In spite of strong phrases and talking points from either side of the process, President Obama, in his 2011 State of the Union address, explained that vigorous debate is a part of our American democratic process. It is normal and healthy and shows that our process is working. He explained that change is coming in the country and the American people have to be a part of new jobs and industry taking root in our country.
As president, Obama is exposed to information in which the public is unaware. The fact that business and industry may take root in other countries is not new. The president has been saying that all along but have we been listening? When anyone repeats information over and over to the public, it is because it is crucial the idea becomes rooted in the brain of the American people. The point: times have changed, please change with it. Evolve, people.
“At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else… to win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making…the rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies,” the president said during his speech.
This is the president as Chief Economic Officer-in-chief and he is telling the employees/the American people that we need to improve our skills, education and knowledge base and our hiring process for new employees and we need to close more deals. In other words, “always be closing”–in everything we do. And the president is serious. He has repeated this mantra countless times and we will hear it again and again until we begin to change. Schools have to change the way they educate students. School curriculum has to be refined to reflect the needs of the future. Parents have to change for the better, child rearing practices.
We have to re-prioritize our needs. Most of this change will be slightly uncomfortable and will require a spirit of cooperation on local levels where we will find ourselves talking to each other again, communicating ideas and debating which way to go.
There will be frictions and hurt feelings and bruised egos but this is the process a freed man and woman growing and changing in a modern America must engage. We cling to our democratic process and our freedoms but with those freedoms comes a cost–temporary personal discomfort. Our forefathers spilled their blood for those freedoms, so how much more of the burden of freedom should we, the beneficiaries of the fight, bare? All of it because we live free today.
And truth be told, we all hate that feeling. We are out of our comfort zones and we have to speak civilly to each other and we may complain bitterly all along the way but we know it has to get done as this is our American Way. We must even take up the slack from those who refuse to cooperate as they are selfish and ignorant.
This country is up against countries that do not have vigorous debate–they tell the people what they are doing after they start doing it. They don’t ask permission as they are not democracies and the people do not have freedom. America is the sharpening stone, the measuring stick in which world leaders use to show their progress. As they gain, they say in effect, their form of government is better than our democratic nation. This is the foreign attitude the president combats everyday. What they don’t say is how the people hurt as individuals because they do not live in a democracy. However, we do and must prove our system of government is best by keeping up.
This process, as the president has said many times, is not Democrat or Republican or Independent or Green. It is American, red, white and blue. Those stripes are wide and those stars are big and blue is everywhere. We all fit in it. We are fashioned in a circle and it is time to take up the yoke of our forefathers and fight for our existence in this modern, changing world. The fight is with ourselves and within ourselves and not with each other. We are angry because the road will be tough and we have grown soft–some of us.
“Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. You didn’t always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are you’d have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and the occasional promotion. Maybe you’d even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company. That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful,” the president said during his speech.
However, Americans don’t back down from a challenge. We still have the largest and most prosperous economy in the world–$14.6 trillion compared to the Chinese $5.7 trillion Gross Domestic Product.
We will win the future, he said, by investing in biomedical research, information technology and clean energy technology. Common sense moves. Our funding will go to scientists and engineers to solve problems. We will embrace electric vehicles and eliminate taxpayer support of big oil companies. By 2035, wind, solar, nuclear and natural gas energy technologies will power our economy and we need to be prepared educationally.
President Obama, as King Solomon the wise leader of Biblical times, asked us to turn away from our present adolescent, hedonistic ways and grow up.
“Tonight, let’s agree to make the effort,” he said.
The president said investing in infrastructure improvements like roads and bridges will put Americans back to work but Congress has to work together and approve legislation introduced to them that will make this happen. This is what “bipartisan effort” means. Building high speed rail and Internet will aid the economy. Technology companies that depend on fast moving information understand that we are running out of bandwidth.
This can have a detrimental impact on the American economy but those still living in the Industrial Age don’t quite get it because high speed rail and the Internet may not be a big part of their lives–or so they think. If everyone around you uses it to help you with health care, the way you get paid, learn, train and many other ways, is it less important because the individual who knows very little about it doesn’t understand?
In other words, there are people who do not share the same priorities as the president who are standing in the way of progress because they do not and won’t gain understanding. They want to cling to the past and fail to meet future challenges and then find some scapegoat to blame.
The president also said lowering the corporate tax rate will spur business creation and growth without adding to the deficit. Cutting tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, doubling exports and enforcing trade agreements will also aid economic growth. However, “bipartisan support” is needed from our legislators.
A spending freeze on annual domestic spending, removing unnecessary business regulations while upholding consumer safeguards and tackling the National Debt will cement the American economic future success.
The president also said America can’t win the future with a government of the past, asking for a cut of outdated agencies and bureaucracy.