Marketplace perversions

Marketplace perversions

As market-perverting and taxpayer-pickpocketing Pennsylvania’s Dairy Investment Program is, there’s another facet of it that simply is beyond the pale:

As the weekly Farm and Dairy notes, one grant recipient, Ryan Caputo, told the state Senate Majority Policy Committee “that being required to pay prevailing wage was a hindrance.”

“Caputo heard of some recipients being unable to use their funds because of such issues,” the weekly newspaper also noted.

We’ve asked myriad times why taxpayers should be forced to subsidize capital investments for an industry struggling with faltering consumer demand, i.e. “Darn, milk consumption has tanked so let’s all make government-subsidized cheese!”

But also subsidizing the wages of those involved in this subsidized attempt at commanding markets amounts to a caricature of a caricature of government interventionism.

Such houses of cards rest on the flimsiest of economic theory and, as per usual, require intervention after intervention to cover up the lie of each successive, and supposedly “beneficial,” government intervention.

Ah, the definition of government insanity restated.

Speaking of marketplace perversion, “green energy” producers are crying “Foul!” over a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requirement that, as the Post-Gazette reports it, the Valley Forge PJM, the nation’s largest electric grid, “greatly expand the application of its minimum price rule to include most resources that receive a state subsidy.”

That is, monumentally taxpayer-subsidized “green energy” no longer will have a government-installed price advantage over traditional energy producers such as coal and natural gas.

The bottom line is, as the P-G notes, a rule change “that could exclude most new renewable energy projects and other state-subsidized power sources from being paid to be available to feed the” Valley Forge PJM.

Or as FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee put it:

“An important aspect of competitive markets is that they provide a level playing field for all resources, and this order ensures just that within the PJM footprint.”

Imagine that! Competition!

No wonder “Gang Green” – and the marketplace-rotting implications that go with that moniker applied to the “green energy” crowd – is being treated for apoplexy.

The very group of people who shout from rooftops how the use of fossil fuels is not sustainable never have come to grips with the fact that “green energy” – with its lack of economic and operational efficiency,  not to mention the need to have heavy subsidies in government-created “markets” – is antithetical to sustainability.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).