Is this all the Romney camp can come up with? Since when is bankruptcy the kiss of death for paradigm shifts or a deterrent for furthering a concept or idea? Solar energy development will have bumps in the road as the country moves forward towards more responsible energy use. Here are some examples of Americans who were not deterred even though their ideas were experimental and new.
Milton Hershey had a long path to the top of the chocolate industry. Hershey dropped out of school in the fourth grade and took an apprenticeship with a printer, only to be fired. He then became an apprentice to a candy-maker in Lancaster, Penn. After studying the business for four years, Hershey started three unsuccessful candy companies in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.
Hershey, who was always looking ahead, believed that chocolate products had a much greater future than caramel. He sold the Lancaster Caramel Company for $1 million in 1900 (nearly $25 million in 2008 dollars) and started the Hershey Company, which brought milk chocolate -- previously a Swiss delicacy -- to the masses.
Edison was called “stupid” and “unteachable” by his school teachers. He left school with the permission of his parents and worked at various jobs from which he was fired. This did not deter him from his true passion: inventing. He obtained 1,093 patents in his lifetime that included the light bulb, stock printer, phonograph, and alkaline batteries. Many of his inventions failed, but the ones that were successful changed our lives forever.
As a young man, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star Newspaper because his boss thought he lacked creativity. He went on to form an animation company called Laugh-O-Gram Films in 1921.Using his natural salesmanship abilities, Disney was able to raise $15,000 for the company ($181,000 in 2008 dollars). However, he made a deal with a New York distributor, and when the distributor went out of business, Disney was forced to shut Laugh-O-Gram down. He could barely pay his rent and even resorted to eating dog food. You know the rest of the story.
The entrepreneurial spirit and innovation are the hallmarks of American progress. The experiences of companies like Solyndra are not ill conceived or folly. “Failure--as great Americans have proven-- is not fatal, and success is not final, it is the courage to continue that counts.” -- Winston Churchill
Experimental research and development make good business sense as the country continues to confront the finite nature of fossil fuel now, not at some undetermined time in the future when it might be too late.
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