Public financing of private firms ill-advised


In the same edition in which Blade Editor David Kushma made a pitch for public-private partnerships in his op-ed column, “Washington can help keep Toledo on the make,” The Blade ran a story about the loss of $10.6 million of taxpayer money in the Willard & Kelsey Solar Group venture (“Ex-solar firm’s exec sought cozy ties with state officials,” March 2).

Public financing historically has played a positive role in basic research, but that is where it should end. There is adequate capital in the markets to fund promising business ventures. Taxpayer money and public officials never should be involved in venture capital.

The probability of losses, including total loss of capital, is high in venture projects. Public officials can never operate successfully in this arena, because they are not risking their own money and cannot properly balance risk and reward.

If President Obama really wanted to create thousands of manufacturing jobs, he would approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, equipment for which can be manufactured in northwest Ohio.


Perrysburg Township