In an interview
with MSNBC, President Obama finally revealed to us why his economic policies are not helping solve the unemployment crisis: machines. Yes, ignore all those oppressive government regulations, the obnoxious size of taxes, and the massive debt accumulated by silly things like bank bailouts and a government stimulus program. Our economic misery is the fault of ATMs, self-check-out counters in Wal Mart, airport kiosks, and the machines. See, this is a similar line of thinking to the famous broken window fallacy
that Keynesian types are so quick to embrace. They ignore that just because one part of the economy is seeing a decrease (in Obama's case, cashiers and bank tellers) does not necessarily mean the entire economy is hurting; if we have more ATMs, we need more mechanics to make and upkeep them, and money spent on paying tellers can be spent elsewhere that will create jobs.
That, and Obama's comments are just flat wrong, as Jonah Goldberg points out
. Since the creation of the ATM, there have been 42,000 new bank teller jobs and the number of tellers is expected to grow 6% between 2008 and 2018. While it is true that the creation of automated services has significantly altered our economy, it has not hurt it. Just as he can no longer hang the lackluster economy around President Bush's neck, so too can he not hang it around Skynet's. The real automated overlord to be concerned about is the expansive federal bureaucracy choking our economy to death.