Is Power Socialism Unpopular? (1940) Think Wind Turbines
January 30th, 2013HistorySleuth
The Western New Yorker (Warsaw, NY)
Thursday, April 18, 1940
One question asked in the latest Fortune Poll was what kind of public construction—Federal power plants, flood control, big national highways, or airports—would be the most important of which to spend money in order to build a better and stronger nation.
The tabulation of answers—and it will be remembered that the Fortune polls, which are based on scientific sampling of all phases of public opinion, have proven almost incredibly accurate in the past—provides some exceedingly important food for thought. Flood control was classed as most important. Big national highways came second. Airports were third. And Federal power plants ran a bad last!
That this is highly significant, in the light of the aggressive political drive to socialize the private electric industry, and the immense sums of tax money that have so far been spent in furthering it, goes without saying. And the public’s apparent attitude is certainly logical. Few projects could give the public less for their money then tax-subsidized power plants. They provide nothing which the private utility industry has not provided for years. They discourage nothing which the private utility industry has not provided for years. They discourage private capital and private employment. And what minor reductions in cost of power government-financed plants have effected have been largely or wholly offset by the loss in taxes. The private utilities paw over 15 per cent of every nickel they receive in taxes—the public projects pay little and in some cases nothing.
The politicians would do well to ponder the Fortune survey. Power socialism may not be the potent vote-getter they have assumed.
I think the third paragraph above is timely. When I first read this, what instantly sprung to my mind was our current day commercial wind turbines. In fact, over the next ten years the Federal Government will be paying $12 billion dollars in subsidies to the wind industry. There was an interesting article in the New York Times on just this issue on January 2nd. I’m all for wind power, I just prefer it on a more personal level, by land owners or individual towns such as Wethersfield, Wyoming County, NY did in 2000, known as the Wethersfield Wind Farm. At the time it was almost a tourist attraction for the area. There was nothing like it around. A year later it was sold to Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA) selling power to Ontario, Canada. You can check reports and financial statements here. We also have the Bliss Wind Farm in Eagle, Wyoming County, NY with 67 turbines. No, that is not a typo—67 turbines. It looks like an alien invasion in our rural community. I much rather see what are known as a WindTamer. Locally invented, they are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, smaller, and only need 1 1/2 mile an hour winds. Our Perry-Warsaw Airport has one as do some local residents.