If you were a president who for three years presided over an economy with more than 13 million unemployed, a growth rate gasping around 2%, an historic credit downgrade and underwater home mortgages drifting like icebergs toward the American Titanic, what would you do?
You’d do what Barack Obama’s done: Reboot.
With his recently announced campaign platform—An Economy Built to Last—President Obama has essentially constructed a virtual economy. Instead of the economy we all live in, he’s making one up and inviting us to pretend we are living in it. Welcome to the Sim City Economy.
Sim City, one of the most popular products ever in the imaginary world of video games, lets players bring to life towns of their own devising in great detail. It’s endless fun, fiddling with the dials on the real world.
In his State of the Union Address, Mr. Obama described what will be a major claim of his re-election campaign—that he renewed the American dream by bailing out General Motors. About the defensibility of this policy we can argue. But as is his wont, Mr. Obama erected a generalized theory of social betterment atop this one event. “What’s happening in Detroit can happen in other industries.” Mr. Obama announced. “It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh.”