Toledo Talk

First Solar Layoffs

http://www.wtol.com/story/16466261/first-solar-voices-concerns

It seems those who said without government support - this would not be profitable - might have a point.

Also, The WTOL headline doesn't match the article. The way I read it First Solar says everything will be alright (even though their stock has fallen 85% in the last year).

Things are not looking good over there.

created by Molsonator on Jan 12, 2012 at 06:01:34 pm     Business     Comments: 82

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I found it really interesting 6 months ago when Marcy Kaptur and Tarta touted a $1,000,000.00 grant (Grant-aka more debt) for Tarta to build a solar panel array:

"Toledo is increasingly recognized as the solar capital of the Midwest, so this award is particularly fitting," said U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), who announced the Federal Transit Administration grant. "It will not only help TARTA harness the power of the sun, but also lower its operating costs and reduce its carbon footprint."

The only problem is if you research Tarta’s annual report to the community utilities make up almost the most miniscule part of their expenses at 4% and that’s only after utilities are lumped in with taxes, insurance and claims.
http://www.tarta.com/wp-content/uploads/routes/TARTA_2010_Annual_Report.pdf Meanwhile the busses run around the city most of the time empty, other times with one or two passengers. I guy driving a 1975 Lincoln getting 10 MPG by himself is more energy effecient!

The absolute Crime is that 80% of Tarta’s funding comes from Property tax and federal and state assistance! Passenger income only accounts for 19%.

Why is this information listed in a topic about First Solar’s recent “back to earth moment?” I think you all can connect the dots.

posted by Danneskjold on Jan 12, 2012 at 07:52:34 pm     #  

We're in the middle of a great recession. LOTS and LOTS of companies have laided off people. You guys take way too much pleasure in a company hitting a few bumps.

Go drive around Maumee/Arrow Head/Fallen Timbers... There are a ton of empty spaces for lease or sale. I don't see you guys taking pleasure in all of them going out of business or saying "see, told you so" when those businesses failed.

Again we're in a long, deep recession... Most companies have retracted do to that reality.

posted by SensorG on Jan 12, 2012 at 08:09:04 pm     #   11 people liked this

Those companys in Maumee/Arrowhead/Fallen Timbers didn't get serious money from the government to stay afloat.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 12, 2012 at 08:17:35 pm     #   9 people liked this

SensorG - Trust me, I was a business owner in NorthWest Ohio. The 80's and 90's weren't bad but around 1999 things started spiraling. No pleasure.. trust me.

I was reviewing an analysis of First Solar stock and came across who the major shareholders were. The estate of John Walton was listed first. I was unaware that WalMart Family wealth actually was involved in inesting in First Solar. I'm very cool with private investment.

http://www.pv-tech.org/chip_shots_blog/share_and_shares_alike_john_waltons_legacy_unloads_millions_of_first_solar_

posted by Danneskjold on Jan 12, 2012 at 08:39:28 pm     #  

Maumee has a "cash for jobs" program that entices people to move to Arrowhead Park. That is government money to me.

Small businesses were devastated during this past recession. Look at all the for sale, for rent, for lease signs around this community. We are a long way from recovery I believe.

posted by jackie on Jan 12, 2012 at 09:30:42 pm     #   4 people liked this

Sorry, but doesn't China already own the U.S. on solar? Wish I could remember where, but read recently how China has cornered the bulk of global panel sales -- so where does that leave the much-touted local initiative(s)? Not trying to be a smart-aleck here, am really asking the question seriously. (So please, no off-the-cuff, jingoistic answers from the uninformed!)

posted by luvtoledo on Jan 12, 2012 at 09:54:32 pm     #  

I believe China leads all others in solar technology, but he biggest problem with solar power is that it's cost is not low enough to make sense. Just like a few years ago when corn was going to make ethanol the new gasoline. The politicians all pushed for it, but in reality, I remember reading that if every ear of corn was converted to fuel, it would have only reduced our oil dependancy by less than 10%. Plus, the amount of energy required to do so was outrageous.

