Ed Driscoll

Building a Bridge to the 1930s

“The Automated Teller Machine industry is not happy about President Obama’s comments that the development of ATMs has cost jobs,” Philip Klein writes at the Washington Examiner:

Here’s a sampling of some of the feedback I’ve been getting.

Mike Lee, CEO of the ATM Industry Association, emailed me the following response:

‘President Obama should never use ATMs as an example of how technology replaces human labor because ATMs today play a critical role in providing extensive employment in the ATM and cash-in-transit industries. In addition, ATMs provide an indispensible range of services to customers, including all-hours access to their own banked cash. With over 400,000 in America alone, ATMs have become the main distribution channel for the distribution of cash in all modern economies and cash remains by far the most popular form of payment by US consumers. The whole purpose of the invention of the ATM back in 1967 was to make cash available outside of bank hours, liberating citizens to access their banked money 24 x 7, a huge increase in convenience.  Given these major roles of the ATM, it would be quite irrational to turn the clock back to the 1960s to a time before ATMs.

Sure, this particular target is goofy, but why is anyone surprised that once again, the president wants to turn the clock back on America? Or is once again, waging (rhetorical, at least in this one instance) war against American business? Or as Victor Davis Hanson writes at NRO, “Barack Obama is the most reactionary president in the recent history of the United States:”

“Hope and change” turned out not to be a liberal call to consider new ways of solving problems. It was not even a conservative slogan to keep all that has worked well in the past.

Instead, Barack Obama proved to be an old-fashioned reactionary. He hoped to change things back to the politically correct 1960s and 1970s way of doing them — whether it ever worked or not.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Tom Blumer notes a big advantage of machines over man: “ATMs and Other Machines are Exempt from ObamaCare.” And at least until the Singularity occurs, you don’t have to worry about Hal or C3PO suing you if you fire him.