Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Speech

http://llnw.image.cbslocal.com/0/2008/01/09/320x240/McCainObama.jpgI pulled this off HuffingtonPost. I don't know about you, but for me this excerpt sums-up exactly what I want (¡and don't want!) out of government—the type of government that helped me get to where I am today. Barack Obama delivered the speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois in June, 2005.

Like so much of the American story, once again, we face a choice. Once again, there are those who believe that there isn't much we can do about this as a nation. That the best idea is to give everyone one big refund on their government--divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on.

In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it--Social Darwinism--every man or woman for him or herself. It's a tempting idea, because it doesn't require much thought or ingenuity. It allows us to say that those whose health care or tuition may rise faster than they can afford--tough luck...It let's us say to the child who was born into poverty--pull yourself up by your bootstraps...

But there is a problem. It won't work. It ignores our history. It ignores the fact that it's been government research and investment that made the railways possible and the internet possible. It's been the creation of a massive middle class, through decent wages and benefits and public schools that allowed us all to prosper. Our economic dependence depended on individual initiative. It depended on a belief in the free market; but it has also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, the idea that everybody has a stake in the country, that we're all in it together and everybody's got a shot at opportunity.

¿So what do you think? ¿Do you disagree? ¿If so, how do you think government should work? & if you do agree—well maybe you should spread the word...

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