Home > History Repeating Itself, Human Limits, Primacy of Society, The Outsiders, Unions > Quote of the day on the State of Union – Megan McArdle

Quote of the day on the State of Union – Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle writes in the Atlantic about President Obama’s state of the union address.  I know that I am a few days late, but this quote was too insightful to pass up:

I think the speech made it even clearer than other speeches have that the president’s vision of the world is a lightly updated 1950s technocracy without the social conservatism, and with solar panels instead of rocket ships.  Government and labor and business working in tightly controlled concert, with nice people like Obama at the reins–all the inventions coming out of massive government or corporate labs, and all the resulting products built by a heavily unionized workforce that knows no worry about the future.

As David Boaz said last night, Obama’s talk of blueprints was telling.  A blueprint is a simple plan that an architect imposes on an inanimate object.  Obama really does seem to think that he can manage the economy in the same way.  No, I don’t think that he is a socialist.  Rather, I think that he really believes there are technocratic levers that can make the income distribution flatter, the rate of innovation faster, and the banking system safer, without undesireable side effects.

I had hoped that the last three years had taught Obama the limits of this sort of thinking.  But if they have, he certainly hasn’t chosen to share that hard-won knowledge with the rest of us.

This is the belief that all of modern “progressivism” is built on, and it amazes me that people still buy in.

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