Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies.
They say it's been going on for months.
"There would be up to 40 of us that would just sit in there during the day," said former LG Chem employee Nicole Merryman, who said she quit in May.
"We were given assignments to go outside and clean; if we weren't cleaning outside, we were cleaning inside. If there was nothing for us to do, we would study in the cafeteria, or we would sit and play cards, sit and read magazines," said Merryman. "It's really sad that all these people are sitting there and doing nothing, and it's basically on taxpayer money."
Two current employees told Target 8 that the game-playing continues because, as much as they want to work, they still have nothing to do.
"There's a whole bunch of people, a whole bunch," filling their time with card games and board games," one of those current employees said.
Posts tagged ‘LG’
Via a reader, the cost of a few politicians deciding that there absolutely had to be an Australian-assembled hybrid.
"My wife was looking for an Australian-made hybrid car," Rudd told John Laws in March, 2007, "and I'm sure some of your listeners would have found this out "“ you can't find one.
"So, that started me thinking about why don't we have one in this country."
There are certain people from whom the phrase "that started me thinking" serves as a 150-decibel alarm. We weren't to know it at the time, but Kevin Rudd turned out to be one such bloke. Instead of settling on a nice secondhand Prius, Rudd's simple quest to find some wheels for the missus quickly led, once he was elected, to the $500 million Green Car Fund.
Why couldn't Ms Rein have been interested in something less expensive, like knitting? No, scratch that "“ once her husband "started thinking", we'd have been stuck with a $2 billion National Crochet Initiative.
Subsidies appear to amount to about $(AU)100,000 per private car sale. This is a sort of new brand of left-progressive triumphalism that reminds me of an essay Ayn Rand wrote decades ago on statism and prestige. These are the modern Green equivalents of the Brandenburg Gate -- they cost a lot of money, they don't really do anything useful, but everyone can point at them and marvel.
And speaking of which, our current Administration in the US in by no means immune
U.S. President Barack Obama will attend a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday for an LG Chem plant in Holland, Michigan, the company said Sunday. It is very unusual for an incumbent U.S. president to appear at such an event for a foreign company, and it is the first time for a Korean firm.
LG is investing US$300 million to build the plant which will produce batteries for electric vehicles. First-phase commercial production is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2012, and once completed in 2013 the plant will churn out lithium ion cells for 200,000 hybrid cars annually.
Ah, there Coyote goes exaggerating -- because the article explicitly says that a private company will be investing the money, so this isn't really a government project. Ah, but read to the last paragraph
As part of efforts to revive the auto industry by bringing more green vehicles to the road, the U.S. government has lent considerable support to LG's Holland plant, including $151 million from a federal stimulus program. The Michigan state government also offered tax cuts worth $130 million, which together with the stimulus funds will almost offset LG's entire construction costs. The plant will help ease unemployment in the state by creating some 400 jobs, U.S. media reported.
So $281 million of the $300 million LG is investing is actually taxpayer money. More brave capitalists! But fortunately we will have lots more batteries so rather than burn gasoline, electric vehicles can charge themselves from coal plants.
PS- Don't forget the jobs, though, created for the low low taxpayer cost of $702,500 each!
PS #2 - I had not noticed before I wrote it, but both of these articles also share in common the government subsidizing foreign companies to manufacture in their country, rather than producing these goods elsewhere and importing them. This reduces the benefit of these investments even further - its pretty clear that both batteries and Prius's would have been made somewhere in the world, so they would have been available to consumers (probably at lower prices), but these investments merely were to shift production across some line on a map.
Update: John Stossel discusses another form of modern statist triumphalism -- the government-funded sports stadium
South Africa's ability to pull it all together for six weeks doesn't mean the World Cup will be a net benefit to the country in the long term. As the ESPN video below explains, South Africa's government spent $6 billion on the tournament. Tournament-related revenues are expected to fall well short of that figure. Some of the hundred million dollar stadiums built for the tournament won't get much use now that the games are over. The video points to one stadium built for the tournament which will likely remain vacant"”it sits over over slums that lack running water.
Fond memories of the month South Africa performed marvelously on the world stage are nice. But $6 billion is a lot to pay for a memory. These spectacles"”the World Cup and the Olympics"”are nearly always money losers. They're a lousy investment in wealthy countries. They're particularly garrish in countries that aren't as affluent.
Remember that Greece got the same kudos for not screwing up the Olympics, but years later it sure seems like the $15 billion that was sunk into those games by the Greek government has contributed to its financial crisis.
Warning: I am a video snob. I often lambaste electronics store managers for doing such a terrible job adjusting their display TV's. TV store managers have decided that the way to sell a TV is to jack up its color temperature as far into the blue range that they can, jam the contrast setting all the way to the top, irrespective of any blooming effects they get, and over-saturate the colors.
Anyway, the newest LCD panels have a property that theoretically makes them better: They can display a much wider color gamut. That means that there are more colors that they can display. They do this by creating panels where the base colors are truer to their theoretical values, and by pushing each color value deeper into its possible range. This means that the bluest blues are even bluer, if that makes sense.
But these extreme colors are ones one seldom sees, because they are over saturated. If you were to see the most saturated red or blue in any large field on your TV or monitor, it would make your teeth ache. These colors look like neon lights, for lack of a better comparison.
But a wider color palette is good in theory. My guess is that adobe photoshop running on a well-calibrated monitor could take advantage of this feature to improve the resemblance between on-screen and printed material, a key concern of graphics designers.
The problem is that most software and color choices on the internet and in movies are based on what, say, a level 256 blue used to be. A level 256 blue is now more saturated in the current monitors, but most software (and monitor drivers) are not smart enough to take this into account. That means that if you buy a new LCD monitor, you will likely be looking at colors that are more saturated and therefore that glow more than your eyes can really stand, and most graphics cards and monitors do not have a control for saturation (as I found today, having to take an LG 26" monitor back to the store because everything just glowed too much (I replaced it with a Samsung 2693M, which is much better).
You will know that this may be a problem if the literature or sales person describes the monitor as having "more vibrant" colors. This is a euphemism for saturation, and would be all fine and good if monitor colors have previously been under-saturated, but if anything they have been the opposite. Sales people like this feature, though, because the colors look more dramatic in their fluorescent-lighted showrooms and tend to make the monitor look "better" when next to less saturated choices. My advice is be very wary -- Videophiles tend to run away screaming when told that a TV has some gadget that makes the colors more vibrant.
H/T: Maggies Farm