Print 52 comment(s) - last by Quadrillity.. on Jun 29 at 12:39 PM

Senators fear Fiskercould default on giant government loans

The United States government granted a number of loans to different high-tech startups in an attempt to kick start innovation and research into alternative fuel and power. Among the companies that received these loans were Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors has been undeniably successful and recently launched its Model S and made deliveries to the first buyers of the electric vehicle.
Fisker Automotive, however, hasn’t been as fruitful. The auto company has experienced issues with battery packs that had to be replaced, and a test vehicle loaned to Consumer Reports “died” with just a few hundred miles on the odometer.
As the recipient of a government loan, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley R-Iowa and Senator John Thune, R-South Dakota are now questioning Energy Secretary Steven Chu about why a loan was made to Fisker Automotive considering it is partly owned by Qatar Investment Authority, a foreign-owned company.
The letter to Chu read in part, "Why should the American taxpayer have to accept the credit risk of a company owned by a foreign government?"

 Fisker Karma

The Energy Department loaned Fisker Automotive $529 million and awarded battery supplier A123 $249 million in grants. A Fisker spokesperson responded by stating that the company sold more than 1,000 cars globally and generated more than $100 million in revenue. The spokesman also stated that Fisker was focused on creating American jobs.
Fisker has already announced delays in producing its lower-cost family sedan due to setbacks with the battery packs for the plug-in hybrid vehicle. Battery supplier A123 is replacing 600 battery packs in Fisker Karma vehicles at a cost of $55 million after manufacturing flaws were found in the batteries.
The letter from the Senators also asked, "Will DOE consider A123's ongoing financial struggles before distributing the rest of the grant?"
A123 intends to hire as many as 400 new employees in the coming months, as was a condition of receiving the state and federal money. The company currently has about 780 workers in Michigan. 

Source: Detroit News

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RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By mindless1 on 6/27/2012 9:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
or there are a shortage of companies willing to pay a livable wage - big difference. Except for part-time after school type jobs, a person working even the lowliest job should make enough to be able to support themselves, let alone support a family if both parents work.

RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By knutjb on 6/28/2012 1:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
Your gross misconception of entry level jobs. They are just that, entry level and NOT intended to support a family.

Your concept that there must be a survivable income from the lowliest of jobs is delusional. Or that whoever choses to to work a lowliest job some how deserves to receive a livable income. That is a text book cart before the horse argument.

The "shortage of companies" as you put it is an indirect reaction to poor government policies and leadership. The government doesn't create jobs, government jobs siphon off the private sector, both fiscally and manpower. Too big of government, too great of drain on the economy.

Government creates the environment that enables or hinders the potential success of a business. Excess rules and regulations hinder. Predictable, simple rules enable. We cannot fix every single perceived problem through government regulation. If this mass of regulation were so wonderful we should have a booming economy by now with incredible wages for flipping burgers.

RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By maugrimtr on 6/28/2012 10:32:11 AM , Rating: 2
Are you delusional? If I had no job, why would I take on a job that can't support a basic lifestyle (food & lodging for me and my dependents)? Where does the rest of the cash needed to support myself come from? What about the expenses of working (transport, etc.)? Not to mention that some right-wind folk suggest I also pay tax on whatever unlivable income I might get...

"Entry level" jobs indeed. They are utterly pointless to people unless they have the savings/support to survive to get past the entry level term.

As for the shortage of companies, it directly related to a lack of consumer spending (because people are earning less, saving more, and fewer have jobs) - regulation has barely shifted in a handful of years so trotting down out never makes sense. It is not driving the current unemployment rate - the global recession did that quite handily.

RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By AssBall on 6/28/2012 10:40:12 AM , Rating: 2
In your messed up version of economics, the egg laid the chicken. Nothing you said is remotely reasonable.

RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By WalksTheWalk on 6/28/2012 1:43:07 PM , Rating: 3
If you have no job and are in dire need of one, are you going to not take an entry level job to provide sustenance while you look for a better job or do you expect to suck at the teat of government while waiting for the job you want?

Entry level jobs are there to provide initial experience for better jobs at a later date. If all entry level jobs provided the means to support a "lifestlye" there is no incentive to improve your position. It's up to the person to find there way from an entry level job to a "lifestyle" supporting job. (Note that lifestyle is a completely subjective term.)

