At the State of the Union Show Obama ask three domestic policy questions:
First, how do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?
Second, how do we make technology work for us, and not against us – especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change?
And finally, how can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst?
These questions all have straightforward answers but Obama won’t like any of them. Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute writes that these questions were answered before they were asked by Joseph Schumpeter, Ronald Coase, and Friedrich Hayek, in that order.
Obama won’t like the answers because as Murray explains by reference to the teaching and philosophy of all three economists, the answers lie in having the government do a lot less and the free market do a lot more. Murray explains each answer in detail, but the general idea is for America to allow the natural spontaneous order that will emerge from the actions of millions of ordinary people making daily decisions in what they perceive to be in their own best interest and to stop stacking the deck based upon the plans of a few government politicians and bureaucrats. The politicians and bureaucrats lack the necessary knowledge to know what is best for the people, even if they cared about it. In other words, having government step back and allowing the free market in goods, services and ideas to operate.
The irony is in Obama asking questions to which he would never accept the correct answers. It’s sad as well because the answers are pragmatically easy but politically impossible.
[The second question rests on the false premise of “climate change” being an urgent challenge, but how to make technology work for us is still an appropriate question]