American Elephants


Birth of a Tool: Damascus Steel Knife Making (By John Neeman Tools) by The Elephant's Child

I love these videos that show how things are made, because there are so many things and I am so ignorant about how it is done. Skilled craftsmen are a joy to watch.

(h/t: Vanderleun)



Austan Goolsbee Creates Jobs? by The Elephant's Child

Sigh.  It would really help if someone in the White House had ever worked in the private sector.  Austan Goolsbee is the Chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors.  (He replaces Christina Romer who has returned to the University of California at Berkeley).  He’s been doing these White Board thingys from the White House for a while, and he always yells.

He gets this partly right.  American entrepreneurs have created huge businesses.  Successful startups are an engine of business, and hire a lot of people as they grow.  But governments are notoriously bad at deciding which businesses should be supported and choosing which should become successful.

Obama has already been a shining example of this.  His passionate belief in his green clean energy economy has no basis in science, engineering or energy expertise.  Neither wind nor solar will ever make a significant contribution to our energy supplies.Yet he has “invested” billions in subsidies for those favored businesses.  Wind farms and solar panel makers and electric battery factories could not exist without government subsidy, because they are not economically viable.

Obama champions a kind of crony capitalism.  He subsidizes business, business supports his plans, he does favors for business, business supports his campaign, he gives business special perks, business does what he wants because they are obligated.  Business becomes a creature of government.  It is practiced in many countries.  We usually refer to them as corrupt governments.

There is a long struggle between the guy with an idea in a garage and the huge business.  And if that’s the way Obama is planning to solve his unemployment problem, we’re in bigger trouble than I thought.  Venture capitalists are picky about the way they hand out their own money— in direct contrast to the Obama administration which shovels it out the door by the trillions.  Because VCs don’ t like to waste their own money, they do a lot of due diligence.

I am deeply suspicious of the “comprehensive review of regulations.”  What entrepreneurs need is freedom from regulation. Obama wants to control. Government assigned mentors?

What entrepreneurs need is for government to get out of the way.




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