posted by hockeyfan on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:27:20 pm     #   2 people liked this

Sad to hear this have high hopes for them. Guess it's what's needed to weather the storm so to speak. Still feel they and others like them are the future for Toledo.

posted by INeedCoffee on Jan 12, 2012 at 11:02:06 pm     #  

Both corn-based ethanol and solar power are government supported technologies that are not viable without subsidies. Burning food as gasoline is so stupid, it isn't worthy of further mention. Regarding solar, it's great for NW Ohio to have the jobs, but the solar industry is a LONG WAY for sustaining long-term profitability.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jan 13, 2012 at 01:34:37 am     #   3 people liked this

The solar industry in NW Ohio seems to be a long way from having any contractors who install panels. For three years, I have been trying to find a company, or an individual, who would install panels on my property.

posted by viola on Jan 13, 2012 at 07:25:43 am     #  

6th_Floor posted at 12:34:37 AM on Jan 13, 2012:

Both corn-based ethanol and solar power are government supported technologies that are not viable without subsidies. Burning food as gasoline is so stupid, it isn't worthy of further mention. Regarding solar, it's great for NW Ohio to have the jobs, but the solar industry is a LONG WAY for sustaining long-term profitability.

Lets not forget that coal and nuclear power are subsidized along with gasoline.

posted by steve155 on Jan 13, 2012 at 07:53:46 am     #   4 people liked this

The Chinese government subsidizes Chinese solar companies, enabling them to be able to sell panels for less than it costs to produce them. If this strategy is successful in killing off competition, they will most likely raise prices significantly once they're the only game in town.

posted by milesdriven on Jan 13, 2012 at 09:15:32 am     #  

Milesdriven - ten business dictates others will reenter the market when such happens because once more it will become profitable.

posted by OhioKimono on Jan 13, 2012 at 09:32:13 am     #  

That's not necessarily true KO. It might be hard to find investors for a product that has a competitor that can dump tons of product on the market at below cost at any time.

The Chinese did this with Rare Earth Metals. They dump tons of cheap supply on the markets till most American and Canadian mines closed. Now prices are going up and the Chinese are cutting back on global supply. Americans and Canadians are slow to re-open the mines, invest millions to get them operational and hire thousands of workers, because they know as soon as they do, the Chinese can flood the global market again and destroy their investments.

posted by SensorG on Jan 13, 2012 at 10:16:40 am     #   2 people liked this

The stock dip and layoffs are supposedly the result of internal reorganization that is meant to make First Solar viable without the need for government contracts.

Viola, http://advanced-dg.com/ appears to do residential installs of panels.

posted by brainswell on Jan 13, 2012 at 10:45:32 am     #  

Well I am sure the people that own stock will be happy to hear that. Oooops, they just lost their life savings.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 13, 2012 at 11:37:00 am     #  

I'd hope that no one invested their life savings in one company. Not generally a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

posted by mom2 on Jan 13, 2012 at 11:50:55 am     #  

Who keeps their life saving in a single stock?

posted by SensorG on Jan 13, 2012 at 11:54:00 am     #  

Way to miss the point. However, ask the DANA employees that question.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 13, 2012 at 11:55:58 am     #  

What is your point here? A company is having a hard time in this economy; it re-sizes itself to ensure profitability and solvency. The stock price reflexes the smaller company with fewer profits…

The morons who put their life savings into a single stock I would think would be happy that the company is at least ensuring there is company at all.

posted by SensorG on Jan 13, 2012 at 12:32:23 pm     #  

If this is true:

The stock dip and layoffs are supposedly the result of internal reorganization that is meant to make First Solar viable without the need for government contracts.

Then it could be good for stockholders in the long run, if the efforts are successful.

If I owned First Solar stock, I'd hold onto it and see what happens. Not panic to sell because the price dipped now.

posted by mom2 on Jan 13, 2012 at 12:37:02 pm     #  

The stock dip and layoffs are supposedly the result of internal reorganization that is meant to make First Solar viable without the need for government contracts.

