On manufacturing: Just what we need, more words

posted at 12:40 pm on June 24, 2011 by Tina Korbe

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., today, the president will announce a $500 million manufacturing initiative aimed to bring together industry, universities and the government to determine the best investments to boost America’s competitiveness and create jobs. That sounds nice.

“Today, I’m calling for all of us to come together… to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world,” Obama said in a written statement. “With these key investments, we can ensure that the United States remains a nation that ‘invents it here and manufactures it here’ and creates high-quality, good paying jobs for American workers.”

The president is expected to highlight several specific initiatives this morning, including a $70 million project to award grants to companies that are making major advances in robotics and a plan to invest $100 million in “material genomes.”

The president is right to worry about the manufacturing sector. Since he took office, the nation has lost some 865,000 manufacturing jobs. The president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommended this latest initiative — officially titled the “Advanced Manufacturing Partnership,” or AMP (so many cute acronyms in government speak!). Those advisors surely have some expertise — but, you kind of have to wonder, does a president who accuses ATMs of killing jobs really understand the importance of innovation?

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has the same question. Because I’m on a Ron Johnson fan girl kick today, I might as well share this video, the senator’s preemptive response to whatever the president might say today in his speech at Carnegie Mellon.

The Milton Friedman story Johnson shares is particularly magical.

Milton Friedman once visited China and saw workers digging a canal with shovels.  When he asked, “why not use bulldozers?” He was told because digging with shovels created more jobs.  Friedman replied, “Then why not use spoons, instead of shovels?”

Why not, indeed? So simple, so sensible, so brilliant.

Perhaps this partnership will yield results — I don’t really want to knock it. Certainly, I understand the exigencies of laboratory research. It’s a rare area in which government funding even for failure makes sense, as each failure brings a researcher closer to success. But on a higher level entirely, nothing prompts innovation like the lure of profit and I question whether a $500 million government-academia-industry initiative will do much more than provide the president with a photo op and an excuse to say he’s addressed the manufacturing sector. The initiative doesn’t seem to pay nearly enough respect to the reality that the private sector — and not the government — creates jobs.


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So which union is he paying off this time?

BigWyo on June 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Front – a perfect depiction of Baracki Obamalini.

Schadenfreude on June 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

President Present still doesn’t get it. Governments don’t create jobs. Just get out of the way.

ornery_independent on June 24, 2011 at 12:45 PM

“Way to go Mr. President. I almost believe the crap you say too! Wait, this mike is on????”

“Dammit Joe!”

BacaDog on June 24, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Sounds more like a handout redistribution of wealth to his most loyal lefty universities.

txhsmom on June 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

“Today, I’m calling for all of us to come together… to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world,” Obama said in a written statement.

I’ve worked in manufacturing for almost 35 years. What we need is the government and their union cronies to get the hell out of the way. We can spark ourselves.

Patrick S on June 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Today I’m annoucing that I’m calling for the Can’t Really Accept this President, or CRAP Initiative, for every American to get a free sports car. I’m not doing anything substantive to make it happen, I’m just calling for it.

Meric1837 on June 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

But none of these jobs are for South Carolina…

Akzed on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Really? A 5 year plan? Because that’s what this nonsense amounts to. And any so called innovations this think tank will produce would be improved upon and left behind by the private sector long before these Communist planners ever got around to implementing anything.

It would appear that getting rid of Van Jones allowed 30 other Commie morons to take his place in the administration.

NotCoach on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

And who was it here that was trying to convince me that there was no new spending going on?

roflmao

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Today I’m annoucing that I’m calling for the Can’t Really Accept this President, or CRAP Initiative, for every American to get a free sports car. I’m not doing anything substantive to make it happen, I’m just calling for it.

Meric1837 on June 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I’ll answer that call! Long live CRAP!

ornery_independent on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

The root cause of the decline in manufacturing is the minimum wage and labor unions. That other contries are producing more is just ripping away the vale that hid it.
Of course, manufacturing is not really the top of the food chain economically anymore. It is, after all, the information age.

Count to 10 on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

So, where is he going to get the money, again…?

d1carter on June 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM

The root cause of the decline in manufacturing is the minimum wage and labor unions. That other contries are producing more is just ripping away the vale that hid it.
Of course, manufacturing is not really the top of the food chain economically anymore. It is, after all, the information age.

