Here it is: Subtract free market principles, add meddling and interfering government, shake well, and voila! Utopia!
At least that’s what I took away from President Obama’s recent remarks about ATM machines and high unemployment:
“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 at the gate. So all these things have created changes in the economy.”
Let me see if I’m hearing this right. Obama is digging in and insisting that the failed trillion dollar stimulus will eventually pay off – it’s just that utopia is being impeded by bad Americans habits – or “structural issues” – like optimized productivity, ingenuity, and efficiency.
Never mind that those habits have made the American free market the envy of the world and stirred the spirits of freedom-starved innovators for centuries… they’re obsolete now because we have a guy in the Oval Office with his very own magic money bag crammed with newly-printed dollars all set to be blessed, sprinkled with Obama water, and transformed into mountains of honest-to-goodness spreadable wealth way, way beyond even Karl Marx’s wildest dreams.
The idea. Has our Harvard-educated president ever cracked a history book? I only attended Community College, and it’s clear to me that Obama’s notion that automation and increased productivity harms the economy is either blatantly wrongheaded, or the Industrial Revolution was an unprecedented humanitarian nightmare. One or the other, because both can’t be true.
And maybe it was the latter. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention in history class the day we learned about the millions who starved following the invention of the cotton gin or electricity or washing machines or automobiles. Unlike Obama, I wasn't the most motivated student. I could have confused that massive humanitarian debacle with Mao’s Great Leap Forward or something like that.
The folks at MRC TV dummied up a fake petition to ban “job-killing” ATMs, and set out to see how many Americans actually believe Obama can reduce unemployment by regulating “efficiency” and dictating what machines and equipment businesses can and cannot use. The results are amusing, and sobering at the same time. Just note how many clueless wonders actually do sign.
Seriously, I’m glad that Obama keeps telling us what he really thinks of America’s trademark independence and free-market values. It’s surprisingly easy to forget that there is a socialist running things in Washington, so these little unguarded moments are therapeutic, if only just to smack us back into reality.
And really this one ranks easily in Obama’s top 10, along with:
We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money…
It's not that I want to punish your success; I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they've got a chance to success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.
This one, I think, ties in nicely with his contempt for the “structural issues within our economy” that he referred to on Wednesday:
We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America.
And, heck, while I’m at it, why not some classic Marxist boilerplate from a First Lady who has expressed her “frustration and disappointment” in America and who was never “proud of my country” until her leftist husband ran for office:
"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."
With that kind of thinking, FLOTUS would be very proud of her country — if she repatriated to Cuba. It's a possibility. Who knows where the Obama's will end up after 2012?