The Flaw In the Takedown Soup

Talking about President Obama as a failed economic mind and leader, a Forbes magazine columnist wrote:

“This Luddite analysis fundamentally misconceives the role of technology in a modern economy. Such advancing technology increases worker productivity, and hence wages and standards of living.”

Advancing technology increases worker productivity? Sure, in a way. But Peter, does it therefore increase wages? Obviously not. If the last 40 years are anything to go by in the United States, obviously not.

When an argument is based on such a stop-on-a-dime failure of statement, the rest of what you’ve written doesn’t make sense. Peter’s statement of principle about better wages and living standards came after he quoted Obama saying technology has reduced the need for workers:

Over the last few decades, huge advances in technology have allowed businesses to do more with less, and made it easier for them to set up shop and hire workers anywhere in the world….Steel mills that needed 1,000 employees are now able to do the same work with 100, so that layoffs were too often permanent, not just a temporary part of the business cycle….If you were a bank teller or a phone operator or a travel agent, you saw many in your profession replaced by ATMs or the Internet.

That’s an obvious statement, though Obama has offered little to stem the tide or reverse the mortal trend. Or even prepare the country for the inevitable. Businesses should take the lead, of course, but looking after workers is often far down on the list of priorities. They’re an expense that needs to be reduced to the least – and sometimes ethically – possible.

The columnist Peter avoids this reality too, spectacularly, just to to take verbal potshots at Obama. However, shooting from the lip requires more than that if you want to be taken seriously.

Faced with such a dire problem, a country, as a whole, should come together to solve the problem of finding American workers good jobs. It now takes serious government spending to get done even a fraction of what the same amount was able to do before, when everybody felt a sense of shared purpose.

That it fractures instead, beyond the ability to achieve anything whatsoever, is what leads to broken dreams or visions of the future aborted before they can begin. It’s that failure to lead, from the president, from politicians, from business leaders, from voters choices, that really is the fundamental flaw.

UPDATE (minutes later) Adn, of course, if all these maligned 1% are job creators, they’re doing it wrong. unemployment seems to be skyrocketing. You blame Obama or the “job creators?” It’s an interesting question, what WOULD it take for companies to begin hiring again. I think that would start with eroding wages and standards of living. As it always was, as it always will be.