Count to 10 on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Let’s not forget the EPA, OSHA, NLRB…etc…

ornery_independent on June 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., today, the president will announce a $500 million manufacturing initiative aimed to bring together industry, universities and the government to determine the best investments to boost America’s competitiveness and create jobs.

What a dumba**.

You want to find out what the best investments are to boost America’s competitiveness and create jobs? Here’s what you do:

People will find the best investments when THEY’RE SPENDING THEIR OWN MONEY!!!!!! You can’t give money to a bunch of people and tell them to “invest it wisely” if they’re not putting anything into it and not getting anything out of it other than a pat on the head from ‘der One.

Cripes. The blind spot of this moron is truly staggering at times.

PackerBronco on June 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Today I’m annoucing that I’m calling for the Can’t Really Accept this President, or CRAP Initiative, for every American to get a free sports car. I’m not doing anything substantive to make it happen, I’m just calling for it.

Meric1837 on June 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

What a piece of CRAP

clnurnberg on June 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I question whether a $500 million government-academia-industry initiative will do much more than provide the president with a photo op and an excuse to say he’s addressed the manufacturing sector.

Don’t underestimate the power of $500 millions.

Which can buy a lot of good will in the academia.

Sir Napsalot on June 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

So, where is he going to get the money, again…?
d1carter on June 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM

This goes nowhere.

The GOP congress will treat it like a turd on someone else’s lawn.

Obooba gets to beat the GOP with their inaction on his brilliant wonderful manufacturing plan.

“The Republicans, they’re against, uh, manufacturing…”

Akzed on June 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM

“Today, I’m calling for all of us to come together… to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world,” Obama said

If anyone wants to see a great example of the all-wise federal government “helping” innovation, be sure to test drive the new Chevy Volt.

Cicero43 on June 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM

The root cause of the decline in manufacturing is the minimum wage and labor unions.

Count to 10 on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Correct. Too bad economic reality flies in the face of Modern Liberalism. Therefore Obama and other Leftists, including some GOP, will continue down the wrong path.

The poor and less fortunate hardest hit, as usual.

visions on June 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

More money down the rat hole…

An elephant is a mouse designed to meet government specs.

That $500 million will soon become a billion or two, if not more, wasted on funding grants, of course, and there will be no new initiatives, and damn little innovation stemming from this new and improved Obama program.

coldwarrior on June 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

If not for government, what would inventors do? It’s not like people can come up with their own ideas.

RBMN on June 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Spoons for everyone, jobs for all – in every destroyed industry.

http://www.guvsux.com/guvsux_20081027.jpg

beatcanvas on June 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Why not, indeed? So simple, so sensible, so brilliant.

Why not cut off every American’s hands and gouge their eyes out? Just think how many people would be put back to work just to perform the most mundane tasks.

Everyone working, no one producing anything of value and we all become poorer…wait.

I mean no more unemployment, innovation dead and we all live shorter, pain filled lives…um.

This smart guberment innovation stufamajig is hard! I need $500 million grant to get it right I think.

NotCoach on June 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM

And who was it here that was trying to convince me that there was no new spending going on?

roflmao

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Wasn’t that Buck Rogers, who thinks the Rebumblicans elected in 2010 waved a magic wand and stopped the financial hemorrhage? I had a good laugh at that too.

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Perhaps this partnership will yield results — I don’t really want to knock it. Certainly, I understand the exigencies of laboratory research. It’s a rare area in which government funding even for failure makes sense, as each failure brings a researcher closer to success.

What?! Tina! When the government lures industry and academia to join it with taxpayer money, it is already a failure! You would think we would have learned from these types of failures. Government, universities and industry are going to determine the best investments to boost America’s competitiveness and create jobs? Bribe everybody to join in on a huge central planning binge? The marketplace is where investments are decided and innovations invented to compete for those investments. This isn’t free market capitalism, it’s state capitalism/crony capitalism/central planning Bullstuff!

cartooner on June 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

And who was it here that was trying to convince me that there was no new spending going on?

roflmao

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Wasn’t that Buck Rogers, who thinks the Rebumblicans elected in 2010 waved a magic wand and stopped the financial hemorrhage? I had a good laugh at that too.

