Continuing our commentary on Innovation and “green” energy, which began with news about yet another solar “green” company going BK, we return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when people imbued with freedom and greed vied for the Title of King of the Wealth Creators.
Not only cars and sewing machines, but retailing inventions were also being developed – department stores were replacing single item retailers and home workers making hats and dresses. Each of those fit into a separate department at the store.
Advertising innovations kept pace with these changes, some would say had a hand in creating them, going from tiny-type classified ads to engraved and enlarged pictures on 1/4 pages, 1/2 pages, then full pages of the newspapers.
Printing and reproducing equipment was keeping up with these changes — cameras, too. Finally, department stores and auto manufacturers could put huge ads in the many, growing newspapers.
In the background of all this public ferment, new methods of ore mining, petroleum refining, metal manufacturing and chemical developments, were coming on line almost faster than the economy and culture could keep up with the changes.
And think of developments in electricity alone. Light bulbs, transmission lines, generators, and power companies. Telephones. Telegraph. Radio. Transportation.
New ways to communicate, save time and energy were produced as fast as new forms of energy were bursting on the scene.
It was a time of intellectual ferment and unheard of wealth building that spread to everyone, yes – everyone, in the U.S. and abroad. Then, as the 20th century progressed, the change slowed.
Taxation exploded to pay for two World Wars and several “police actions.”
Regulations exploded as companies left standing looked for protection from the government. Oh yes. Anti-trust regulations were accepted by big corporations – big oil and coal producers helped write regulations which killed most of the little producers, who had been cutting prices.
Smaller, nimbler, less clunky companies with determined, young managers and adventurous workers always trump big old companies.
When the 20th century began government was small and innovation was huge. By the end of the century, that equations was reversed. Now companies and industries get nationalized, known in the popular press as “bailed out,” and government programs favor pets like “green” energy.
The fact that solar is an idea whose time will never come does not faze them, because they deliberately close their eyes to reality. We must teach them at the ballot box that such schemes are not only specifically doomed, but also may doom the rest of us, too.