American Elephants

Obama promises wonders that he cannot deliver. by The Elephant's Child

Obama embarrassed himself by claiming in a recent campaign ad that John McCain was behind the times because he didn’t use email.  Technologically inept.  And of course the former bomber pilot and chairman of the Senate Telecommunications subcommittee — who is considered the most technologically informed member of the Senate — wouldn’t know about something like email.  As Obama becomes more desperate, his attack ads are more poorly conceived.

James Taranto calls attention to a new Obama campaign ad in “Best of the Web” in the Wall Street Journal:

A new television ad released Wednesday by Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign highlights the closure of Corning Inc.’s plant in State College, Pa., and accuses Washington with Sen. John McCain’s help of selling out the workers, the Associated Press reports.

So what did Corning make at the plant? The ad does not say,… but the AP story does: “glass tubes for television sets and computer monitors.”

It’s hard to remember now, but in the olden days TV sets and computer monitors used a technology called cathode ray tubes.  A CRT consisted of an electron gun that projects an image onto a fluorescent screen.  In most cases the gun had to be some distance from the screen, with the entire assembly  enclosed in glass, which meant that TVs were bulky and boxy (hence the term “idiot box”).

In modern times, the CRT has given way to superior technologies such as plasma and liquid crystal, which take up less space and provide superior picture quality.  This is an enormous blessing to all Americans who watch TV or use computers.

Now who is behind the times?  As Mr. Taranto says: “It’s hard to imagine a more backward-looking position than mourning the decline of the picture-tube industry.”

It is hard on workers when the advance of technology makes their jobs obsolete. An industrial plant designed to manufacture an obsolete product often has little choice but to close.

There is no question that technological change has speeded up.  The average person will change their job many times in their lifetime, and they must be prepared for it.  Not even the mighty government can prepare each individual for the change that may happen in our world.

Obama has spent a lot of time on the campaign trail claiming that Government should keep plants from closing (obsolete plants?), and prevent industry from outsourcing jobs (that cannot be profitably done in this country?).  He does not explain how he is going to make this populist horse hockey work.  He’s going to have taxpayers underwrite a plant that makes obsolete products? Products that cannot be sold? He’s going to have the government take over the plant? He’s going to order some other manufacturer to take over the plant?  Sounds reminiscent of the Soviet plants that made all left shoes.  And production of goods that cannot be made profitably in the US is going to be forced to be made here by Government?  Are taxpayers going to be forced to underwrite that production or are we going to raise tariffs so high that consumers have no choice but to buy goods that are vastly more expensive than they would be otherwise?  Which is simply a different way for taxpayers to underwrite production.  Of course he doesn’t say.  He offers only “hope”.  “Yes we can.”

Obama is just practicing an old, old socialist trick.  Elect me and I will keep bad things from happening.  Elect me and I will make government (taxpayers) fix things for you.  Empty promises for folks who want to believe. There is neither hope nor change here. He is promising things that he cannot deliver without transforming our economy into a socialist “paradise”, and socialist paradises not only don’t work, but there is one hell of a lot of misery involved.

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