Where did this quote come from brainswell?

And Mom2 - if you owned First Solar my advice would be to sell and take your losses. It may not be around by the end of the year.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 13, 2012 at 12:45:33 pm     #  

Many of the first 401K pension plans only allowed the employee to purchase company stock. My husband had one of those plans.

Short story - company goes bankrupt and government takes over pension plan at 40% less than original pension.

Not everyone had a choice in times past. Thank God I have a defined pension plan.

posted by jackie on Jan 13, 2012 at 01:30:02 pm     #  

Seriously? Because First Solar laid off 100 employees it won’t be around next year? They still made $5.75 per share in profit last year. Not too bad…

http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2011/12/14/20111214first-solar-cut-jobs-delay-mesa-output.html

Also this -
"It won't happen overnight, but we'll have to transition out of the subsidies we currently depend on," Ahearn said. "Transitioning away from the subsidies has put us on an entirely different trajectory from the rest of the industry. The business we're describing will be capable of strong, consistent and profitable growth for decades."

posted by SensorG on Jan 13, 2012 at 01:50:48 pm     #  

"Because First Solar laid off 100 employees it won’t be around next year?" who said that SG?

posted by Molsonator on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:13:40 pm     #  

Hard to pass up at this price, might grab some before the day is over.

By "some" I mean my football pool winnings and change I can shake out of the couch.

posted by dbw8906 on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:17:40 pm     #  

To quote Molsonator - "And Mom2 - if you owned First Solar my advice would be to sell and take your losses. It may not be around by the end of the year."

They only laid off 100 of their thousands of employees...hardly the sky is falling.

posted by SensorG on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:24:27 pm     #   1 person liked this

So no one said that then. Thanks for playing along SensorG.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:28:19 pm     #  

http://seekingalpha.com/article/315644-first-solar-the-company-will-survive-and-in-time-thrive

It may have been paraphrased a bit from noodling around in my head for a month, but towards the bottom of the article there is a graphic that says they are moving substantially all of new sales to "sustainable markets" by 2014.

posted by brainswell on Jan 13, 2012 at 02:39:55 pm     #  

Looks like another area solar company, Kelsey & Willard, is struggling and has laid off employees.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jan 17, 2012 at 01:50:33 am     #  

I was once told by a very wise man, “It’s not if it works, it’s if it looks like it works” - in reference to funding.

As of early 2011, the company had received a $5 million research and development loan from the Ohio Department of Development, a $10 million loan from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, a $3.3 million job creation tax credit, and a $701,000 grant to provide training for 50 current and 250 new workers.

Mr. Cicak previously has made sweeping claims for how many people the 262,000-square-foot plant along State Rt. 25 could employ. In February, 2011, the company said it planned to have 250 employees by the end of 2011. At the same time, Mr. Cicak said the company could produce 600 to 700 jobs in the next to two years and up to 4,000 in five or six years.

On Monday, he said the company was in the research stage of developing a powerful solar panel that would put it ahead of its competitors.

"We're going to be way ahead of the world," he said.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:22:46 am     #  

Oooops. Forgot to quote. The second sentence on down was from the Blade's article.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:24:05 am     #  

WOW did these guys sell this thing only to have an epic fail. I wonder if there will be an Occupy Kelsey & Willard?

http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3148620

posted by Molsonator on Jan 17, 2012 at 03:16:04 pm     #  

Just went up on Drudge Report.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 17, 2012 at 03:25:57 pm     #  

WTOL has changed the article on First Solar to read "The Perrysburg Township facility is concerned about its future. First Solar employs 1,200 people at its Northwest Ohio facility, and pays nearly $400,000 in local taxes."

