President Obama has called the Great Recession our "Sputnik moment" and he has talked up competitiveness in recent days, in last week’s weekly address:
"We're going to have to out-innovate, we're going to have to out-build, we're going to have to out-compete, we're going to have to out-educate other countries."
He went into greater depth even before that during a speech in Schenectady, N.Y., hosted by his new competitiveness czar, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt:
But will this time be any different from any other time?
In November, I wrote about the new wind blowing through the Silicon Valley, through the SIA and about George Will’s speech at the group’s annual dinner. Business leaders seem to have found some resolve after two years of hiding in their foxholes. And some of you wondered aloud in the comments section whether it's time to get serious about fielding more engineer-candidates for political office.
Diego Vasquez, Community College student (Phoenix)
Mikayla Nelson, High School Freshman (Billings, MT)
Time will tell if the president and Congress really get what it means to be competitive or they just know how to assemble convenient political props for a live TV event.
I look forward to hearing tonight and tomorrow your impressions on the president's address and whether our competitiveness really will get a boost from administrative and congressional policy initiatives.
Here's economist Paul Krugman's take on the President Obama's embrace of competitiveness:
Good link George, thank you...as much as I liked President Obama upon his election I have to admit that I have been disappointed in seeing the effects of his policies (or luck of them)...unfortunately good speeches do not translate into good actions, so sadly Brian but I am not buying what he is selling, which might not matter as I am Canadian ;-)...Kris
By all means Brian, one of the hot topics here is for-profit health-care catering to local wealthy and Americans ;-)...but it might be cheaper going to India or Eastern Europe, these are very high growth health-care markets catering to Western world! outsourcing health-care to BRIC countries might follow outsourcing manufacturing we have just successfully completed (medical imaging diagnostic is frequently already done that way) ;-)...Kris
I am not buying now and never did buy it. We need to cut spending, cut taxes, cut regulations, and cut government. Only then can our economy grow with business sure of low operating costs can they hire. It seems crazy to me that we would trust anything out of Washington, government is NOT THE ANSWER, the answer lies with the American people and businesses. We can innovate and create both new products and jobs in the process but the incentive must be there, with high taxes and debt the risks are just too high to take a chance.
Instant gratification nation waits for no one. I wonder, are acrimonious conversations heating the debate or starting new fires? No sooner after an election are lawmakers and politicians talking in such manner as to win the next election. Popularity contests do not statesmen make. The two political wills will never cede their positions for the good of the whole as long as reason is obscured in the clouds of the moment.
I am appalled at how much Rick Merritt is cheering the federal pig trough Mr. Obama is proposing. Number one, those tax dollars are sucked out of the pockets of those who are successful in creating value and generally end up in the pockets of those who are... less than meritorious. Number two targeting investments means untargeting others, especially when the federal government (and the states) are awash in red ink. Mr. Obama is quietly ignoring the fact that the Fed had to print a trillion dollars to bribe our 'friends' not to speak up about how fast the dollar is really crumbling.
Electronics is really the only saving grace these days. We make new products with many times the power of old ones at a lower price. Yes, we use overseas labor to assemble them but the value multiplier comes from US as engineers and we need to hold the line on that value in our salaries and also in not letting ourselves be bled to support the rest of the whiners.
Anyone who thinks Obama is reaching out to improve technology is chasing rainbows. This is a deal with the devil. Yeah, He'll promise the tech world everything - As long as we make technical (anything) what the GOVERNMENT wants..Welcome to the U.S.S.A