The Fall Will Be Further and Harder Than Ever Before

<p><cite>As Prime Minister Tony Blair has said, in this new economy, “Talent is the 21st century wealth.â€? If you’ve got the skills, you’ve got the education, and you have the opportunity to upgrade and improve both, you’ll be able to compete and win anywhere. If not, the fall will be further and harder than it ever was before.<br /> So what do we do about this? How does America find its way in this new, global economy? What will our place in history be?</cite></p> <p>That is from Barak Obama's [l:|commencement address to Knox College] which you can listen to [l:|here]</p> <p>An here is some more<br /> <cite>What if we prepared every child in America with the education and skills they need to compete in the new economy? If we made sure that college was affordable for everyone who wanted to go? If we walked up to those Maytag workers and we said “Your old job is not coming back, but a new job will be there because we’re going to seriously retrain you and there’s life-long education that’s waiting for you—the sorts of opportunities that Knox has created with the Strong Futures scholarship program.</cite></p> <p><cite>What if no matter where you worked or how many times you switched jobs, you had health care and a pension that stayed with you always, so you all had the flexibility to move to a better job or start a new business? What if instead of cutting budgets for research and development and science, we fueled the genius and the innovation that will lead to the new jobs and new industries of the future?</cite></p> <p>Read it and listen to it, [l:|there is a presidential stump speech in there…]</p> <p><cite>All of that is possible but none of it will come easy. Every one of us is going to have to work more, read more, train more, think more. We will have to slough off some bad habits—like driving gas guzzlers that weaken our economy and feed our enemies abroad. Our children will have to turn off the TV set once in a while and put away the video games and start hitting the books. We’ll have to reform institutions, like our public schools, that were designed for an earlier time. Republicans will have to recognize our collective responsibilities, even as Democrats recognize that we have to do more than just defend old programs.</cite></p> <p><cite>It won’t be easy, but it can be done. It can be our future. We have the talent and the resources and brainpower. But now we need the political will. We need a national commitment.</cite></p> <p><cite>And we need each of you.</cite></p>