Thursday, July 17, 2008


Idaho got played. Suppose for strategic reasons a corporation wants to build a nuclear facility. The worst strategy is to go hat-in-hand to the state in question begging for incentives. An optimal strategy is to generate a bidding war even if only one bidder is preferred.

AREVA did this. They dangled a possible Richland site at Idaho and they were able to obtain a nice package of sweeteners for their new enrichment facility. The ploy was made convincing when TriDEC, the Tri-City Herald staff, the Rossi campaign, and other community leaders bought the bluff completely. There was one party who was clearly smarter-than-the-average-bear and stayed out of the game, Governor Christine Gregoire. The political climate is such that she could have done nothing to create sufficient additional advantages for AREVA to seriously consider Washington. Imagine the furor from the nuclear-ignorant West side that the company would face if a new nuclear facility was announced here.

TriDEC saw dollar signs and jobs and bit on that fly like a brainless trout. And Rossi supporters are using it to vilify the governor. I would much rather have a smarter-than-the-average bear for a governor than a brainless trout.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Real Foreign Aid

An Idaho spud farmer shares some appropriate technology with Afghan farmers. Something as simple as a good way to store potatoes combats the opium economy.