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.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Eight Years

Our economy isn’t just better than it was eight years ago, it’s the strongest, and most durable in the world.

When Obama took office, businesses were losing 800,000 jobs a month.  The auto industry was going under, families were losing their savings, health insurance, and in danger of losing their homes. 

For example, unemployment in Elkhart, Indiana peaked at 19.6 percent. Nearly one in five people were out of work.  Since then unemployment in Elkhart has fallen to about 4 percent.  In the state of Indiana nearly one in 10 homeowners were either behind on their mortgages or in foreclosure.  Today, it’s one in 30.  In Elkhart only 75 percent of the children graduated from high school.  This year 90 percent of them will be graduating.   The auto industry has had its best year ever.  Elkhart is considered to be the “RV Capital of the World,” and it’s set to ship nearly 400,000 RVs this year, which would be an all-time record.  Elkhart wouldn’t have come that far, if the Obama administration and congressional Democrats hadn’t made a series of smart decisions.  

They decided to restructure the auto industry, help families refinance their homes, and invest in job training so that those who lost their jobs could retool.  They invest in things like high-tech manufacturing, clean energy and infrastructure.  Consequently, entrepreneurs decided to bring back the jobs that communities like Elkhart had lost, but they also create new and better jobs.  People who had lost work in the construction industry because the housing market had collapsed went back to work rebuilding America.

By almost every economic measure America is better off, since Obama took office.  Our businesses have created more than 14 million new jobs.  That is the longest stretch of consecutive private sector job growth in our history.  We’ve witnessed the first sustained manufacturing growth since the 1990s. Unemployment has been cut in half.  Our dependency on oil that we buy from from foreign countries has been cut by more than half.  We’ve doubled the clean energy that we produce.  And, for the first time ever, more than 90 percent of the country has health insurance.

President Obama insists: “We can make it even stronger, and expand opportunity for even more people.  But to do that, we have to be honest about what our real challenges are, and we’ve got to make some smart decisions going forward.”


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