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Ah, yes, that was it, thanks. lol

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Thank you President Obama.

crr6 on May 1, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Knucklehead on June 24, 2011 at 1:00 PM

The govt has been contributing $$$ to colleges to train people in various different ways for a long time.

My link is only one small example. I’m sure there’s many more.

There’s absolutely no reason to add to any of this.

Badger40 on June 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Where is the $500 million coming from? Last time I looked, despite having an imperial president, congress still needs to OK spending. Either he is shifting funds or he thinks he can convince congress to spend on this boondoggle. I doubt it is the later. That means it is already approved funds. So what new spending, besides the continuing resolutions of already existing programs, has this congress agreed to?

NotCoach on June 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

If not for government, what would inventors do? It’s not like people can come up with their own ideas.

RBMN on June 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

+1

Badger40 on June 24, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I have solid, unrefutable evidence that Bank Of America and FAnnie Mae and Freddie Mac have given a grant to India for customer service. It is preserved on digital and on hard CD.

Obama, you stupid effing POTUS? Why are you outsourcing customer service jobs to India on a “grant” from Fannie Mae?

I have it all on CD.

The man’s name was… get this:

German
Customer service rep 9993

From India.

Key West Reader on June 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM

It’s a rare area in which government funding even for failure makes sense, as each failure brings a researcher closer to success.

Oh, yikes – who are you and why are you writing for a conservative website?

If you argue that with each failure a researcher gets closer to success, than you can use that argument for *any* government intervention and spending on any kind of research at all, not simply some ‘rare area’ that makes you feel more comfortable with a decidedly unconservative proposition.

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Manufacturing is going to come back to America due to the favorable tax code, impending ObamaCare, and increased regulations. Yes sir, this Obama guy really knows his stuff about creating jobs.

ny59giants on June 24, 2011 at 1:07 PM

…does a president who accuses ATMs of killing jobs really understand the importance of innovation?

Would that be the same president who says his analysis of the “profit and earning ratios” indicates it’s a good time to buy stock?

The little poseur is too smart by half.

petefrt on June 24, 2011 at 1:07 PM

You don’t want to knock it? I will: it’s a colossal waste of $500 million urgently needed elsewhere. State planned economies suck, unless you are Lee Kwan Yew and even then they aren’t much fin. The election can’t come fast enough.

Just yesterday that tax-cheat scum Geithner testified before Renee Elmers that he supports robbing small businesses and thereby increasing middle class unemployment.

Why does he support this, you ask? Because of crappy programs like this one, that’s why.

Get some moral certainty: take a stand against this and every other such BS “program” or “partnership”.

MTF on June 24, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Now we know where Obama got the “Shovel Ready Jobs” idea. More proof that the guy is a communist.

All Presidents have to dumb down the business/economics talk so that even Democrats can dimly grasp whatever idea the Prez is trying to sell. Obama though actually sounds dumb himself when he talks about business/economics. It’s as though he has memorized the ‘Little Red Book’ on business but can only regurgitate the phrases. “Business and government must partner…” blah, blah. Even the Soviets didn’t actually BELIEVE the BS they were shovelling. With Obama I get the opposite impression.

JimP on June 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Where is the $500 million coming from? Last time I looked, despite having an imperial president, congress still needs to OK spending. Either he is shifting funds or he thinks he can convince congress to spend on this boondoggle. I doubt it is the later. That means it is already approved funds. So what new spending, besides the continuing resolutions of already existing programs, has this congress agreed to?

NotCoach on June 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

There, there – you just keep telling yourself that everything that’s being spent has already been approved, that no new spending is going on, that the ever-growing government spending isn’t really – you know, growing – that ever-increasing deficit isn’t really happening, etc.

Whatever helps you feel happy!

I mean, government spending *is* increasing. You do acknowledge this, right? If we spend more than last year, which was more than the year before, then… there’s new spending. And if it has to be approved before hand, then… ok, I guess it was approved before hand. And since we don’t have a budget and are operating under continuing resolutions, then… who is approving the continuing resolutions?

