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Obama Overplays “We” in Inaugural Speech ^ | January 27, 2013 | Chris Edwards

Posted on 01/27/2013 7:41:22 AM PST by Kaslin

When liberals make reference to U.S. economic history, they typically: 1) downplay the role of entrepreneurs, 2) suggest that bold government action has driven growth, and 3) fail to mention the scandals and screw-ups caused by federal interventions.

President’s Obama’s inaugural address reflected some of those mistakes:

Together we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce….

No single person can … build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores… Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

It is not true that America first invested in railroads and highways because “we determined” to do it through the federal government. In the 19th century, those investments were made by thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses. My new study on infrastructure notes:

Before the 20th century, for example, more than 2,000 turnpike companies in America built more than 10,000 miles of toll roads. And up until the mid-20th  century, most urban rail and bus services were private. With respect to railroads, the federal government subsidized some of the railroads to the West, but most U.S. rail mileage in the 19th century was in the East, and it was generally unsubsidized.

Railroads, streetcars, bus systems, and, to an extent, roads were financed and developed over many decades by innovative businesses taking risks and making gutsy decisions in the marketplace.

The typical pattern has been for the private sector to experiment with new technologies, and then, once certain products or types of infrastructure take off,  politicians want to get in on the action by subsidizing and regulating them. In turn, those interventions have usually led to distortions, scandals, and cost inflation.

Entrepreneurs, for example, had already put in place about 30,000 miles of railroads before the federal government started subsidizing them through the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. And in an early illustration of the problems with such crony capitalism, the railroad subsidies led to the huge Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872.

It also turned out that America didn’t need subsidies for railroads. With his Great Northern Railway, entrepreneur James Hill showed that you could build a cross-country rail system without federal help. Federal involvement in U.S. transportation history is discussed further here and here.

So, no Mr. Obama, we don’t need Washington to build our “roads and networks and research labs.” Indeed, more than ever we should be encouraging entrepreneurs to take on those tasks. You and your economic advisors, for example, should check out the beautiful new Jordan Bridge in Virginia, which was constructed with $142 million of private funds.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial

1 posted on 01/27/2013 7:41:24 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I want to say his use of “we” is better than the “I” he normally uses...but, nah, it ain’t.

2 posted on 01/27/2013 7:51:05 AM PST by moovova
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To: Kaslin
No single person can create the roads and research labs necessary to move the country forward. That’s true. I’ll go so far as to say no single group of people, no matter how gifted, can do it either. It’s also insanity to think a team or teams of bureaucrats are up to the task of doing the job. The more tightly they grasp, the more things will slip through their fingers. It’s not like it hasn’t been tried before. It has, and it failed miserably (at the price of millions of lives).

A better way? Let millions upon millions of free thinking people find the most efficient and innovative ways to improve the USA. Move government, which indeed has a role to play, to the lowest possible level.

Unfortunately, our dear leader is simply incapable of seeing the beauty of such a solution. He’s hopelessly tied to a pernicious, destructive ideology.

3 posted on 01/27/2013 7:58:25 AM PST by CitizenUSA (Why celebrate evil? Evil is easy. Good is the goal worth striving for.)
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To: Kaslin

Collectivism is his only game. He will force it on us as often as possible in the next 4 years.

4 posted on 01/27/2013 8:25:55 AM PST by originalbuckeye (Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy)
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To: Kaslin
An outstanding book on this topic is "The Myth of the Robber Barons" by Burton Folsom. He thoroughly documents how crony capitalism wasted capital in railroads, oil, steel and steamships throughout the 1800s. Government subsidies to the steamship industry in the 1840s funded lavish floating palaces using inefficient, out-of-date technology resulting in sky-high rates that only the ultra-rich could afford. It took Cornelius Vanderbilt, eschewing subsidies, to build modern low-cost lines with the latest technologies that average men and women could afford.
5 posted on 01/27/2013 8:28:54 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Kaslin

I know a number of people who built their companies from the ground up by themselves.

NO grants.

Limited loans.

LONG hours.

HARD work.

Single-minded focus on their goals.

George Hurst developed the Hurst 4 speed shifter and the Jaws of Life in a one car garage in Pennsylvania.

The 4 speed shifter was very successful and he GAVE the JAWS OF LIFE to fire departments everywhere.

Obama has never had a callus on his hands in his entire life. He doesn’t know how to run machinery—only his mouth. He will go to his grave hammering at the successes of others, but never have any successes of his own except on the level of street hustler.

We cannot be rid of him fast enough.

6 posted on 01/27/2013 8:45:31 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: CitizenUSA

Nicely put.

7 posted on 01/27/2013 8:49:12 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: moovova
I want to say his use of “we” is better than the “I” he normally uses...but, nah, it ain’t.

He only uses "we" to try to convince folks he's on our side. He always uses "I" to brag on his "accomplishments".

8 posted on 01/27/2013 8:57:18 AM PST by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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To: Kaslin

We must do these things together = More Taxes

9 posted on 01/27/2013 9:47:22 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: ridesthemiles; Kaslin

my tag line

10 posted on 01/27/2013 12:32:43 PM PST by 4Liberty (Some on our "Roads & Bridges" head to the beach. Others head to their offices, farms, libraries....)
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