Jan 17, 2010

The $6Million Dollar Caulk Job


When President Obama was in town last month he visited a real business. The metal fabricator in the old Mack Plant produces large scale machined pieces. The owner talked about the difficulty of obtaining loans for expansion and to remain competitive. Obama talked about weatherization at the community college, as if caulking row houses was an industry. Well, you will pleased to know that although the banks are still not extending credit, The Community Action Committee of Lehigh Valley received $6 mil to make mini insulation contractors, although there are dozens of such real contractors in the Yellow Pages. Grant money can be used for "handholding for the participant...assessing,..training..even help with such personal-life obstacles as childcare and transportation." Transportation is an entitlement speak for buying them a car.

Although I support the SmileTrain, I'm not much for the PovertyTrain. I don't believe in buying people fish markets instead of giving them a fishing pole. We have a public educational system which includes vocational-technical training. If the bailout money was being used as expedited loans to established businesses, we would be investing in a real recovery and be creating lasting jobs.

So far, one house in the Lehigh Valley has been insulated.

9 comments:

Looking To Escape said...

as if calking row houses was an industry
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It is now.


Obama's caulk our way to wealth plan is part of the liberal cabal to divert our attention from basic industries like oil, coal and gas. 10's of thousands and potentially 100's of thousands of jobs could be had and a positive affect on our trade balance would occur if we increased activity in those industries just a little.
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The American left has been trying to force down the throats of Americans bad science and bad economics in order to make the earth look like it did in 10,000 BC.
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While Obama talks up his energy plans like solar power, environmentalists groups are talking up legal action to block expansion of solar fields and the power lines needed to bring the electric to Americans.
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One of the very few times I have agreed with the greasiest politician in the US Senate (Chuck Schumer, D-NY) was his aggravation over federal money for wind turbines that were built in China. Many key components for these devices are made there, not here.
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The US needs a realistic energy policy, not pie in the sky plans that satisfies a left wing elite that finds the energy business distasteful.
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We will not conserve our way into a bright energy future. We need a far better balanced plan than what is being offered now, one that allows for more drilling and digging while alternatives get more refinement. Many promising technologies are on the horizon which will allow power generation at lower prices. Once the price tipping point has been reached fossil fuels can be phased out.
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The goal should be abundant power at reasonable prices, not conservation done with artificially inflated prices.

LVCI said...

If someone were really determined to throw $6 mill away could have heated nearly all the homes in A-town FREE! Then we wouldn't need the caulking, eh?

Then on other hand, with $6 million could have bought the materials so voc-tech could get hands on training restoring/repairing boarded up run down homes.
OR
Send a whole lot of kids to voc-tech free to learn a trade
OR
Could have built a caulk manufacturing facility in an empty building downtown to sell to the rest of the country since I bet if you check the label on the cannister it's probably made in China too!
OR
Ultimately not have taken the 6 million dollar$ out of taxpayers pockets in the first place.

And now I see fast Eddy Rendell and the boys are thinking about upping the state budget by another $1 billion in 2010-2011 since the state's doing so well!!!

Wallet's empty. What am I going to do now if I get mugged?

Oops, looks I just was.. by a bunch of guys from Harrisburg in a cheap suits smoking $10 cigars.

Hey! This "caulking gun" is beginning to look more like a "grease gun" to me!

Anonymous said...

Those clever Germans are making retrofitting buildings an industry. It's a different approach to the U.S. method of tearing down old buildings and building new crappy ones, but maybe we should consider it.
www.dena.de/en/topics/buildings/

Hey, don't most of the people of the Lehigh Valley share some DNA with those Germans? Maybe they are right.

michael molovinsky said...

i have no problem with retrofitting older buildings to be more efficient. my problem is confusing this service with industry or manufacturing. i don't believe we can maintain our standard of living for future generations, being reduced to strictly service and fastfood.

West End Betty said...

I agree Michael but do you really think in this, the 21st century, we can go back to the Lehigh Valley manufacturing things? I know you are better informed than me and I miss "the steel."

michael molovinsky said...

no, we will never return to our golden era of manufacturing, but we could make sure that the surviving, worthwhile industries get the access to credit they require.

Looking To Escape said...

i have no problem with retrofitting older buildings to be more efficient. my problem is confusing this service with industry or manufacturing. i don't believe we can maintain our standard of living for future generations, being reduced to strictly service and fastfood.


Alternative energy and energy efficiency seems to be used a distraction from the real problems of the economy.
How many wind turbine plants do you think Allentown is going to get?
It's doubtful a caulk plant would do well in Allentown unless it is a high tech product that could be sold at a premium which would cover the expenses of a higher cost manufacturing area like the Northeast. Caulk is pretty much a commodity item which is sold on a price basis so lowest manufacturing costs wins.
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Looking at the Dena website, you see great proclamations of energy efficiency, once again accomplished by artificially high rates to make it appear there's a true savings.
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How many 60 year old women will be dragging insulation up to the roofs of old buildings?
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Both of us agree, job variety is important and our refusal to use traditional fuels makes variety more difficult by reducing access to natural resources that would help give US companies an edge.

ironpigpen said...

What do you want from a community organizer with no real experience running a business?

ironpigpen said...

With today's Federal holiday in mind, I am not afraid to wonder how Dr. Martin Luther King would judge the content of President Obama's economic policies.