Why are both companies talking about 2014 as the year for growth in the company? That's a hell of a long time.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:18:54 pm     #  

http://m2.toledoblade.com/local/2012/01/18/Ohio-plans-status-check-of-Perrysburg-solar-firm.html

Mr. Cicak said $100,000,000 dollars are invested in their business...

posted by Molsonator on Jan 18, 2012 at 03:28:04 pm     #  

I realize I am a "loner now on this post but yet another Solar Company finds the sun setting on them.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120214/BUSINESS06/120214023/Energy-Conversion-Devices-bankruptcy-ECD?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

posted by Molsonator on Feb 15, 2012 at 08:55:54 am     #  

Again, we are in a very large recession; lots of companies are having a hard time. It doesn’t mean the industry or technology as a whole not viable. There are a lot of banks, gas stations and retail stores closing too, does that mean they aren’t viable? The article you linked to says they are struggling because of increased competition and out dated technology. Ie they can’t compete against cheaper better solar panels. This is how any industry works.

Does anyone remember Tandy, Packard Bell, Compaq, MicronPC, Commodore and DEC? The list of failed PC makers is as long as the list of makers. Someone makes something cheaper and/or better and old companies fail. Doesn’t mean the technology is doomed.

That said, wow, are you obsessed with solar failing? Can you please your doll to show us where the solar panel touched you?

posted by SensorG on Feb 15, 2012 at 09:56:55 am     #   1 person liked this

Sorry SensorG. I will go back to Mexican restaurants. Much more interesting.

posted by Molsonator on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:05:43 am     #   1 person liked this

Feel free to say what you want. Just expect the same from me.

posted by SensorG on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:47:46 am     #  

I have to agree with SensorG here. While you can have whatever view you want on the fledgling solar industry, because it's certainly still in the frontier stage of existence, this particular case doesn't really seem to be representative of the industry as a whole.

posted by Johio83 on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:52:03 am     #  

"Does anyone remember Tandy, Packard Bell, Compaq, MicronPC, Commodore and DEC?"

Yes. But I don't remember the computing industry being propped up by government subsidies to the degree that the solar industry is propped up today. Governments bought computers, sure. But people and businesses bought computers without government subsidies, I think, and they bought computers even when desktop PCs cost $2000 to $5000 each. We spent tens of thousands of dollars for each Sun Solaris and HP-UX box. Eventually, Linux running on Dell servers changed that.

The computer companies who failed to adapt, failed to innovate, or failed to market a superior product (DEC) got left behind. I mourned the demise of VAX/VMS, but newer toys like Linux and Web-based programming brought new excitement. And now mobile devices and their apps have introduced a new major change. In a year or two, you'll probably be able to add RIM (Blackberry) to the deadpool, and it's not because of reduced government subsidies.

From the solar company story Molsonator posted:

Its sales have suffered from cutbacks in solar energy incentives in Europe and a worldwide glut of solar panels.

From the WTOL story that started this thread:

First Solar is among the many American companies facing increased competition from Chinese companies, reduced government subsidies, and more supply of solar equipment, which drives down prices.

Competition and lower prices, those factors were certainly part of the computer industry. But I don't recall reduced government subsidies being a reason why Commodore went out of business. Back in the early to mid 1990s, I don't think consumers needed a government incentive to be encouraged to buy a PC for home use.

When The Andersons retail store starts selling solar panels that I can buy, install, and maintain by myself on our home, and the ROI justifies the expense, and I don't need a big government encouragement, then the solar industry will be doing better.

posted by jr on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:20:43 am     #  

The Ovonic roof panels made by those guys had some benefits, but were not as efficient or as cost effective as the panels made today. Their product was not even that impressive 10 years ago. They were beat at their own game.

posted by brainswell on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:22:25 am     #  

Actually jr, the only ones who could afford the first computers was the government.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2010/10/the_marines_go_green.html

At the end of the '50s, IBM built the 1401, the first computer designed for commercial enterprises. It took up 34 square feet of floor space, weighed one and a half tons, and, if ordered along with the 1403 printer, cost $78,000 (the equivalent of nearly half a million dollars today) to buy, or $1,450 a month to rent. It was practically palm-sized and dirt-cheap compared with the UNIVAC, but still, few commercial companies could afford one.

