American Elephants

Doing the Same Thing Over and Over, and Expecting Different Results! by The Elephant's Child

Supposedly it was Albert Einstein who said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I expect a lot of people are using that quote today.

President Obama announced, to a Labor Day Laborfest today, that he plans to invest $50 billion [more] in “rebuilding and modernizing America’s roads, rails and runways for the long-term.” I thought we had established that the stimulus didn’t work.

He demonized the rich, blaming everything on Wall Street and “the last decade” (which is the new term for it’s Bush’s fault) when everybody supposedly suffered, and from which he will rescue everyone just as soon as the Republicans stop saying “no.” The Middle Class, which was invented by the Labor Unions, is going to be put back to work doing highway and railroad construction, and manufacturing solar cells and batteries for electric cars, and building a “smart grid.”

The problem here harks back to a basic difference between Republicans and Democrats in general.  Democrats are apt to start with an idea of “wouldn’t it be great if we could…” and build upon that, figuring out how to get it passed, and how to put it into force. They think politically.

Republicans may start with the same idea, but they don’t start with the politics of the thing;  but with questions about whether or not it will work, what experience other countries have had, what the studies say — trying to determine if it is feasible.

I hasten to say that these are generalities, and not all Republicans look at studies, or consider feasibilities.  Democrats are not apt to be interested in studies, because most of the studies come from right-leaning think tanks.  Once Democrats get their enthusiasm up about doing something, they assume that all negative statements are just Republicans saying “no” rather than warnings about consequences.

When government pays workers to do a job, they are taking money out of taxpayers’ pockets to do so.  The economy does not grow. FDR had the NRA, the WPA, the CCC and all sorts of other schemes, but none of them worked.  Only the private sector can make the economy grow, because the government has no money of its own.

We have explained that there is currently a worldwide glut of electric batteries — far more than could be used even if buyers suddenly developed an irrational enthusiasm for the Volt, when for the same money they could buy a Mercedes.  There is a glut of battery factories responding to government stimulus and government loan guarantees.  They won’t survive.

Here are several articles on “the smart grid.” and the economics involved.  One comment was: “What’s a trillion dollars or so to bring unreliable power to market?” This is another idea that is not new, it’s been lying around in bits and pieces for years–going back as far as the 1950s and the so-called “smart house.”

President Obama expects to get a lot  of mileage out of calling the Republicans the party of  “no”, which is profoundly silly; because the Democrats control the House and the Senate, and the Republicans cannot vote anything down.  Obama also accuses Republicans of having “no ideas,” which is completely untrue.  He just doesn’t like ideas that disagree.

Republicans garner an enormous amount of hate, vitriol and obscenity from Democrats simply by disagreeing. It’s not really rewarding to be put in the position of saying “we told you so,” when the consequences could have been prevented. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

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