Monday, March 08, 2010

Obama on clean energy

President Obama speaking at the OPOWER corporation:
The jobs of tomorrow will be jobs in the clean energy sector, and this company is a great emblem for that...We need to invest in the jobs of the future and in the industries of the future, because the country that leads in clean energy and energy efficiency today, I'm absolutely convinced, is going to lead the global economy tomorrow.
How can Barack Obama, with minimal experience in the private sector and zero background in the energy industry, make such sweeping statements? What unique insights has he been granted in order to pronounce that clean energy will provide the jobs of tomorrow, or that whatever country attains a dominant position in this field will parlay it into a leading economic role? What part of his background qualifies him as some kind of economic seer? Should the entire country really chart a particular course on energy all because the president has a hunch?

The arrogance is breathtaking. Obama pretends to know what the future of the energy industry holds. He wants to dictate our travel choices, which in the future will apparently consist of either high-speed rail or hybrid cars. And, most notably, he wants to exert even greater influence on the management of our health care.

That is not to say, of course, that libertarians do not have ideas about matter such as energy or health care. Such ideas, however, consist of less government power and a greater say by individuals and the private sector, for libertarian theory recognizes that a central authority cannot possess all of the answers. Such certainty, mixed with power, is the fatal conceit.

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