Well, this is just about the least reassuring thing one could hear:
About 80 leaders in business and government came together in downtown Cleveland yesterday to discuss the future of the state’s manufacturing. Speakers included Senator Sherrod Brown, Governor Ted Strickland and Ron Bloom, the senior manufacturing adviser to President Obama. Ideastream intern Nick Castele reports that they say it’s time government and industry started working more closely.
With some predicting that the recession will hurt Democrats in the November elections, Ron Bloom said active government can revitalize the country’s manufacturing sector. He said incentives can fill in holes in the market. [emphasis added]
Incentives can fill holes in the market? Yes, because incentives don’t exist at all in the market as it is! Obviously, the only incentives worth talking about are those provided by the state. Let’s see how much more of a caricature of the Obama administration Mr. Bloom can become:
BLOOM: “We have great admiration for the market. But we don’t worship the market. And we understand that there are some things that markets don’t do. That doesn’t make markets bad, it just makes them incomplete.”
Bloom said federal and state governments have a role in funding research and development, educating workers and bringing money to businesses when banks aren’t lending
So the market’s “incomplete.” Alright, I can see that theoretically — market failures exist — but let’s look at a list of things the Obama administration seems to think the market isn’t competent to do, given its attempt to take them over:
Supply student loans
Keep the Internet running
Make cars produced by the state profitable
Protect union jobs
Is it just me or is there something wrong with this list?
Moreover, let’s just assume for the moment that R&D and education are or could be functions of state governments, because those two aren’t the ideas that have gotten the Obama administration into trouble. But “bringing money to businesses when banks aren’t lending?” Do the Obama people honestly believe that banks just randomly decide to stop lending for the hell of it?
If this is the sort of thing Ted Strickland’s expecting to win him the election, I shudder to think what President Obama will have to say on the campaign trail for him.