The 1401 didn't take off until it received multiple orders from the U.S. government—mainly from the Social Security Administration, the Selective Service Administration, and the Peace Corps. Higher demand spurred production, which lowered costs, which boosted demand, which spurred further production, and so forth, until we have today's sub-$1,000 laptop (with thousands of times more processing power than the behemoths of yore).

The government never got its return on investment on those computers, but it paved a way for a whole new industry.

posted by SensorG on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:28:31 am     #   1 person liked this

I've read that First Solar's panels don't work well in heat. They've already paid out 125 million for warranty claims. Since, the warranty is for 25 years, and they've sold the vast majority of their panels in the past 10 years, this company's very survival is in jeopardy.

Below is from their own 10-k report:

We also warrant to our owners that solar modules installed in accordance with agreed-upon specifications will produce at least 90% of their power output rating during the first 10 years following their installation and at least 80% of their power output rating during the following 15 years. As a result, we bear the risk of extensive warranty claims long after we have sold our solar modules and recognized net sales.

posted by 6th_Floor on Mar 10, 2012 at 07:45:43 pm     #  

Also from their 10-k:

Although our power output warranty extends for 25 years, our oldest solar modules manufactured during the qualification of our pilot production line have only been in use since 200 1. Because of the limited operating history of our solar modules, we have been required to make assumptions regarding the durability and reliability of our solar modules. Our assumptions could prove to be materially different from the actual performance of our solar modules, causing us to incur substantial expense to repair or replace defective solar modules in the future.

posted by 6th_Floor on Mar 10, 2012 at 07:47:58 pm     #  

Maybe corruption is why they decided to base much of their US operations in a corruption hellhole such as the Greater Toledo area?

Below from First Solar's 10-k report:

We currently operate in, and pursuant to our Long Term Strategic Plan intend to further expand into, many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices.

In addition, due to the level of regulation in our industry, our entry into new jurisdictions, including India, China, and the Middle East, requires substantial government contact where norms can differ from U.S. standards… our employees, subcontractors and agents may take actions in violation of our policies and anti-bribery laws. Any such violation, even if prohibited by our policies, could subject us to criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and reputation.

posted by 6th_Floor on Mar 10, 2012 at 07:50:10 pm     #  

So they are saying once they have gotten all the government funding they can squeeze out of the lefties they are going to move overseas where cost to make the product is so much cheaper?

posted by Linecrosser on Mar 11, 2012 at 02:26:28 pm     #  

I read it as they are going to be focusing sales to other parts of the world

posted by steve155 on Mar 11, 2012 at 04:26:50 pm     #  

Getting away from manufacturing is what the Toledo area needs in order to be grow and become stronger.

posted by JustaSooner on Mar 12, 2012 at 05:40:33 am     #   3 people liked this

In May 2008 the stock was trading at $317 per share and by April 2011 it had dropped to $163 per share.

I just read that today it closed at $20.98 per share - a new low.

The Morningstar fair value estimate is $35.00 per share if there are any takers out there.

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful” - Warren Buffett

posted by Danneskjold on Apr 06, 2012 at 12:03:10 am     #   2 people liked this

Tweet this afternoon from CNBC's Brian Sullivan (@SullyCNBC): "Axion's Johnson: "Find me an analyst" who can accurately model First Solar's accounting! He says he can't, recommends shorting $FSLR"

They haven't been going in the right direction for a while and who knows at what point they will bottom-out.

posted by clt212 on May 07, 2013 at 02:58:58 pm     #  

Danneskjold, there just isn't anything FS is doing that can't be replicated and quickly so in some Chinese factory. I had occasion to speak to an ethnic engineer who worked at FS. I shouldn't say any more about that, since you know exactly what I'm really saying.

I saw a few pics of some Chinese production press churning out some faked Morgan head silver dollars. Like it or not, China is becoming an industrial powerhouse for nearly anything, legal or illegal, low tech or high, and we'll have to chase things down to the bottom. Domestic production can't beat China's cheap labor except for very few products, and we're not going to run our economy on producing stuff like disposable plastic containers.

posted by GuestZero on May 08, 2013 at 10:55:30 am     #  

FS had a good business model that went off the hook when polysilicon went short about 8 years ago. As the pricing of poly climbed, their stock followed it, because they implant poly on a film and therefore use a lot less. On a related note, their panels aren't as efficient as others.

