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February 05, 2011

Obama Tries His Hand at Motivating Businesses

Somebody take this President's hands off the wheel immediately. Please. He should never be allowed in a moving vehicle again. Hand the man his Slurpee and put him on his bicycle.

Here is President Barack Obama's thinking on creating a healthy business environment:

“If we make America the best place to do business, businesses should make their mark in America,” the president said. “They should set up shop here, and hire our workers, and pay decent wages, and invest in the future of this nation. That’s their obligation.”
Got that? If he improves the business environment, then businesses must change their operations to settle their debt with him. I hate to give him ideas, but this is like saying: "I've upgraded the interstates, so now you have to drive on them, and pay for the upgrades."

Mr. President, first, the US should always have been the best place to do business. You are not giving them a treat - you are finally living up to your obligations. Second, business must do what is right for business. If the business environment you create helps them, then they have a higher likelihood of prospering and growing. But there's no such thing as an "obligation" that requires them to make decisions independent of the business pressures and opportunities they face. They won't operate under such an obligation because they can't - that path leads straight to insolvency.

Third, you can't demand gratitude or a sense of obligation from people when you used their own money to create these benefits. I know, I know, you've heard those words before, and they've never made any sense to you. Spending more is always your solution, because it uses that inexhaustible supply of magic money, limited only by the greed and insensitivity of GOP fatcats.


But things are always worse than they at first appear with this administration. Look at what he wants to do to help business out:

The national economy, he said, depends on the government making upgrades in education and technology, as well as promoting — and in some cases, helping to advance — groundbreaking business proposals.

“Supporting businesses with this kind of 21st century infrastructure and cutting-edge innovation is our responsibility,” the president said. “Our government has an obligation to make sure that America is the best place on earth to do business — that we have the best schools, the best incentives to innovate and the best infrastructure.”

So. We have this economic system called capitalism, see. It has some faults, but it's built entirely around incentivizing people to work hard and innovate. It's been the most wildly successful motivator for innovation in the world's history, and has been copied by countries worldwide.

Mr. President, we don't have an incentive problem. We have regulation problems. We have tax problems. We have rising energy and commodity prices. We have an increasingly unfavorable global business environment. We have legislative uncertainties hanging over businesses' heads like the Sword of Damocles.

But we want to make money. We want to do business. We want to innovate so that we can make more money and do more business. We don't need more incentives - incentive is built into the American system and psyche.

And we particularly don't need a ridiculous self-defeating scheme whereby the government encourages innovation via incentives funded by taxation, which stifles innovation.

digg this
posted by Geoff at 12:36 PM

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