Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hard To Be More On The Mark

"The president, a man who once lamented the rise of job-killing ATMs, mentioned manufacturing eight times in his speech. But these jobs never "left" (they were phased out), and one hopes they never come back. America is producing about 80 percent more than it did 30 years ago with nearly 8 million fewer workers needed. Technological advances and a boom in productivity have not only made life more tolerable for the average American worker, opening up far better opportunities for them, but also been a godsend to consumers.

"Yet there he was, praising companies for "bringing back" jobs from Mexico. Aren't we lucky. And now he's on a Ross Perot-style "Made in America" tour, framing green energy companies -- which struggle to constitute a sliver of the economy without help -- as the future. Obama should heed Paul Krugman, who once explained in his book "Pop Internationalism" that "international trade is much more a matter of (usually) mutually beneficial exchange than it is of competition and rivalry." Protectionism might be politically beneficial, but economists -- as Obama likes to say -- see very little real-world advantage.

"Even if we concede for argument's sake that luring back outmoded jobs to the United States is smart economic policy, how does the president propose to make the United States more attractive to these companies? By making labor more expensive through Obamacare and piling on an unprecedented number of regulations, raising taxes, making energy more expensive and, just in case anyone was still interested, instituting a $9 minimum wage to ensure that any teen interested in working his way through college will never find a job, that's how."

Harsanyi on the mark again.

Anything this President says sounds like caricature to me.  I keep thinking he'll realize how silly it  sounds and will at some point apologize.  I guess that's just another manifestation of the "Tower of Babel" effect.

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