Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fear of a free future

Michael Barone had some thoughts on the SOTU speech. (Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the pointer.)

Obama’s Antique Vision of Technological Progress.

Barack Obama, like all American politicians, likes to portray himself as future-oriented and open to technological progress. Yet the vision he set out in his State of the Union address is oddly antique and disturbingly static.
Read the whole thing.

A lot of the speech was like finding an article in a magazine from 1930 about what the year 2000 would be like. The left can't let go of the dream of a command economy, even though command economies always fail. The knowledge problem is not amenable to wishful thinking. Over-regulation stifles activity of all kinds. How many nuclear plants could be under construction now if even half the money from the stimulus programs had been put into a program of construction? Killing the coal and oil industries without replacing them is a recipe for poverty. Lefties fear prosperity because poor people are easier to rule. Lefties fear technology because technology can lead to prosperity. You don't find computers in private hands in Communist countries. You didn't use to find typewriters, copiers or mimeographs, either.

Obama's EPA turning off the water to California's Central Valley is poverty by decree. It's not of the same magnitude as Stalin's Holodomor, or decreed famine, in the Ukraine in the 1930's, but it's the same type of thing. Shutting down West Virginia's largest coal mine is another move to promote poverty. And these moves do not have only local effects. They raise the prices of food and energy to the whole country, and indeed the world.

Update: Rick at Wizbang links to William O'Keefe at the Examiner: "Setting a goal to raise energy prices seems to be the last thing we would want to do as a nation." Yet it is the Administration's policy.

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