It wouldn’t be those guys that got elected in 2010 that you claim are preventing any ‘new spending’, would it?

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

It’s a rare area in which government funding even for failure makes sense, as each failure brings a researcher closer to success

Well … we’ve been funding Bambi’s failures for 2 and half years now and I guess we are about a year and a half away from ultimate successs. So there is that.

PackerBronco on June 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Why can’t they just cut taxes and let the marketplace decide where the money should go?

I know, I know, then there would just too much Liberty going on out there..

Chip on June 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Save the $500 million. Just call Gov. Rick Perry in Austin. Manufacturing is actually growing here in the Lone Star State. Maybe because we are a right to work state, huh?

publiuspen on June 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Gee, what happens when after $500 million spent, the innovative concept becomes we need more ATM’s and a lot more non-human interlinks to make things more efficient…thus we end up with another 10 million or so unemployed, thanks to technology?

Luddites had a good point.

coldwarrior on June 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Another half-billion tax dollars, flushed down the Marxist toilet.

AZCoyote on June 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM

“Building jobs. Investing in in the future. Investing in educations. Infrastucture, repairing crumbling roads and bridges.
\\
Oh, Puke

Where is Evan Bayh?

Key West Reader on June 24, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Look for the Union label

faraway on June 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

the president will announce a $500 million manufacturing initiative

This is not a manufacturing initiative. It’s a study initiative. It’s the formation of yet another study commission, this one dominated by gubmint bureaucrats and university dilettantes with zero practical experience with the subject matter.

When at a loss for constructive action, feign action by appointing a commission to study the problem.

petefrt on June 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Midas on June 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I am going to ask the question again. What new programs have been created since this congress was sworn in?

Yes, the pitiful cuts made when the continuing resolutions were passed are garbage. Yes the deficit is growing. But not because spending is that much higher this year then last, but because revenues continues to plummet in this continuing recession. Yes, we need to do some serious cutting. No, it will not happen with the Dems still controlling the Senate and the WH.

But what new spending programs or initiatives have been passed under this congress.

NotCoach on June 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Central planning and picking winners and losers (crony capitalism)- and they wonder why the economy sucks ass.
Hurry, November 2012.

jjshaka on June 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

NotCoach on June 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

There is still unspent stimulus funds available.

chemman on June 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

chemman on June 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Unfortunately. This congress should have tried to revoke these and unspent TARP funds as well. Too many establishment Republicans still around. They shut up when Lindsey “Jackass” Graham tells them too.

NotCoach on June 24, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Jobs……..the enemy of any administration that wants to grow dependency on the Federal Government.

So, naturally if you think this Administration wants Americans begging from the Ruling Class in DC you should think Jobs are enemy # 1.

PappyD61 on June 24, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Why doesn’t he just repeal laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and let the private sector come back to life?

Oh, I forgot, the king gets to choose the winners and losers.

Oh, and we are broke, aren’t we?

PattyJ on June 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

It’s a rare area in which government funding even for failure makes sense, as each failure brings a researcher closer to success.

I’d say whether or not government funding makes sense depends entirely on what’s being researched. For example, the government has a vested interest in warfare and weaponry research, so funding for robotics makes sense (I’m not sure what Obama means by “material genomes”). If we still had a space program, funding in those areas would make sense. On the other hand, I think a decent case can be made against even medical and drug research funding. And I certainly don’t trust this president’s wisdom in these matters.

SukieTawdry on June 24, 2011 at 1:26 PM

What a moron.

Does dear leader not know that the last thing we need are “tools” or “training” to invigorate manufacturing ?

The only thing the US would need to take the global lead in manufacturing again is… people willing to work for $5 per day. Like they do in China.

Cost of labor CHEAP = manufacturing

deadrody on June 24, 2011 at 1:28 PM

That picture of Øbama looks like Foghorn J., I say, Foghorn J. Leghorn.

petefrt on June 24, 2011 at 1:29 PM

We already have this program–long standing, well-funded, and in nearly every department of the government. They are called the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)programs. These are industry/university partnerships to do exactly what he is proposing. It might be nice for someone in the executive branch to know what they are already doing.

