Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

I thought I was done talking about Obama’s Chamber of Commerce speech. But the Mises Institute’s Jeffrey Tucker has tackled another goofy element in it. The president claimed that government regulators “make our lives better” and “often spark competition and innovation.” In his example, the government’s “modest” regulatory targets imposed “a couple decades ago” allegedly mean that “a typical fridge now costs half as much and uses a quarter of the energy that it once did — and you don’t have to defrost.”

One wonders what profit-seeking folks like the Rockefellers and Carnegies, Edisons and Fords did without regulatory impetus. Hide the innovations people are happy to pay for until regulators come along and force entrepreneurs to make money from them?

As it happens, there’s a history to refrigerators. Patents for auto-defrosting fridges were first issued in 1928, and by 1951 these fridges were making their way into homes. In the 1970s they proliferated. As Tucker explains, this is normal market practice. “A company found a way to package [frost-free freezers] as a luxury good available in some markets. Another company saw the advance and emulated it. . . .”

Nobody had to point guns at fridge makers.

In “Blow Hot, Blow Cold,” Robert H. Miller reveals the usual way government “helps progress” — by struggling to rebuild what it previously destroyed. Example? The electric-generating windmill industry that the New Deal’s Rural Electrification Act so handily suppressed.

Progress is built into markets. Governments? Not so much.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Linda says:

    i really do not think obama made it past 1st grade, even his jew friend soros is critizing him he better watch his steps soros did all his jewish sisters and brothers harm back in the day I hear

  2. Drik says:

    The broken window theory was a classic example of government logic, ie that if you destroy stuff, then people get jobs by replacing what was broken.
    That motiveated FDR, one of the founding progressives, to destroy millions of dollars worth of livestock and produce. Same as the basis for the clunker bailout. By destroying all of the annoying used cars, at a horrific cost to the taxpayers and their children, the progressive-in-chief ensured that his union contibutors get payback as jobs replacing the destroyed vehicles. Still not going to make a dent in the job decline brought on by the economic housing colapse, but one has to do something else the unions will funnel their money elsewhere.

  3. Some Links says:

    […] Paul Jacob offers his welcome common sense on innovation. […]

  4. Jay says:

    I have a few comments to make on Dirk’s statements.

    First, a friend is a (used ) car dealer ( dare I say it?0, in the rust belt, in a small community. The community would hire locals to plow streets-less expensive then using city employuees- and having to buy trucks, plows,etc. The people hired-all local citizens0had old(er) 4 wheel drive vehicles, would attach plows, and plow the streets. Job done; life resumes. The cash fro clunkers- there was a dearth of old(er) 4 wheel vehicles for sale, and owners of the new ones didn’t want to atatch plows to theri new vehicles-in their ( the vehicles) first months.

    Took longer to get the streets plowed, and thsoe remaining charged more.


    next, as i recall reading, most of the cars bought were Hondas, Toyotas, Kias, etc- not GM, Chrysler, etc- and (JD Powers) a few years ago ran a survey (a bit off topic)- which cars ahd the MOST US MADE CONTEBNT and Honda and Toyota (do not recall order) were the top two; Ford, GM & Chrysler at the bottom.

    Or, as Lee Ioccola (hope got the spelling correct) asked, why si it all car manufacturers can buidl a car, at a profit, in the US, except for the American car makers?

    Coudl it be the UAW?

  5. N. Joseph Potts says:

    Without the government to stimulate employment, education, medicine, justice, and the economy, there would be less (or no) employment, education, medicine, justice, and economic activity.

    That’s certainly what history shows, isn’t it? Or would this remark be understood better without reference to history?

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