Monday, November 08, 2010

Obama hat-in-hand to India

Perhaps the most potentially encouraging thing about Obama's 10-day trip to Asia just after the elections that left him a diminished character is that it is an unabashedly pro-trade, pro-commerce trip. As this Register editorial notes, contracts for Boeing and a few others were already in the works and will be available to make the trip look like a success. The 200+ corporate executives along for the ride may be good at what they do, but it's obviously not promoting a free marketplace. They would rather function as lickspittles of the government than true competitors competing openly and honestly for consumer preference, but let's face it, sucking up to the government can often be a profitable endeavor.

At any rate, it is healthy for Americans to see their president as a diminished character -- true of any president but perhaps especially this one, who has such a high estimation of himself, an estimation still shared by all too many of the chattering classes. People should note that now that the election is over, and there's no mileage to be gained by claiming to believe that foreign trade "ships jobs overseas," the president is out there promoting more foreign trade. He may not be doing it because he actually believes in free trade, but even his administration can see that more trade and more commerce eventually means more jobs here and overseas, which seems like a win-won to me.

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