I found President Obama’s State of the Union Address (transcript from the Wall Street Journal) last night to contain some noteworthy comments. While I could comment extensively on many parts of the speech, for now I will indicate excerpts that I found most relevant with regard to the economic situation, and may comment upon them at a future point. I am highlighting these excerpts for many reasons; it should be noted that I do not necessarily agree with all of them.
Here are the excerpts I found most relevant, in the order they occurred in the speech:
Let’s face it: That belief has suffered some serious blows. Over more than three decades, even before the Great Recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition had eliminated a lot of good, middle-class jobs, and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on.
Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone to get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.
Opportunity is who we are. And the defining project of our generation must be to restore that promise. We know where to start: The best measure of opportunity is access to a good job. With the economy picking up speed, companies say they intend to hire more people this year. And over half of big manufacturers say they’re thinking of insourcing jobs from abroad. (Applause.)
The ideas I’ve outlined so far can speed up growth and create more jobs. But in this rapidly changing economy, we have to make sure that every American has the skills to fill those jobs. The good news is we know how to do it.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1792.50 as this post is written