Now that polysilicon is once more easily available and affordable, their design is inferior.

posted by jimavolt on May 08, 2013 at 08:14:44 pm     #  

I don't believe that First Solar uses polysilicon. They use a thin film that is based on Cadmium. The cadmium dust sparkles in the sunlight there. The workers have to be tested for cadmium levels too.
Other solar panel companies use polysilicon.
And yes, now that those other companies can buy poly at a lower price, and the polysilicon based panels have higher efficiency, that has to kick them in the fanny.

posted by Blondee on May 08, 2013 at 09:49:20 pm     #  

Oops, you're right. Fact checking shows they use cadmium-telluried film. Thanks for the correction.

Their units were much more attractive when poly was expensive because of supply issues.

posted by jimavolt on May 09, 2013 at 08:14:32 am     #  

Basing your business on one particular material supply is a bad move, generally. Unless it's a controlled substance like a rare element or a schedule drug, it eventually becomes a commodity process.

Too bad the stock market no longer operates sensibly, understanding these things. We can't look to it for rational signals.

posted by GuestZero on May 09, 2013 at 11:13:59 am     #  

Vertical integration is sometimes the key when a product is dependent on a single commodity.

posted by holland on May 09, 2013 at 11:18:17 am     #   1 person liked this

Got to have dollars though, holland. And with a strong R&D based product, that's tough.

posted by Molsonator on May 09, 2013 at 11:35:06 am     #  

Trying to make money on solar panels when China is undercutting the market is like trying to sell ice in the Arctic.

posted by Linecrosser on May 09, 2013 at 03:42:28 pm     #  

Linecrosser posted at 03:42:28 PM on May 09, 2013:

Trying to make money on solar panels when China is undercutting the market is like trying to sell ice in the Arctic.

So we shouldn't make anything as long as the Chinese are willing to provide massive subsidies and build product at a loss…

posted by SensorG on May 09, 2013 at 03:46:08 pm     #  

And what do you call the government money that went to Solyndra and several other "green" companies, that might I add donated heavily to Obama's campaign?
I would say that anything Solyndra built was at a great loss.

posted by Linecrosser on May 09, 2013 at 03:56:28 pm     #  

Heard Chairman Kurt Darrow preach the Gospel of La Z Boy the other night. Amazing American story.

The Harvard School of Business is going to teach it next fall as a class.

posted by justread on May 09, 2013 at 04:17:01 pm     #  

Linecrosser posted at 03:56:28 PM on May 09, 2013:

And what do you call the government money that went to Solyndra and several other "green" companies, that might I add donated heavily to Obama's campaign?
I would say that anything Solyndra built was at a great loss.

So your answer is yes? We’ll just stop building everything…

If you’d like to keep all corporations from donating money to campaigns I’m all for it. How about no company that gets a dollar of tax payer money can donate money to politicians?

posted by SensorG on May 09, 2013 at 04:18:23 pm     #  

How about also stop unions from the same thing?

posted by Linecrosser on May 09, 2013 at 04:23:02 pm     #   1 person liked this

Linecrosser posted at 04:23:02 PM on May 09, 2013:

How about also stop unions from the same thing?

Hate to break it to you, but in an organizational and empowerment sense, unions are more people-like than corporations, my friend.

In other words, STFU.

posted by anonymouscoward on May 09, 2013 at 07:46:33 pm     #  

There you go again AC, I would support removing the donation power of corporations as long as unions lose it as well. I think all air time should be provided for free as well as mailings from the post office. Say max of 5 hours per week and total of 10 mailings per month? Everyone running gets the same. Would take the money right out of politics. Or at least make it affordable for anyone to run.

posted by Linecrosser on May 09, 2013 at 08:43:59 pm     #  

I would support removing the donation power of corporations as long as unions lose it as well.

