Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obama's "laser-focus" on jobs gazing upon dead batteries?

President Obama likes to tout new technologies that will create the jobs of tomorrow. But I'm afraid he's like a kid who read a few Jules Vernes stories and thinks we are ready to fly to the moon. Oh, let's say that kid is living in Verne's 19th century.

The Washington Post takes it from here:

Obama is flying to Michigan on Thursday to attend the groundbreaking of an electric battery company that received $151 million in federal stimulus funding. It will mark his fourth battery-related trip as president, coming as the White House makes an aggressive push to tell what one senior official called "the battery story": the tale of a small piece of technology that could affect daily life and spur employment if properly nurtured.

The president will speak in the middle of a muddy construction site on the outskirts of town, a large yellow backhoe looming behind his podium. Before his arrival on Thursday, a swarm of White House aides, Secret Service agents and reporters descended on the open site, which had been transformed into a staging area for the afternoon event.

Obama's grand vision for the battery -- specifically, the advanced batteries that power plug-in hybrid and electric cars and trucks -- is that it can become a new industry that both weans the United States off oil and provides a new manufacturing backbone.

The problem, however, is that the battery story has yet to occur, and might never. For now, it is just a promise. Skeptics argue that there will be insufficient demand for advanced batteries to sustain the U.S. factories now being built, and that such batteries are already being expertly produced abroad.
Oh, instead of maybe providing the jobs of tomorrow, how about some jobs right now? Remember, Obama promised a laser-focus on jobs in January. But the national unemployment rate keeps hovering around 10 percent.

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