Margee on June 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

“… the president will announce a $500 million manufacturing initiative aimed to bring together industry, universities and the government… ”

Of the three, only industry can do anything about manufacturing. The government, universities & their labor union brethren will do everything to handcuff industry with regulations, taxes, and unlimited union benefits.

Our President is truly a dumba$$.

Danny on June 24, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I say Obutthead spend his own money on these future crap sessions that do nothing.

This isn’t about jobs, it’s just another rip off of tax payers, to make him look good, and get him re-elected.

capejasmine on June 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

<blockquotLook for the Union label

faraway on June 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

When I see the Union label I tend to cross the street.

Key West Reader on June 24, 2011 at 1:40 PM

“… the president will announce a $500 million manufacturing initiative aimed to bring together industry, universities and the government… ”

Local economy booms on sales of tweed jackets with suede elbow patches…..

BacaDog on June 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM

I have absolute irrefutable proof of the fact that Fannie Mae has retained a company based in India with a “grant”

To provide “Customer service”.

/WTH. They’re going to take down the internet anyway. Nobody cares and nobody will ever know.

Key West Reader on June 24, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Perhaps this partnership will yield results — I don’t really want to knock it. Certainly, I understand the exigencies of laboratory research. It’s a rare area in which government funding even for failure makes sense, as each failure brings a researcher closer to success.

Shrimp on a treadmill? Was that a sucessful or a failed test?

If it was sucessful, what did we learn?

If it failed, what do we need to do next?

BobMbx on June 24, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Obama announced this week he will be visitin our little spot in flyover country. He will be visiting the ALCOA plant in Davenport/Bettendorft, IA. How nice. That also happens to be the same week of the John Deere Classic golf Tournament. Cooincidence?

Traffic is already tough during the tourney now we have added burden of The One!

Yikes!

Terri on June 24, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I tend to stop reading at “government investments.”

For the government to “help our manufacturers” is like that ancient joke about the Boy Scout trying to help the old lady across the street, the old lady who didn’t want to cross the street in the first place.

Drained Brain on June 24, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Mr. pResident has appointed Mr. Wesley Mouch and Dr. Floyd Ferris to take charge of this initiative.

I wonder: Will they recommend the Equalization of Opportunity Act first, or just go directly to Directive 10-289?

LegendHasIt on June 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM

If it’s “green” I’m going to scream.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Andrew Liveris, the Dow Chemical CEO, is going to be co-chair of this initiative. Meanwhile, Tim Geithner has put the bullseye on small business tax hikes. I’m afraid this initiative will be more money going to the large companies that have the resources to lobby the government for handouts. I could put together a manufacturing initiative really quick–certainty on future tax rates and benefits costs

phillypolitics on June 24, 2011 at 2:30 PM

This initiative should be DOA.

GarandFan on June 24, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Heh, the guy who says ATMs steal jobs wants to invest our tax dollars in robotics.

He can’t conceive of any solutions that don’t involve spending money. If he really wanted to spur manufacturing, he’d get the government the he77 out of our way.

obladioblada on June 24, 2011 at 3:20 PM

When the government manufactures nothing why do they think they know anything about a business? I think the experience of his cabinet is about 8% as far as having a business experience.

mixplix on June 24, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Maybe the robots will be unionized?

obladioblada on June 24, 2011 at 3:20 PM

This pathetic excuse for a leader still thinks he can make some wretched speech and the world will fall at his feet. It’s sadly delusional on one hand and dangerously delusional on the other. Hell hath no fury like a narcissist scorned.

clnurnberg on June 24, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I work for a non-profit research park in the Mid-Atlantic region. We lease property from the university and have five buildings that help emerging technology companies. We are part of a group called AURP. What I can say with certainty is that universities do great research, but then it dies. Universities don’t have any outlet to commercialize their products. They often allow tenured professors to start businesses, but academia often has little business experience. The university that we are affiliated with recently opened up a Technology Transfer office that will allow small businesses to license patents that the university owns. However, not all universities are doing this. And universities believe that they have ownership rights to anything jointly developed by the private sector. However, I think this will help the state tremendously. Not only will it create opportunities for entrepreneurs, but also develop a royalty stream back the the university that may be used to reduce tuition rates or reduce the money they receive from state. It will also help graduates follow their work into the private sector.

djaymick on June 24, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Of course, manufacturing is not really the top of the food chain economically anymore. It is, after all, the information age.

