Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The American Economy

In the State of the Union Address, President Obama pointed out that that our country has the strongest, most durable economy in the world.  For the past 69 months, we’ve been adding private-sector jobs.  That includes more than 14 million new jobs in the past 2 years, which is the strongest two years of job growth since the '90s.  Since Obama took office the unemployment has been rate cut in half.  Our auto industry was had its best year ever.  Manufacturing has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years.  This was accomplished while our deficits were cut by almost three-quarters.
Claiming that our economy is in decline is untrue.  Many Americans feel anxious about the economy, because it started to change long before the recession hit and hasn’t stopped.  Technology is replacing jobs on the assembly line.  Many job can be automated, and this allows companies, who face tough competition in a global economy to locate anywhere.  Consequently, workers have less leverage for a raise, companies have less loyalty to their communities, and more wealth is being concentrated at the very top.
Those realities have made it harder for a hardworking family to pull themselves out of poverty, harder for young people to start their careers, and tougher for workers to retire when they want to.  None of these trends are unique to America, however they conflict with the belief that everybody who works hard should get a fair shot.
For seven years, the goal of the Obama administration has been to grow an economy that works for everybody.  Progress is slowly being made.  Most Americans agree that real opportunity requires everyone to get the education and training, that they’ll need to land a good-paying job.  The bipartisan reform of No Child Left Behind was an important start, and together we've been able to increased early childhood education, lifted high school graduation rates, and increase the number of graduates in fields like engineering.  We can build on that progress, by providing Pre-K for all, offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready, and recruit and support more effective teachers.
Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and President Obama is committed to keep fighting to get that started in 2016.


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