I went to dinner at a friend’s house and was forced to watch Barack Obama speak. Here’s what I noticed…
“These men and women grew up with faith in an America where hard work and responsibility paid off. They believed in a country where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share — where if you stepped up, did your job, and were loyal to your company, that loyalty would be rewarded with a decent salary and good benefits; maybe a raise once in a while. If you did the right thing, you could make it. Anybody could make it in America.”
Given the cheers that greeted this speech, it would seem that our politicians do not believe that there was ever any kind of market for labor in the U.S. Companies paid more than a market-clearing wage in the past because workers were “loyal” or “did the right thing” or because of a notion of “fair shake”. Wages for American workers have therefore not come under pressure due to the availability of educated workers in China and India because that would be a market effect and in fact wages were based on sentiment.
“Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us a economic superpower. And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America? “
According to Obama, China builds new airports because they are in some sort of race with the U.S. and they are winning. The possibility that China builds airports because they have some cities with more than 5 million population and no airport at all is not considered. The return on investment to building new infrastructure in the U.S. wouldn’t be nearly as high as building it in a fast-growing underdeveloped economy such as Brazil, India, or China. It would be nice if we had congestion pricing on our roads so that transportation times were predictable (the San Francisco and Los Angeles metro areas have traffic jams uncertainty levels equal to any Third World capital), but Obama did not propose anything like that.
“And there are schools throughout this country that desperately need renovating. How can we expect our kids to do their best in places that are literally falling apart? This is America. Every child deserves a great school — and we can give it to them, if we act now. The American Jobs Act will repair and modernize at least 35,000 schools. It will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows, installing science labs and high-speed Internet in classrooms all across this country.”
Obama wants to spend billions of tax dollars running wires for Internet right at the same time that mobile carriers are putting the finishing touches on their 4G LTE wireless networks and right at the same time that school kids are acquiring smartphones and tablets. “Every child deserves a great school” so we’ll build palaces around the same teachers and curriculum that have produced inferior results to so many other countries?
“The plan also extends unemployment insurance for another year.”
Does that mean 99 weeks of Xbox is now 151 weeks?
“Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs?”
The same teachers who currently are able to prepare only about 50 percent of their students adequately for college or a job are going to “go back to work” and suddenly they will do a lot better? I guess this is the one part of the speech where Obama has already delivered. As it is September, many more teachers are working this month than were working in July.
“If we provide the right incentives, the right support — and if we make sure our trading partners play by the rules — we can be the ones to build everything from fuel-efficient cars to advanced biofuels to semiconductors that we sell all around the world. That’s how America can be number one again.”
No mention of the $535 million in taxpayer money flushed down the toilet in the Solyndra bankruptcy last week (U.S. Department of Energy put the money in during 2009; Obama visited in May 2010).
“What kind of country would this be if this chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?”
“Let’s get to work, and let’s show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth.”
Why do we have to show the world that we’re the greatest? Are we in fact the greatest? What if China’s GDP surpasses ours, as it is forecast to? Will we then no longer be the greatest?