Monday, June 20, 2011

The Obama Economy and the Dunning-Kruger Effect

While over at my favorite online hangout, Ace of Spades HQ this weekend, I discovered something new called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It’s new to me at least, although this concept has been around for over ten years.

Did I mention I’m from Alabama, and that I can be a little slow on the uptake as a result?

Oh, well.

Anywho, I was pleasantly surprised to see something I’ve known all of my adult life recognized as the psychological malady it is. For those of you haven’t yet heard of this phenomenon, here it is in a nutshell: a person’s incompetence inhibits his or her ability to recognize his or her incompetence.

And nowhere is this more readily apparent than in the Obama administrations' flailing about on the economy. We who understand a free market economy see one disastrous decision followed by another equally disastrous decision. TARP, Cash for Clunkers, the bailouts of GM and Chrysler, the Dodd-Frank bill, the refusal of the administration to proceed on previous trade agreements, the NLRB’s interference in Boeing’s new South Carolina Dreamliner plant are all part and parcel of this administrations’ War on American Prosperity.

And they are winning.

It’s clear that Obama hasn’t a clue when it comes to economic matters. And none of the academics he tapped to help him with them know either, which explains why none of them are around anymore. Having done so much damage, they’ve fled Washington for the safety of their tenured teaching jobs, much like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

They literally don’t know what they don’t know, and what’s worse, they refuse to recognize they don’t know.

We’re seeing more attempts by this administration to reach out to private sector business leaders. Here’s the latest proposal according to

Buffeted by glum economic news and frustrated by chronic joblessness despite $1 trillion in stimulus spending, the Obama administration has begun exploring a plethora of new proposals aimed at jump-starting the economy.

Cuts in payroll taxes, reductions in the corporate tax rate, opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce gas prices, and persuading Republicans to buy into more stimulus programs are just a few of the concepts reportedly being discussed.
The operative word above is “discussed.” Whether or not any of these ideas will result in concrete action to remove government restrictions on the economy remains to be seen. One would think that after two years of increasingly dismal stats, someone in the White House would start to think that maybe they’re doing it wrong.

That’s where the Dunning-Kruger effect comes in. This administration is so inept that their ineptness prevents them from seeing their ineptness.

The Obama administration just can’t seem to realize that they’re the primary cause of our current economic doldrums. Of course, that’s giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping that their hearts are in the right place.

There’s also another thing that must be recognized, namely that they know full well what they’re doing and are doing it on purpose. If they were trying to destroy our economy and move us toward socialism, what would they be doing any differently? After two years of stifling government intervention resulting in a New Great Depression, could they finally be able to figure out that what they’re doing isn’t working?

This is becoming increasing doubtful, especially when we see this administration giving $2B to Brazil to increase their oil drilling capacity while at the same time restricting new American drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico.

It kinda makes you wonder whose side they’re on, doesn’t it?

It also doesn’t help when our Manufacturing Czar, Ron Bloom, is a union lawyer and not someone with actual manufacturing experience. It also doesn’t help when says that the free market is a joke and that he agrees with Mao that political power comes from the barrel of a gun.

I’m not encouraged.

Even White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said at last week’s meeting with the manufacturing community that didn’t have any good answers to the regulatory nightmare that businesses are experiencing thanks to the Obama administration and the 111th Pelosi-Reid Congress.

Daley said he did not have many good answers, appearing to throw up his hands in frustration at what he called “bureaucratic stuff that’s hard to defend.”

“Sometimes you can’t defend the indefensible,” he said.

That sounds like the beginning of a clue. Almost.

The proof of this administrations’ clue-getting will be real steps to reduce the crushing burden of government red tape that’s currently estimated to cost us $1.7Trillion each year.

Talk is nice, but it won’t get us out of this economic ditch that Obama slid into.

Action will.

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