Count to 10 on June 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

It would be at or near the top if our regulatory environment, taxes, unions and minimum wage didn’t incentivize business to produce goods overseas. We still have a huge need for manufactured items, they just aren’t manufactured here.

obladioblada on June 24, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Spoon ready jobs.

rjoco1 on June 24, 2011 at 3:23 PM

The spoons vs bulldozers example is obvious to all but the most hardcore of little Bammie’s base, but there are many millions of democratics that really believe that government hiring is a boost to the economy. We might vote little Bammie out of office, but stupid can’t be fixed.

PS: Agree on greedy unions; look for the union label and run like hell in the other direction.

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM

So which union is he paying off this time?

BigWyo on June 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

If there isn’t a company, they will start one that they can pay off.

Mcguyver on June 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM

The government should manufacture ATM machines….

Put themselves out of business, baby.

Mcguyver on June 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Government-itis is a symptom that hits career politicians hard and its difficult to shake. It’s the belief that government is the only entity that can solve the problems of the world.

I’m reminded of something really stupid that was said by Mike Huckabee during the 2008 debates. It was something along the line that government should award a $1 billion prize to first car company that can create an affordable family car that gets 200 mpg without sacrificing safety or convienence.

I wanted to shout at the screen: “Doofus! The company that invents a car like that doesn’t need your $1 billion. They’ll make more than that in the free market!”

PackerBronco on June 24, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Rainbow powered unicorn factories.

Caststeel on June 24, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Who sits on The president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology PCAST board? #1 on the list? John “hey, let’s put sterilants in the drinking water” Holdren. The vast majority of the members are…you guessed it…professors.

Buy Danish on June 24, 2011 at 5:05 PM

PCast Board:

Holdren, the Google CEO….just pathetic.

PattyJ on June 24, 2011 at 5:26 PM

djaymick on June 24, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Respectfully, you don’t seem to understand that if taxes and regulations weren’t onerous on businesses the businesses would fund their own research and all the college profs would be working for the businesses doing the research. Businesses have an incentive to do this. This is how it used to work and it is what made the U.S. a leader, if not the leader in innovation. It all started going very rapidly down hill after LBJ’s administration. Now taxpayers’ money goes to fund the research via grants and outrageous tuition prices and increases aided and abetted by federally insured student loans, and on and on. Colleges will not reduce their tuitions etc. They aren’t in competition with the private sector. Yes, colleges do have private donations from alumni etc that fund research, but it doesn’t equal the taxpayer expropriations that they receive for this work. End the taxapyer subsidies to the colleges. Then there will be competition and the colleges and their researches can work out agreements on ownership rights without government involvement except via the normal court system.

JimP on June 24, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Anecdotal: I was grocery shopping for my mother in a Pittsburgh suburb today and the grumbling about the traffic headaches ObaMao’s visit provoked started a lively conversation in the checkout line. People are mighty fed up with this jerk’s bread and circuses. They know that his economic policies are hitting them in the pocketbook.

Now, the Pittsburgh area is solidly blue– at least in the city, but to hear the negativity so roundly shared among strangers was a good sign that people are waking up.

Why couldn’t the president have made this announcement via a conference call or some sort of video link? The constant campaigner is very transparent.

I say this as a product of Carnegie-Mellon’s graduate school: ObaMao is destroying this nation’s economy. I spit on his opportunism.

onlineanalyst on June 24, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Get out your wallets, folks: We’re funding geekwads to create robot-y stuff that the private sector cannot afford, does not want and can’t use for any practical purpose. I am assuming more of our money will be needed when the government buys this robot-y stuff because we can’t let it rust after spending a half-billion on it.

I hear the sound of the Wreckovery toilet flushing.

Philly on June 24, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Just a reminder…when idiots are in charge.

It can happen.

Too big to fail, remember?

coldwarrior on June 25, 2011 at 7:33 AM

Just not in right to work states. I put this just words speech right up there with his we will create 10,000 new engineers speech. Who knew we had that many trains. He’s trying to sound positive and uplifting but it’s not working.

Kissmygrits on June 25, 2011 at 10:12 AM