People have commented on President Obama’s statement about ATMs and other automation displacing workers (a falsehood, as the number of banks and bank tellers has grown since the introduction of ATMs in the ’70s). What disturbs me about this is different than what most are saying about it (see this at Hot Air, and this at Power Line).
I’m disturbed by where he “comes from.” Notice the world view that has him saying things like this: “So all these things have created changes in the economy, and what we have to do now — and that’s what this job council is all about — is identifying where the jobs for the future are going to be; how do we make sure that there’s a match between what people are getting trained for and the jobs that exist; how do we make sure that capital is flowing into those places with the greatest opportunity.”
It’s government centered. What business does the government have trying to identify where jobs are going to be in the future? How can they know? Did the government successfully predict the tech boom and start training people for those jobs? No. Tech started booming BECAUSE OF CONSUMER DEMAND, which caused tech companies to demand tech workers, which caused individuals to make decisions for themselves to get trained for those types of jobs.
Guess what else… Capital flowed where demand existed. Government did not direct a flow of capital, the market directed the flow of capital. Wealth was being created, as a result of consumer demand, and capital flowed where money could be made.
You can not tell me that Obama is saying anything other than that government should control all of this. Someone who knew how the economy works would have said something like, “We don’t know what the market will demand, or what new inventions entrepreneurs will introduce to the world. What we do know is that we need to get the government out of the way of the private sector so that it is easier for businesses to bring new inventions to market, for consumers to buy these products, for workers to find the training needed to work in those businesses, and for capital to flow to promising new businesses.”
Instead, this guy is talking about government control. Witness the “green jobs” debacle. Billions spent on green jobs, a great transfer of wealth from people who would invest or spend money in places where it could be productive to an industry that is politically popular but not popular in the market.
Obama comes from a collectivist, government controlled place where the geniuses dictate what will be available to the commoners. The goal of a business will no longer be invention and innovation, but finding a way get politically connected so that they can participate in the crony capitalism that is the future with economic illiterates directing the economy.
Update: See “America In Decline?” by Victor David Hanson at The Hoover Institution.
Must READ UPDATE: “The Fountain of Prosperity” by John Hayward at Human Events.