"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

SMI: “Stop Trying to Pick Winners and Losers in the Economy, Mr. President”

January 27th, 2011 by Samuel Clemons · 1 Comment

By Andrew Wilson 

The recurring theme in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was “winning the future.” It’s a good theme — focusing attention on the need for U.S. workers and businesses to face the challenge of competing in world markets. We are no longer living in a world — as the president pointed out — where “your competition” in seeking a job is “pretty much limited to your neighbors.”

Unfortunately, the president stood his “winning the future” theme on its head through a misplaced belief in the ability of government to do a better job of picking winners and losers than the free-enterprise system is able to do on its own.

Obama cited high-speed rail as one of the primary would-be winners, saying (emphasis added): “Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of all Americans access to high-speed rail. This could allow you to go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying.”

Show-Me Institute scholars have conducted detailed cost benefit studies of high-speed rail and found that it would be an egregious waste of money. It is not just that 200-mph bullet trains and the infrastructure needed to support them are extraordinarily expensive. There is also the fact that it may not be practical to run even 110-mph passenger trains on the same tracks as freight trains. Other would-be winners identified by Mr. Obama included: Read more…

Related:

Video:CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver on the State of the Union

Hat tip:laurenburke007

“We’re bringing in twelve of the top black economists in the country to analyze the president’s debt commission.” WTF???

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Tags: Show Me Institute

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Mark // Jan 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I gather that without government help we would have conquered malaria and gone to the moon in the same amount of time or faster.

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