Obama - Closet Luddite?

As I wrote in my previous post about Obama's Afghanistan speech, I don't believe he knows what he's doing. This is particularly true when it comes to economics. There's certainly been plenty of evidence that drives me to make this claim, but this one takes the cake: Obama believes technology leads to job losses. It's such an old saw that has been disproven again and again, but he's trying to sell it as the reason the American job market is in such dire straits.

"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," he said. "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."

The president calls this a structural issue—we usually call it progress. And it isn't exactly a new phenomenon. It's been going on for centuries, and its pace has accelerated over the past 50 years. Businesses relentlessly look for ways to replace workers with machines. The machines get better and smarter. We go from spoons to shovels to excavators, not the other way around.

I get the feeling he'd like to see us go backwards, reducing productivity, increasing the costs of goods, and making even more American jobs disappear to other countries that haven't deluded themselves that technology costs jobs and that increased productivity is a bad thing.

I hate to say this, but what he put forward almost sounded like it came right out of Atlas Shrugged, with the government forcing producers to use less efficient production methods as a means to 'create' more jobs. Of course it won't work out that way and they'll end up with even fewer jobs as they price themselves right out of the market.

And so it goes with One-Term Wonder, a master of the Law of Unintended Consequences.