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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Pol Pot and Solyndra – Two Competitions

I announced this post in an earlier one and am cursing myself for not mentioning the entry fee – a lousy £1000 per competition! Still, my beloved readership would regard that as sharp practice. So, entry is free. £0 wins you £100M.

I earnestly hope that the prize-money will not contribute to inflation. I have good reason to believe that it will not. Inflation is rising and will rise nevertheless.

There is no instance in History in which Fiat Currency has not resulted in catastrophic inflation/monetary collapse.

Anyway, here are the competitions/challenges.

The Pol Pot Challenge
To win £100M, name one statist regime which has not resulted in poverty, death and immiseration.

The Solyndra Challenge
To win £100M, show that any government sponsored business initiative has ever been anything other than a catastrophic failure. We regret that we are unable to match the Obama Administration’s $500M loan to Solyndra, ten minutes before it collapsed.

NB: The judge’s decision, in each case, will be final and no correspondence will be entered in to.

Good Luck!

1 comment:

  1. Chris,

    Re: the Pol Pot competition. Difficult to win £100m on this. I sometimes ponder on how we would rank the most evil tyrants of the past 100 years - Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. Tough one. For me, how ever evil he was, Pol Pot is clearly third.

    I blow hot and cold on whether Stalin or Hitler take the number one slot. Hitler is clearly a common favourite, probably because so much of his awful deeds were documented and indeed filmed. (I hope you are watching “The Dark Charisma of Hitler” currently on BBC2 on Monday nights).

    The same does not apply to Stalin. However having just cruised from St Peterburg to Moscow via the Moscow Volga Canal we learnt that 80,000 Gulag prisoners died while constructing it. When the project was finished in 1937 Stalin had all of the 200 managers shot. Sadly this is just a very minor example of how evil he truly was.

    On the Solyndra Challenge I feel you are on far dodgier ground and I hereby claim the £100 million which I will give to charity.

    There are numerous examples of where a Government initiative in business has eventually worked out well. Take for example British Leyland. OK, so it might have all appeared a disaster at the time but we now have two of the spin offs which are very successful companies – viz Jaguar Land Rover and BMW Mini. These two companies, regardless of who now owns them, are very large UK employers and all three brands are world-leading. I fully appreciate that their survival history is complicated and messy and a lot of money was wasted but they would have disappeared if the government had not stepped in. There are of course other examples in the motor industry.

    Another obvious example is Rolls Royce PLC (the aero engine company). In 1971 this company almost went to the wall because of problems with the RB211 engine and its world leading carbon fibre blade technology. The Government stepped in and the company was rescued and is now very successful indeed. The RB211 engine is still its flagship product.

    Also, RBS was effectively rescued by Gordon Brown and I seem to believe that they have now fully paid back their debt.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m no soppy lefty and there have been numerous examples of very poor government intervention but as I have shown above there are also ones that worked very successfully.

    Cheque please to me or on-line transfer to G S Boyes at Barclays, Walton on Thames.