Bill Murchison

Speaking of anticipating needs, the Obama administration knows pretty definitively what America "needs" by way of energy. "Green" energy -- chiefly wind and solar -- was at one time expected for purposes of consumption (by voters, anyway) to create 5 million jobs. Into "green" companies such as Solyndra, the administration funneled millions of taxpayer dollars, intending to create the supply that the marketplace -- a compendium of human wants and needs -- had failed to create. The better to direct human wants it sees as misplaced, the administration tries to hem in producers of oil and goal with regulations and denial of such permits as the government oversees. Top-downers in Washington similarly denounce the idea of allowing any element of consumer choice when it comes to deployment of dollars extracted by government ukase under Social Security and Medicare. Choose alternatives to the black financial holes that government digs for the next generation of "beneficiaries"? Impossible. How about allowing parents to take a designated amount of public money meant to finance public schools and actually choosing which school to patronize? The top-downers of the teacher unions would as soon be forced to assign a sonnet by Shakespeare or a speech by Webster.

"Top-down" is America today, at any rate in the sphere where laws and formal regulations obtain. It is a sad reality that Barack Obama is far too young to have initiated, but one he proudly maintains and preaches.

The irony of the piece is that the phrase "top-down," as wielded by Mr. Top-Down himself, applies mainly to business and commercial types whose invaluable contribution to society is the creation of jobs and prosperity far beyond the power of top-down bureaucrats to emulate. If only they'd asked how the government wished them to proceed! Good thing they didn't. Many might affirm.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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