Once a person has a better job, it's up to them to balance their spending with their saving so they have something to fall back on if they ever lose their job. This is called "contingency planning" and it's something many Americans ignore completely because they are hooked on big government assistance.

By Quadrillity on 6/28/2012 5:13:04 PM , Rating: 3
BINGO! Nail on the head

RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By mindless1 on 6/29/2012 5:02:03 AM , Rating: 2
You are merely describing the way things are, not the way things work well.

The way things are is the problem, is why people are on welfare and potential labor is wasted along with money to support them.

Think about it. If we as a society are spending hundreds or more a month to support someone through welfare, that money didn't grow on a tree, it could have gone even further to provide additional wages. It's all a matter of where the money comes from and where it goes. Yes a McDonalds hamburger might cost a little more but I could be paying less taxes to offset that, a win/win situation instead of THE WAY THINGS ARE which is that minimum wage doesn't serve any useful purpose being this low except to exploit the poor. They don't like being treated like less than human beings so they say "fvck it".

It's very simple. People will do what they perceive benefits them. To get people off welfare you need to pay them enough that they feel it's of benefit to work. If you just pull welfare out from under them instead you then end up with more crime instead so we pay to incarcerate people which is yet another failure we have in society, a huge penal system.

By Quadrillity on 6/29/2012 12:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
So we shouldn't force people to do the right thing because they might increase the crime rate? That is faulty and absurd logic. I agree that we should rethink our justice system in this nation, and we can start with more serious punishments for capital crimes like rape, murder, etc. If you are given the death penalty, you should only have one appeal, and that should be speedy. None of this "waiting on death row for 20 years" bullcrap.

RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By FITCamaro on 6/28/2012 8:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
If you make minimum wage, you're not supposed to have a family. The minimum wage was never intended to be something you raise a family off of. You're supposed to start your working life at minimum wage and move up. Not stay there your entire life. But now our government is trying to convince people that there is no need to go and get a better job. Just stay in your shit job, receive public assistance your entire life, and, oh yeah, vote Democrat if you want to keep it all.

All the raises of the minimum wage have ever done is cost people jobs, raise prices, cause inflation, and help kill retail stores since they can't afford (especially in a bad economy) to adequately staff their stores and still keep prices low to compete with online businesses.

Minimum wages should only exist at the state level, not the federal level. Because every state's circumstances are different. A $10/hr minimum wage(as some Democrats are currently pushing for) is absurd in Florida because the cost of living is much lower than that of a place like New York. And even then, inside the borders of a state the cost of living greatly varies between urban environments and more rural ones.

A minimum wage should err on the low side so as not to create hardships for areas where costs are lower and the wage would harm businesses.

RE: Anyone need an extra billion?
By mindless1 on 6/29/2012 4:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
That's just nonsense the rich have fed you through media for years.

Any person should have enough pay to support themselves. Anything less is slavery.

Raises of minimum wage do not cost jobs, the demand for the goods and services exist either way and if a company can't survive paying a wage to workers, the OTHER company that can survive, does. A business needs X # of employees to get the work done and will push them to produce regardless of whether paying them $7/hr or $20/hr.

Online businesses also need to pay more than minimum wage, your example of competing with retail stores is pointless as they will always have higher overhead, will only compete through superior service but how do you offer superior service? By paying a higher wage so you attract quality, skilled people.

Businesses are not harmed, there is still competition because everywhere the minimum goes up.

All raising the minimum wage really does is decrease profits for the rich but you have been brainwashed to believe otherwise. Inflation cannot rise in tune with minimum rate increases, it is impossible as this creates an additional consumer base that PAYS FOR MORE goods and services, AND GETS PEOPLE OFF WELFARE.

Don't believe the nonsense spread by the wealthy. Isn't it obvious enough that if they are against something it's because it benefits someone else at their expense?

We've tried it your way and there is now a greater disparity than ever between the poor and the wealthy with the middle class struggling harder than ever. Will the country have to collapse and revolt before you see the obviousness of the situation?

I can't agree about minimum wage varying by state. If people earn enough to support themselves then they can move to any state they like and pay the going rate for goods and services there. Choice instead of slavery.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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