It's been too long since the President's State of the Union Address for this to be considered very relevant (it's certainly not timely), but I wanted to briefly admit that I actually agree with the President on some areas he feels the country needs to improve upon in order for us to remain competitive in the global community.
Innovation: I agree. I think we've always been a country that has enabled those who want to dream BIG do so. We've enjoyed a few hundred years of some of the most innovative ideas known to mankind and I think that our national, state, and local policies should be structured so that they encourage, rather than discourage, ideas and innovation.
Where we disagree is how to encourage and invigorate innovation. I don't think that nationally funded government research projects are the answer. President Obama seems to think that the private sector doesn't see R&D as important. I disagree. I think they'd spend a lot more time on R&D if we'd keep them out of the wings of Congress (aka, get rid of the Lobbyists) and force them to be productive and competitive again. Instead, they lay about in the halls of Congress steering policy instead of productivity.
I'm anti-business. NO! I'm very keen on the free market. I just don't think you can call it a free market if Big Business has the ability to hold our country hostage to the idea that they are "Too Big to Fail...". I disagree with big businesses being allowed to gain the ear of Congress and manipulate them into laws that make innovation and competitiveness more difficult for everyone (except big business). The repeal of a lot of regulation and restriction would encourage smaller businesses- local businesses- to become more innovative. The repeal of some regulations would actually devastate some of these "too big to fail" businesses and remove the stranglehold that they've created over our National Policy.
Education: I agree with the President here, as well. I think we've got a terrible situation on our hands in the United States. We need to improve our education system. This is one reason why my wife and I aren't interested in sending our children to public school.
But, I'm not certain the the Federal government needs to be in the education business. I think the businesses of America (and the world) should have more to say about what they need and how they think we can get it. I think we need to look into encouraging businesses to invest in the workforce (not taxed into it). When the baby-boomers are gone from the workforce in a few years, I think businesses across the country are going to be struggling to find the talent they need and very quickly there will be an incentive in creating a more talented pool to choose from.
Infrastructure: Oddly enough, most people think that Libertarians are anti-roads and law enforcement? I'm not. I agree that the infrasturcture of our country needs to be improved. Our airports are awful. Our roads stink. So do our rails.
But I also don't think that we need to push the country further into debt in order to fill in potholes. Again, I think there are more creative ways where businesses and other private investors help pick up the tab (of their own will) rather than creating national spending projects.
So, all in all- I actually enjoyed the vision that the President cast. I think these three areas of innovation, education, and infrastucture are very profitable and beneficial paths that we should pursue. I'm just not on board with the implemenation methods that he's suggesting to accomplish these tasks.
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Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.