By Morgan Freeberg
It’s old news to the blogger world, but from hanging around the automatic-transmission model of the blogging world, Facebook, which I call “The Hello Kitty of Blogging,” I see the word hasn’t gotten out beyond the periphery.
It’s the downside to having an interest in something; you lose track of what everybody else does & doesn’t know. Well, this one is important. So I think the proper decision is to reverse course & put ‘er up:
Blaming ATMs for unemployment demonstrates a short-sightedness that is beneath the President and belies his reputation among liberals as someone who is brilliant, intuitive, pragmatic, smart, and elegant in thought, word, and deed.
Instead, the ‘ATMs are to blame’ statement shows the President in a moment of profound economic unawareness on such a basic level that it is actually sad.
To the chagrin of the many Americans waiting for the President to put forth a bold jobs and economic growth plan, it also indicates that the nation’s chief executive seems to have given up thinking creatively on the economy:
“There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”
It begs the question of whether or not the President is aware that the invention and dissemination of ATM technology is responsible for the creation of many other jobs that inevitably arise with the advent of technological advances like ATMs, kiosks, and other incredibly complex automated devices.
Prof. William Jacobson fills in the few blanks remaining about why this is such a bad thing to hear from the guy in charge:
This is a perfectly static view, which would have protected jobs in the buggy whip industry by preventing the creation and expansion of the auto industry; would have protected jobs at glass tube manufacturers against the advent of flat screen televisions; would have barred the creation of the cell phone industry because of all the jobs lost in the land line business, and so on and so on.
This is your modern union mentality at work, in which the preservation of the economic status quo takes priority over innovation and creation. Job losses in old industries make for good 30-second political ads, while the creation of new and more vibrant industries which create more jobs takes too long to explain on television.
He really, truly doesn’t understand. It’s frightening.
Frightening, and discouraging.
The problem is much bigger than Obama.
People whom Dr. Thomas Sowell has called “intellectuals,” by which he has defined (somewhere) as professionals whose vocations begin with ideas, and end with ideas as well, so that the strength of those ideas is never actually put to a meaningful test — implicitly claim to know things that are not known and cannot be known by people who actually produce things. And the people who produce things reply with…no, actually they don’t. They’re too busy. Producing things that actually work, or can be used to make other things actually work.
“Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.” — G. K. Chesterton.
Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.