24 February, 2009

Comments on tonight's Obama speech

- "We will" translates pretty reliably to "you must." ("we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years...We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines...we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power...we will expand our commitment to charter schools...we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college...we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan...")

- Has Obama not seen the commercials? There is no (and can never be?) such a thing as "clean coal," according to them.

- "...the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." Why not? And how do we know that Tesla and/or some other startups wouldn't create a better future American auto industry? Instead, we tax them to subsidize the Not-So-Big Three.

- "...we must have quality, affordable health care for every American." Saying "we must" have something does not change its affordability. When somebody comes up with a new drug or diagnostic technology, there is no automatic increase in national wealth that pays for every citizen to obtain that new drug or technology. Simple words can't change economic realities. They can persuade people to act in counterproductive and aggressive ways, however.

- The G.I. Bill: After Obama mentioned it I was interested to find that it is not an unquestioned success (which it sometimes seems to be). Here's proof.

- "...we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow." I'm not worried about a foreign worker/company out-competing an American worker/company. I'm not worried about a Louisiana worker/company out-competing a Texas worker/company. Etc. I've got bigger fish to fry.

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