As if we needed more evidence that Liberals Liberals fail at basic economics, we have the President of the United States saying this:
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. Barack Obama
That is an epic FAIL on so many levels. It isn’t a structural issue, it is a foundational and wonderful element of our capitalistic economy. The unemployment rate didn’t nearly double because of ATMs (and despite wasting a trillion dollars trying and failing to keep it below 8%). It is a pathetic attempt for him to avoid responsibility.
Why is a “progressive” like Obama so opposed to progress? Does he think that his beloved teleprompters pre-dated agriculture? No, they exist because people took risks, worked hard and were rewarded for creativity and automation.
He should be embarrassed, and the media should mock him until their throats (TV and radio) and fingertips (print) are raw. Using his “logic,” we’d have higher employment if it weren’t for advancements like ATM machines. Ignoring the jobs of those who make, install, maintain, and write software for these machines, does Obama think that other countries won’t continue to automate even if we stopped? If businesses don’t automate then costs go up compared to other countries and we lose even more jobs. You could require that all cars be made by hand, but would anyone ever buy a U.S. car over an inexpensive and higher quality foreign model?
I say without exaggeration that I’ve taught Junior Achievement classes to 7th graders who understand basic economic principles better than him. There was an exercise asking if you should automate your bike factory to save money and improve quality, even though it would reduce jobs. Many kids initially opposed this because they forgot about the other bike makers. When I pointed out that without automation everyone would eventually lose their jobs, they realized the benefits of progress.
As Stacy McCain adds in Pointing Out the Obvious: They Don’t Teach Economics at Harvard Law School : The Other McCain:
The president is attempting here to offer a simplistic explanation of the difference between cyclical unemployment and structuralunemployment. As important as that distinction is, however, it fails to explain many obvious things about this recession.
Unemployment isn’t at 9% because of out-of-work bank clerks and airline ticket agents. Unemployment is most severe in construction trades and other housing-related sectors. Whatever else Obama’s policies have done, they have not led to a meaningful recovery of the housing market and, one might easily argue, have made things much worse. Why? Because for two years, the administration and Democrats in Congress did everything possible to impede the foreclosure process, to keep deadbeats in homes they can’t afford. This has slowed re-sales, prevented mortgage lenders from cutting their losses on bad loans and, in general, hindered the kind of price “re-set” necessary to making the housing market efficient again.
Something else: The recession is not equally bad everywhere. Why is unemployment nearly 12% in California but less than 6% in Oklahoma? Don’t people in Oklahoma use ATMs and automated airline ticket kiosks?
I could go on and on, but it is such a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel topic. If only the Left could see how intellectually bankrupt and counterproductive Obama’s economics are. The youth who voted for him are starting to see it (their vision seems to be better when standing in the unemployment line rather than at his “hope and change” speeches).
If you want to see something delusional, watch the head of the Democrat National Committee claim that Obama has turned the economy around. Uh, yeah, sure, 9.1% unemployment, skyrocketing deficits and debt, gas over $4 a gallon (which was Bush’s fault when he was in office but apparently a good thing when Obama is in power, because it reduces global warming blah blah blah), etc.
Also see Obama Puts Unions Ahead of a Healthy Economy, Free Trade for an example of why it is hard to believe he even wants to reduce the unemployment rate.