January 15, 2015

Obama’s Peculiar, Thwarted View of Economics

George Will: “[Barack Obama] said [Keystone] would create ‘a couple thousand’ jobs (the State Department study says approximately 42,100 ‘direct, indirect, and induced’) and said, unintelligibly, ‘those are temporary jobs until the construction actually happens.’ Well. Obama revealed his economic sophistication years ago when he said that ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cost jobs. He does not understand that, outside of government, which is all that he knows or respects, all jobs are ‘temporary.’ John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets and an editor of Forbes, notes that Borders had 10,700 employees and 399 bookstores until it had none of either, thanks in part to Amazon, whose 150,000 employees have probably participated in enough creative destruction to know that permanence is a chimera. Blockbuster … had 60,000 employees and more than 9,000 stores until rivals such as Netflix appeared. To oppose the pipeline is to favor more oil being transported by trains, which have significant carbon footprints, and accidents. To do this in the name of environmental fastidiousness is hilarious. America has more than 2 million miles of natural gas pipelines and approximately 175,000 miles of pipelines carrying hazardous liquids, yet we are exhorted to be frightened about 1,179 miles of Keystone?”

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