Some interesting statements in Obama’s fine speech yesterday. First, there is the acknowledgement that both greed and inequality are unacceptable.
“Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age…”
“the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous.”
There’s a call to help the poor, and to better stewardship of both wealth and natural resources:
“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.”
But, there is no question that consumerism remains unchallenged:
“We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year.”
Or that growth is still considered necessary:
“The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.”
Some promising statements on international cooperation, never the Bush administration’s strong point:
“We can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations.”
and America has clearly had enough of war:
“America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”
And good news for the environment too:
“With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet.”
If this vision is to be representative of Obama’s government, I think he’ll do just fine.
- And an interesting profile of .