions? vehicles ? and the majority of cars made by the real car companies are not electric cars ? they end up having to ?purchase? these ?carbon credits? from Tesla, subsidizing Tesla?s operations.

The amount Tesla has ?earned? this way is in the neighborhood of $517 million.

Read more »

Billion in subsidies to Tesla, the biggest corporate bludgers in the world

Any business that relies on corporate welfare and subsidies for its customers is no business at all. The shame is that Elon Musk has gotten wealthy off the back of billions of subsidies.

Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space.

And he’s built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies.

Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

“He definitely goes where there is government money,” said Dan Dolev, an analyst at Jefferies Equity Research. “That’s a great strategy, but the government will cut you off one day.”

Read more »

This is what happens when you pour subsidies into stupid ideas

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The Greens want us all to pour billions into “green energy” projects.

In the US they have been doing just that…billions of dollars of subsidies into green energy projects.

Where has it got them?

A federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn?t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn?t receive a break Thursday from state regulators.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, owned by BrightSource Energy Inc., NRG Energy Inc. NRG, -1.86% and Alphabet Inc.?s GOOG, -0.02% GOOGL, -0.40% Google, uses more than 170,000 mirrors mounted to the ground to reflect sunlight to 450-foot-high towers topped by boilers that heat up to create steam, which in turn is used to generate electricity.

But the unconventional solar-thermal project, financed with $1.5 billion in federal loans, has riled environmentalists by killing thousands of birds, many of which are burned to death ? and has so far failed to produce the expected power. ? Read more »


Labour candidate: ALL failing businesses should be propped up

Labour Candidate and windbag for Rotorua, Tamati Coffey, has doubled down on his support for loan defaulting farmers and now says “all businesses” should be propped up by government if they are failing.

This would include all businesses “from retail to innovation”!


Read more »

Andrew Little confirms Labour want subsidies for farmers, and want to bully banks

After more than a decade of bashing farmers Andrew Little has now confirmed that he supports Grant Robertson’s call for a return to Muldoon-era farm subsidies, as well as wanting to bully banks.

Labour leader Andrew Little has called for banks to be “stiff armed” into not forcing dairy farmers off their land, warning that could see more farms?fall into overseas ownership.

His call came amid calculations?by?the Reserve Bank that in a worst case scenario up to 15 per cent of the $40 billion in dairy farm debt – equivalent to more than?$5 billion – could be lost to the banks.

Fonterra dropped its forecast dairy payout forecast to $3.90 a kilo of milk solids last week. An estimated 85 per cent or more of farms are not expected to make a profit at that level.

The good news is that Labour have declared a crisis. The bad news is that Andrew Little is showing he is an economic retard. Talk of “stiff-arming” banks is ridiculous. Even in sport such tactics are illegal, and in international finance you’d destroy the economy faster than you could say 255 if you even thought about forcing banks to listen to?the?dictates of a government, or even tried nationalising them.

Little?said the banks needed?to be “stiff-armed?and told we’re not going to see, wholesale, farmers pushed off the land”.

He said with some estimates of up to 25 per cent of dairy farmers in trouble, and with the value of land and herds falling, banks might?look at their most marginal loans with a view to forcing farmers out.

“We expose more New Zealand farm?land to the risk of overseas?ownership?and I think that is a matter in which there?is a national interest the Government should be alert to, and take action on.”

Labour, the Greens and NZ First have called for help?for farmers.

Read more »

Robertson proposes a return to farm subsidies

Have a listen to Grant Robertson.

He is proposing a return to farm subsidies.

Subsidies for dairy farmers?

So Robertson’s, and presumably Labour’s, position is that those businesses should not be allowed to fail. No matter what they pay for their land, the government should make sure they can make ends meet.

Hell, why stop there? ?? Read more »

More good news, WTO moves to abolish agri-subsidies

New Zealand agricultural exporters have received a much needed boost today with the announcement that the WTO has agreed to end export subsidies for agricultural exports.

The elimination of export subsidies for agricultural exports is a watershed for world trade that will help boost dairy prices, Fonterra says.

A World Trade Organisation ministerial conference held in Kenya and attended by New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay has agreed on the WTO Nairobi package, which will eliminate the ability of WTO members to subsidise their agricultural exports.

That is an outcome successive New Zealand governments have sought for decades, with trade envoys identifying agricultural subsidies, along with tariffs, as one of the biggest obstacles to free trade.

Fonterra chairman John Wilson said the historic breakthrough would be good news for dairy farmers.

“For years the use – or even the threat – of export subsidies have resulted in world dairy prices below their true level, reducing returns to dairy farmers,” Wilson said.

“Export subsidies have long been acknowledged as the most damaging form of subsidy and their removal from agricultural trade is a watershed for global trade,” he said. “The Nairobi outcome takes global trade rules one essential step further towards a level playing field for dairy trade.”

McClay said it had been illegal to subsidise the exports of industrial goods for more than half a century, and it was a major achievement to have that extended to agriculture. ? Read more »

Hmmm, let me think…how does NO sound?

Kiwirail is already heavily taxpayer subsidised, and they still can?t attract customers.

The state transport company KiwiRail has made an impassioned plea for support from the government and public.

They told reporters at the unveiling of their annual report that without their company, New Zealand’s roads would be hopelessly clogged with large trucks – which would be politically unacceptable.

Their comments came as the annual report gave details of an earlier unveiled bottom line loss of almost $167 million.

It made up the difference with government money. But in the year to June, KiwiRail still made an operational profit on day-to-day operations of $91m.

The loss came from the cost of maintaining the company’s 4,000 kilometres of track, 1500 bridges and 150 tunnels.

Last year the government paid Kiwirail $198m. ?? Read more »