I also think Steve Forbes column, Obama’s Piece In The Economist Gets Everything Wrong, is worth a read. Here’s a few snips:
PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS written an “open letter” of several thousand words to The Economist about capitalism, immigration, the economy and the economic areas on which his successor should focus.
The whole thing encapsulates the wrongheaded and obstinately held thinking that has brought the U.S. and the world economies to a near halt. The duration of the stagnation–and the feeling that there really is no end in sight–is breeding increasingly ugly politics.
The essay also has its share of Obama’s trademark disingenuousness that has fanned the political divisiveness that he so piously denounces. For instance, he declares that “capitalism has been the greatest driver of prosperity and opportunity the world has ever known.” Yet as President of the U.S., the bastion of free enterprise, he has successfully pursued a socialist agenda that has Karl Marx applauding from the grave.
Smart socialists years ago recognized that government doesn’t need to seize “the means of production” to control the economy. Instituting sweeping and intrusive rules and regulations that make the survival of whole industries and companies dependent on the whims of government bureaucrats is sufficient.
Then there’s this:
Obama rolls out an old trope from the 1960s about the alleged crisis of rising expectations. “Just as the child in a slum can see the skyscraper nearby, technology allows anyone with a smartphone to see how the most privileged live. Expectations rise faster than governments can deliver and a pervasive sense of injustice undermines peoples’ faith in the system.”
Governments don’t create wealth–people do. If governments don’t stand in the way, free markets always turn scarcity into abundance and luxuries into commodities. Take the smartphone Obama mentions. Thirty years ago the original cellphone–with only a voice feature–cost $3,995. Today a feature-rich mobile device costs less than a twentieth of that.
“Expectations rise faster than governments can deliver…” I can’t get that phrase out of my head. Not only because it shows the slip on a way of thinking about what the government should do that works against the very ends folks who hold that view say they want to accomplish, but also because Obama, himself, writes it as if the privileged is some class he doesn’t belong to.
Obama throws in some new beauties, such as “providing wage insurance for workers who cannot get a new job that pays as much as their old one” and “preventing colleges from pricing out hardworking students.”
I’m sure Hollywood actors would love the wage insurance. Once they get paid $20 million for a movie, they won’t ever have to accept less than that again.