national debt

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Of Horses and Bayonets

By Rafael Elias
October 25, 2012

When Obama brought up his pre-packaged “zinger” mentioning horses and bayonets, most likely he did not know that there is an economic concept for that: Creative Destruction.

Creative Destruction takes place when new technologies or economic advances replace an industry, a sector, or a specific economic activity (the destruction part) with another that is more modern, more efficient and more effective (the creative part). For example: word processors replaced typewriters and personal computers replaced word processors; laptops are replacing desktops, and tablets are replacing laptops… you get the idea.

The problem with Obama’s argument (one of many problems) is that his smart-aleck comment focused only on the “Destruction” part of the equation and did not even bother to consider the “Creative” part of the process. 

I know, I know…. that should not surprise anyone, but please bear with me.

For starters, Obama tried to make it look as if his analogy illustrated an instance of one technology replacing another. Yet there was never any mention of any kind of replacement. 

To be sure, Obama was not implying that he is cutting the Navy’s budget (or the part of it allocated for building ships) in order to allocate those funds into building aircraft carriers and submarines. That would have been an instance of creative destruction … but no. 

He is focused only in destruction. That is, cutting the Navy’s budget.


Secondly, Creative Destruction would not apply in his example of aircraft carriers and submarines simply because these military assets do not and were never meant to replace ships. Rather, aircraft carriers and submarines are a complement to our defense assets simply because there are certain (key) functions that are and can only be performed by ships as there are also certain and specific functions that can be performed by carriers and subs. 

In other words, just because we have airplanes does no mean we no longer need buses, trucks, or rail. Can you imagine millions of tons of coal being transported throughout the country by plane? 

Well, similarly, can you imagine deploying an aircraft carrier to guard the seas against Somali pirates? How about a submarine to sweep mines in hostile waters in the Middle East? 

Obama’s argument is plain and simple another example of his chronic demagoguery, and bird-brained too. Bluntly put, Creative Destruction just doesn’t apply here and Obama looked outright ignorant as he pretended to appear “cutting” and “sharp”. 

Creative Destruction would mean more investment in naval technologies and ship building, something that does take place but not thanks to Obama. Instead, his proposed cuts in the military budget do precisely the opposite: they curb innovation and limit our capabilities to remain at the helm of the globe’s military technology. 

So when the facts are against you and all you want to do is cut and you justify your cuts with a misleading and outright incorrect argument, there is no childish sarcasm that can hide the truth.

The President should know better. 

But he doesn’t.

See more of Rafael Elias at Political Analysis & Economic Studies (PAnEcS) here ............... http://www.political-analysis.com/

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