America on a Flatbed

The presidential limo is a perfect metaphor for the economy. The people who claim authority have no idea what it runs on. 

President Obama was due in Israel. So the advance team wheels his non-sequestered limo out of the cargo plane and over to the gas pumps to make sure he has a full tank when he arrives. Apparently there is some concern he might have to make a hasty retreat and won’t have time to fill it up later. Whoever was filling it up didn’t know that it ran on diesel and filled it up with regular.

Apparently, they don’t teach Diesel Technology over at the Kennedy School of Government. The education of America’s intellectual elite has left them all woefully ignorant of common things, like why some gas pumps have green handles. 

We’re supposed to have a division of labor in this nation. By allowing each American to specialize, we only need knowledge within the scope of our chosen field. Lawyers don’t have to know anything about cars, and people who fix cars don’t need to know anything about law.

Well, actually, they do now. Because anyone who wants to open an auto shop doesn’t just need a good set of wrenches; he needs to have an attorney in the toolbox—someone to sort through the reams of regulations instructing them how to legally charge an AC system, how to dispose of used fluids, and which parts of the emission control system they are legally allowed to alter.

Time was, when a car was running rough, you could just yank out the fuel injectors and bolt on a nice chrome aftermarket carburetor. Nowadays, this will make it really difficult to pass the smog check and may even earn you some time in a federal prison.

It's actually curious that the President’s car uses any petroleum. Seems to me a true leader should set an example by driving an electric limousine. A "green" President in a carbon-based vehicle is as hypocritical as Al Gore’s beach-house. Of course, having to charge up the limo for 24 hours before the President's arrival might interrupt his tee time. And if the drivers are incapable of distinguishing diesel from regular, how are they ever going to make sure they have the correct overseas voltage converter?

Centrally planned societies always fail, when bureaucrats get involved into things beyond their understanding. Of course, those advanced degrees and awards leave them incapable of believing anything is beyond their understanding; and they're always eager to draft some new legislation. It's implausible that a simple mechanic might know a little more about the auto industry, that doctors might know more about health care, and bankers might know more about finance.

And pumping cash into an economy that runs on freedom won't get you anywhere.


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