President-Elect Obama and the Future

Posted by Dr. James Canton on November 6, 2008 under Uncategorized | 3 Comments to Read

The US election results have sent a clear signal that a new future is emerging. Having energized the electorate, especially minorities and the youth demographic – maybe for the first time, with a message of change and hope for the future, President-Elect Obama has swept to the White House. What will the future look like? It is likely that America’s future will be tied closer to the future of the planet, the needs of the world, the future of civilization, more then ever before.

I forecast that the original principals of the US ideological narrative, the story Americans have about themselves and how America is perceived by the world, will be at the core of this revitalization. If Americans are anything, they are resilient, and have revitalized the American experience numerous times, through numerous crises. From an American Revolution, through two World Wars, a massive economic Depression, the tragedy of 9/11, the accelerating climate change, right to up to today’s global economic crisis–the American experience has been tested, revised, upgraded and now may be rewritten.

Too many have attacked the American Dream as a bankrupt vision–more hype then reality. I think this is not true. There is authenticity in the American Dream that has delivered for so many over generations in the past, and hopefully generations of the future. If America is the great melting pot of different races, creeds and cultures, Barack Obama certainly is the ultimate expression of that vision. He is uniquely qualified to refresh the American Dream at a time when it needs refreshing so very much.

Here are the top strategies, in my opinion, he should understand and move on to capitalize as he prepares to be President.

Briefing the President: Top Strategies that President Obama Must Embrace Now

1. Revitalizing the Economy must be the highest priority. This should include business incentives, tax breaks, direct investments in fundamental ways, but not to stifle the growth engines of: Innovation, science, small business and global trade.

2. Fixing unemployment means job creation. A massive public/private sector infrastructure program that provides work, training, education and investment will electrify the economy in positive ways.

3. Banks are not lending and they must be encouraged to or Game Over. Liquidity is the driver of business. Growth is being restricted. Jobs are being lost. This must change. Every bank that has received funds must lend, should be the mandate. M&A’s are not a productive, sole use of public funds.

4. Small business grants should be increased by 1000% to stimulate the economy.

5. Tax incentives for business to stimulate job creation must be a top priority. Make it cost-effective to hire people in this economy.

6. Research and Development grants for alternative energy, clean tech, advanced computing, next generation Internet, biotech, nanotech and all next generation technologies are essential to job creation and a strong economy.

7. Government Student Loan programs must be outsourced to include private sector lending companies who know how to make for an efficient marketplace for students.

8. Re-Thinking Education. There is much about the education system from secondary to college that needs an overhaul. Educating for tomorrow’s high tech jobs, teaching about diverse cultures, entrepreneurship, understanding globalization and trade, and bringing down education costs is a good beginning.

9. Transforming Health Care should include, before we give it away for free, completely changing how we think about the health care model–from disease care to prevention. This will change how we deliver care. Eliminating the waste, using IT to make health care efficient and preparing for the Post-Genomic and personalized health care era is good start.

10. A Comprehensive Economic Sustainability Plan is needed to better plan and understand the risks, challenges and trends affecting the global economy. From security to energy, to climate change to trade, the US needs a plan that embraces the new future.