OK, but if you're going to equate organizations with for-profit corporations, then you have to remove churches and the NRA from the list, too.

posted by Sohio on May 10, 2013 at 10:22:16 am     #  

Churches are already denied by their tax exempt status from getting involved in politics, yes I know they still do. The NRA is not a tax exempt entity as far as I know, the unions are but are not denied the ability to meddle in politics.

Yes I will agree to Unions, Corporations and the NRA, if you will add Hollywood.
Churches are already prohibited but I think they should crack down on all churches and preachers tax exempt status if they start taking sides, that include the televangelists as well as people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, oh and since Islam is a religion that also include Farakhan.

posted by Linecrosser on May 10, 2013 at 11:09:09 am     #  

The anonymous coward has obviously never belonged to a union. They are as nameless, faceless, cold and corrupt as any corporation.

posted by MemyselfandI on May 10, 2013 at 02:14:22 pm     #  

I'm gonna stop discussing it, its falling into politics thanks to me and AC.

posted by Linecrosser on May 10, 2013 at 02:53:40 pm     #  

The NRA is not a tax exempt entity as far as I know,

NRA is 501c3, and their lobbying arm is 501c4.

if you will add Hollywood.

Non Sequitur. "Hollywood' is a nebulous term. It also is not a non-profit organization; but is in fact a network of media and entertainment corporations who would fall under the umbrella of 'removing the donation power of corporations'. If you are referring to people who WORK in Hollywood, i.e. outspoken actors, that would be a thorny one, since they are working citizens who pay taxes.

I also do not agree to prohibiting non-profits from donating money. That is the definition and function of a non-profit: rather than using accrued funds to pay dividends or register profits, they are supposed to use them to operate their organization and further their goals. That includes political activity...UNLESS THEY ARE 501c3; in which case the money they can spend on lobbying is limited. That's why the NRA has a separate designation for their lobbying division. Unions are 501c5 and are therefore not prohibited from lobbying.

Churches are already prohibited but I think they should crack down on all churches and preachers tax exempt status if they start taking sides, that include the televangelists as well as people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, oh and since Islam is a religion that also include Farakhan.

Churches are not prohibited, they're just limited. They cannot endorse candidates, they can only lobby, and only to a certain percentage of their income and activity.

posted by Sohio on May 10, 2013 at 02:58:36 pm     #  

Wow there are 29 different forms of a 501© entities, and still not sure why some get to endorse and campaign for candidates and some don't, gonna go read up on it at the IRS website.
Lot of laughs I want a 501c13, cemetery company exemption.

posted by Linecrosser on May 10, 2013 at 03:10:03 pm     #  

http://www.toledoblade.com/Economy/2016/11/17/First-Solar-to-slash-global-work-force.html

The fault lines have broken open it appears.

posted by 6th_Floor on Nov 17, 2016 at 01:55:51 pm     #  

I know several employees of first solar.

The local plant has been planning this for months. They are changing the solar panel they make to a larger size and have to update the entire facility/machinery.

They were told they will begin rehiring in 8-10 months. They all will receive pay through January 31st and a small severance pay based on job and time on job.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Nov 17, 2016 at 02:08:14 pm     #  

FSLR stock price has fallen through the floor.

I'd be looking for another job during that severance time period if I worked there.

posted by 6th_Floor on Nov 17, 2016 at 02:11:00 pm     #  

Major U.S. stock indices are at 52-week highs, while FSLR stock is trading at 52-week lows.

I don't believe the rehiring 8-10 months story. Companies often lie to employees.

posted by 6th_Floor on Nov 17, 2016 at 02:14:02 pm     #  

I personally wouldn't look for a job in the solar sector. Solar City has also collapsed - actually the vote by shareholders is today for Tesla to buy them out. Sunpower is another one.

With Trump wanting to rollback regulations, especially on energy, firms in solar should be worried.

I expect them to hire back many of the employees but certainly not all.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Nov 17, 2016 at 02:22:35 pm     #