Human Events Blog

Solyndra Wants to Pay Six-Figure Employees Huge Bonuses

President Obama’s signature solar-energy debacle, Solyndra, is bankrupt… but they still want to dish out half a million dollars in bonuses to their employees.  As reported by The Washington Times:

Nearly two dozen Solyndra employees could receive bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 each under a proposal filed by Solyndra’s attorneys in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

The attorneys say the extra money will add motivation at a time when workers at the solar company have little job security and more responsibilities because so many of their colleagues have been fired.

(Emphasis mine.)  Wait, wait, wait.  I thought people whose motivation is getting more money are “greedy.”  I guess the guiding principle is that the recipients of tax dollars, looted from their rightful owners and spent as politicians see fit, can never be “greedy.”  Even when they’re billionaires like Solyndra money man and top Obama contributor George Kaiser.  You can only be “greedy” when you want other people to give you their money voluntarily.

And it really breaks my heart to learn that the catastrophic failure of Obama’s corrupt statism has left the politically favored, but economically stupid, industry he tried to conjure with billions of our tax dollars with “little job security.”  Gee, maybe if we let private investors motivated by the rational pursuit of lawful profit decide how capital should be invested, we’d end up with more “job security.”

So whose sense of job security will be bolstered by these taxpayer-financed bonuses?

The proposed bonus recipients include nine equipment engineers, six general business and finance employees and up to two information technology workers.

The biggest bonus, for $50,000, would go to a Solyndra employee whose job title is listed as a senior director with a base salary of $206,499 per year. Two senior managers stand to receive bonuses of $30,000 and $32,500.

Taxpayers were stiffed for a good $300 million of the money they poured into Solyndra, because late-arriving private investors – lured with promises of “senior debt” by an Administration desperate to keep this boondoggle from becoming a political nightmare – got repaid first.  Now you’re going to get stiffed again so an employee in a useless company who makes over $200,000 a year can get his $50,000 bonus.  Only three of the employees set to receive these bonuses make less than six figures.

This is all supposed to keep those key employees on board long enough to make Solyndra’s restructuring and sale go smoothly:

David Epstein, a visiting scholar at the American Bankruptcy Institute, said the proposal, like any other incentive plan, needs to be approved by a bankruptcy judge. He said it’s not uncommon in corporate-restructuring cases to have companies try to find extra money for key employees.

“You’re always going to have people you’ve got to keep and who would be hard to replace even in good times,” he said. “But they become irreplaceable because of the bankruptcy.

“If you have someone good, she’s going to have lots of opportunities, and see the ship is sinking, and understand that this is a less than ideal job market and be ready to take a job when it’s offered,” he said.

“In theory, [the incentive plan] makes sense,” he said, acknowledging that “abuses and mistakes” can happen.

Oh, so now the rules of capitalism and good business sense are invoked!  Not when every safeguard against corruption was being shredded, and the advice of analysts was ignored, so that Obama’s buddy Kaiser could get a fat sack of taxpayer cash, and our primitive fossil-fuel economy could be forced closer to the glorious “green” future our betters envision. 

The whole point of the Obamanomics disaster is that the principles of free-market economics – right down to the laws of supply and demand – are irrelevant when the ruling class has decided that something virtuous must be shoved down our throats.  No private investor in his right damned mind would go anywhere near these “green energy” fiscal toilets?  No problem.  The taxpayers will be forced to “invest” in them.

But when a business model that doesn’t make sense, selling an unwanted product for less than it cost to produce it, goes belly up, suddenly we start hearing all about the rules of good business.  Capitalism exists only to furnish socialists with money for their dimwit agendas, and clean up the wreckage from their epic failures. 

If Solyndra’s employees really need these bonuses, make George Kaiser and Barack Hussein Obama pay for them out of their own pockets.  After all, Obama’s got a lot of money burning a hole in his pocket.  He never tires of telling us that he can’t wait to pay higher taxes, because he’s a millionaire.

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