Faced with rising unemployment and a stagnating economy, how would you expect Obama to proceed? Would you expect him to discover what is causing unemployment and economic decline? Would you expect him study the laws of economics or political economy and integrate that knowledge with history and the facts underlying the present crisis? Would you expect him to study the nature of the boom-bust cycle and learn how it is caused by government inflation of the money supply and exacerbated by the moral hazard created by government financial guarantees? Would you expect him to understand the relationship of saving to capital investment and how that relates to productivity, real wages, and an improving standard of living?
More fundamentally, might you expect him to have some grasp of the necessary relationship between morality, individual rights, economic freedom, and prosperity? Upon such a basis, might you expect him to grasp that economic freedom is moral and practical and that any particular economic crisis is not unique but merely a concrete instance explainable by these more fundamental principles?
Might such an understanding point not only to the cause but also to the solution?
To predict how Obama might actually behave, consider my June 2008 post in which I stated:
Obama's philosophy is textbook pragmatism. He literally calls for "facts" not "ideology". An ideology is a set of interrelated principles and principles are essential to rational thought. Without principles (abstract concepts), our minds would be reduced to the level of an animal consciousness reacting on the range of the moment to every sensation. Note that Obama does not reject a particular ideology - he rejects the concept of ideology as such. He does not want to hear about individual rights or the law of supply and demand. When the time comes, he will assess the "facts" or "want to see what is going on at the moment" and take a poll of experts or "ask a wide range of viewpoints from business leaders." Is the forced expropriation of one's earnings for the unearned benefit of others right, i.e., are taxes immoral? Is the confiscation of a producer's wealth and capital "practical"? He doesn't know.
Well, "the time has come" and, predictably, Obama can be counted on to myopically focus on the problem as an isolated fact without any context or relationship to the more general problem. With such an approach, he can not solve any problem. Instead, he must rely on the opinions of others guided only by a vague criteria euphemistically masking his default moral-political ideology by cultural osmosis: sacrifice, egalitarianism, and collectivism.
Accordingly, Obama has convened a "Jobs Summit" to do what else - seek expert advice and consensus from people who share his stunted grasp of economics and Marxist political vision.
President Barack Obama promised at a White House jobs forum on Thursday to take "every responsible step to accelerate job creation," including some ideas he said could be put into action quickly.
Note that any idea must be "responsible", i.e., not responsible. So, immediately we meet the euphemism for altruism and collectivism. Second, the idea must be put into action quickly, because, after all, as a pragmatist, he must not delay by engaging in "ideological" discussions of economic cause and effect, morality, or the proper function of government, i.e., principles that could lead to a long term solution. He must act now!
So what exactly is Barry's grand vision to restore economic growth?
The president said there were some ideas that could be put to work almost immediately and other ideas that will become part of legislation... He listed "moving forward on an aggressive agenda for energy efficiency and weatherization" as a prime candidate for quick action.
Evidently, "weatherization" represents a focus on the "big picture" because Comrade Pelosi is focusing on more narrow topics:
As Obama and participants focused on the big picture, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was more narrowly focused, telling reporters that Congress will tap unused funds from last year's $700 billion Wall Street bailout to pay for new spending on roads and bridges and save the jobs of firefighters, teachers and other public employees.
Apparently, their idea is to take money from some people and give it to others, which somehow is going to "save jobs" (see my series of posts debunking stimulus spending). What about the people that have to pay the bill? Won't the money that the firefighters and teachers receive represent a corresponding loss to the people that pay for it? If Pelosi can actually save jobs by stealing money from some and giving it to others, why not steal all the money of every American and give it to, uh, every other American...With those bizarre and contradictory marching orders in hand:
the guests broke into different working groups to brainstorm with administration officials
But just in case anyone had an actual idea, Obama reiterated the actual message:
Dropping in on a session on "Green Jobs of the Future," Obama said, "Not to tip our hand too much, but one of the things I would be surprised if we don't end up moving forward on is an aggressive agenda for energy efficiency and weatherization. Because that is an area where we can get it up and running relatively quickly. You don't need new technologies."
Obama told the group that clean energy was the nation's best candidate "if we are to shift from the bubble and bust model that we have. ... We want to make a push in this area."
Exactly how will diverting capital from productive uses to make-work boondoggles like "green jobs" (see my post debunking "green jobs") "shift [us] from the bubble and bust model"? He doesn't say (although he does say we can do it "relatively quickly" which is paramount). In fact, stimulus spending, which increases budget deficits and crowds out productive investment, leads to inflation as the Federal Reserve purchases government debt with fake money to keep interest rates artificially low. This is the primary cause of the "bubble and bust model". Therefore...wait for it...Obama wants more stimulus spending!
He cited the success of the administration's Cash for Clunkers program, noting that car companies carried much of the marketing responsibilities that helped make the effort so popular. Home improvement companies like Home Depot would be key as partners in any future jobs program focusing on energy efficiencies, Obama told company chairman Frank Blake.
Translation: he is going to propose some sort of taxpayer funded subsidy for people to "weatherize" by purchasing stuff from Home Depot. (see my series of posts debunking "cash for clunkers")
Unfortunately, the administration is determined to do something that "works":
The forum was kicked off by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who called the present unemployment rate "a stark reminder of how much we have to do." She said the administration "will not rest" until it had been successful at job creation.
Actually, that is precisely what the administration must do - REST! Stop taking our money. Stop regulating business. Stop doing anything except protecting property and person. Get out of the way.
Acccording to the article, somewhere else in town, Republicans held their own "competing round-table discussion":
At that session, [Douglas] Holtz-Eakin suggested the single best thing Obama could do to create jobs was "to reverse course on a dangerous agenda of debt-financed spending, crippling regulation, expensive mandates and intrusive government expansion."
And, most of all, doing nothing could be accomplished very quickly! Obama should love that.