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Obama echos my blog posts

President Obama gave a great speech in Osawatomie, Kansas yesterday.
Robert Reich had some comments on it.

What struck me is how much it has echoed some of my blogging over the past couple years.

Portions like :

Today, we’re still home to the world’s most productive workers. We’re
still home to the world’s most innovative companies. But for most
Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded.
Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many
people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of
our economy actually benefited from that success


This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those
who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake
is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough
to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their

and here is a big slice :

Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain
crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s
respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market
will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more
regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our
economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and
losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will
eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if
prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.
it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our
rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government.
That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker.
But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. It didn’t
work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s
not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the 50s and 60s. And it
didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. I mean, understand,
it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.

and this :

Look at the statistics. In the last few decades, the average income
of the top 1% has gone up by more than 25% to $1.2m per year. I’m not
talking about millionaires, people who have a million dollars. I’m
saying people who make a million dollars every single year. For the top
one hundredth of 1%, the average income is now $27m per year. The
typical CEO who used to earn about 30 times more than his or her worker
now earns 110 times more. And yet, over the last decade the incomes of
most Americans have actually fallen by about 6%.
Now, this kind of
inequality – a level that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression –
hurts us all. When middle-class families can no longer afford to buy the
goods and services that businesses are selling, when people are
slipping out of the middle class, it drags down the entire economy from
top to bottom. America was built on the idea of broad-based prosperity,
of strong consumers all across the country. That’s why a CEO like Henry
Ford made it his mission to pay his workers enough so that they could
buy the cars he made. It’s also why a recent study showed that countries
with less inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth
over the long run.

Good one here :

if we don’t have an economy that’s built on bubbles and financial
speculation, our best and brightest won’t all gravitate towards careers
in banking and finance. Because if we want an economy that’s built to
last, we need more of those young people in science and engineering.
This country should not be known for bad debt and phony profits. We
should be known for creating and selling products all around the world
that are stamped with three proud words: Made in America.

and again :

In the end, rebuilding this economy based on fair play, a fair shot, and
a fair share will require all of us to see that we have a stake in each
other’s success. And it will require all of us to take some

another quote from someone else :

Andy Grove, the legendary former CEO of Intel, put it best. He said,
“There is another obligation I feel personally, given that everything
I’ve achieved in my career, and a lot of what Intel has achieved…were
made possible by a climate of democracy, an economic climate and
investment climate provided by the United States.”
This broader
obligation can take many forms. At a time when the cost of hiring
workers in China is rising rapidly, it should mean more CEOs deciding
that it’s time to bring jobs back to the United States, not just because
it’s good for business, but because it’s good for the country that made
their business and their personal success possible.

I’ve made a list of my blog posts on the economy and it can be found on

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