Friday, September 9, 2011

What I Liked About President Obama's Speech Last Night

We listened to President Obama's speech last night.

What resonated with me especially is how he emphasized how each child in America deserves a great school and how he would work on making sure that the school buildings are in good shape -- he noted that 35,000 schools will be enhanced in the US, and the schools will be filled with teachers (some of whom would be hired back after being laid off). Great education is not just about mortar and buildings but also about the people that work and learn therein.

I appreciated his references to President Abraham Lincoln, in establishing the National Academy of Sciences and in bringing about the transcontinental railroad, although it was completed after his death.

I found more on the history of the National Academy of Sciences and found it quite interesting that, according to the NAS website:

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was signed into being by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863. As mandated in its Act of Incorporation, the Academy has, since 1863, served to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art" whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.

Note the "art" part!

I was also glad to hear about his emphasis on investing in infrastructure (clearly schools are also a critical infrastructure), and in fixing our roads and transportation networks, in general. He even mentioned congestion, a topic, which we had discussed in my transportation & logistics class yesterday morning.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Jobs Act that he forcefully promoted last night.

I do believe that investing in the production/manufacturing of both goods and services in the US and creating opportunities for all those who are willing to give their best can again make the US great again. At the same time, let's not ignore our environment and the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the quality of where we live and work (and even play).

President Obama was right to emphasize the importance of health, safety, and security and the role that government plays in all these dimensions but we, as individuals, and, in groups, can also contribute.