Obama lays out BOLD recovery plan in weekly address

Obama lays out his economic plan for both "Wall Street and Main Street," which is intended to create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding "infrastructure...improving schools, reducing our dependence on oil and saving billions of dollars."

The metrics for progress Obama cites include the reforms implemented, as well as a standard common in my corporate-tool life but conspicuously absent from government the past seven years--results. This encompasses easily measurable categories such as jobs created, energy saved and America's competitiveness globally.


Key details of his plan include:

  1. "Massive" effort to make public buildings more energy efficient. These efforts include (but are not limited to) "replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs." In addition to cost savings, this will create jobs.
  2. Job creation (according to Obama, in the millions) by making "the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highways system in the 1950s." Obama plans to apply "a use it or lose it" rule to the allocation of this money.
  3. "The most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen." This includes repairs, energy-efficient upgrades and technology investments. In essence, he wants to create "21st Century Schools," an idea novel to the current President's priorities.
  4. He also wants to improve our "information superhighway" and references our abysmal ranking of 15th worldwide in broadband access. As Obama says, "here in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online." In addition to connecting schools to the internet, he proposes connecting hospitals (as someone in the medical device industry, I say genius idea). And he talks about modernizing our hospitals with improved technology.

I realize this won't satisfy the Barney Franks of the world (the ones who think Obama should have already moved into the White House by now), but I look forward to its implementation about as much as I look forward to watching Bush move out his sh*t.

Note: This is only part of his economic plan, which will be rolled out in its entirety in the weeks to come.

Tags: 2008, Barack Obama, December 6, Weekly Radio Address (all tags)

Comments

10 Comments

Re: Obama lays out BOLD recovery plan

has he moved to create a tinker secretary, so we can train our kids to fix broken stuff and make it last? And fix their home toilets and use recycled paint, going on forages to dumps, to preserve their homes?  

Let's ask him?  

by anna shane 2008-12-06 06:31AM | 0 recs
It would make more sense to CLEAN and RENOVATE

existing schools to modern standards of cleanliness and safety.

Where that isn't practical, build new.

But simply building new would be a mistake if it s new and cheap. For example, those temporary classrooms that are used by many schools for decades are prone to serious health problems due to the fact that they are built out of low quality, formaldehyde-laden fake wood, and don't have adequate insulation.

Also, birth rates are falling, and its for a reason, people are terrified of bringing children into a world where a typical difficult pregnancy costs $126,000 in hospital bills. Universal healthcare would address that.

Obama's healthcare plan is basically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The health insurance industry skims ONE THIRD OF EVERY HEALTHCARE DOLLAR off the top. Eliminate that subsidy and eliminate a huge black hole of spending. Just doing that would make it possible to insure everybody well with the money we spend now.

Commmunities disintegrate without work. Conservatives decry the falling number of families that are married. But marriage is based on stability. Without jobs and a future, people can't get married. Productivity has been rising, but it has led to more and more people losing jobs as less people are needed to do the same amount of work. Thats the paradox of productivity.

A way to increase the total number of jobs would be a gradual transition to a 30 hour week.

by architek 2008-12-06 11:36AM | 0 recs
Giving kids Internet access wont help anything

unless they have the knowledge they need to make intelligent use of that access.

I have spoken to many teachers about the Internet and while many are fairly knowledgeable, too many have only a vague knowledge of its true potential.

Lack of broadband access is a handicap, but its not insurmountable.

Schools do need course materials that are modern and relevant. If there is no fast Internet access, they can use what we used to call "sneakernet".

Writable media, like CDs and DVDs can hold huge amounts of archivable content. For example, you can fit most of Wikipedia on ONE DVD.

SO, I think a good way to approach this challenge would be to build a program to teach people (both students and adults, whoever wanted to learn) about the world of computing and the Internet using a model based on the open source software development model. Then course materials could be distributed on both the net and on DVD images, which could be written to disk..

They could be mailed to schools like a Netflix DVD. No broadband access would be necessary.

The cost to burn a 4.7 GB DVD is pennies..

by architek 2008-12-06 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Giving kids Internet access

the only way to level the educational playing field is through the internet, and as you smartly suggest, though using content in whatever way is accessible.  Great idea.  Are you sending in your suggestions to the Barack team?  

by anna shane 2008-12-06 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: It would make more sense

conservation is building things that last and keeping it in good repair. It certain does not make sense to build crap, it's chump change that's saved.  Recycling is a good thing, but reusing and fixing is an even better thing.  

by anna shane 2008-12-06 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama lays out BOLD recovery plan

Hah!  Love it!

by SuperCameron 2008-12-07 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama lays out BOLD recovery plan

then let's push it. He could appoint some retired tinker/inventor who's good at organization and has lots of friends, and he could start with the build-a-bike project, teach all kids to build their own bikes from broken ones they find in the dump.

And the fix the toilet project, so all kids know how to fix a leaky toilet.  Plumbers make plenty of money doing stuff no one else can do without having to fix all the leaky toilets too.  

And a survival cooking project, do you think road kill is too far?  

by anna shane 2008-12-07 10:57AM | 0 recs
Treating the symptons? What about causes?

Where's the solution about forcing--by judicial edict if all else fails--the major financial services institutions that are currently the beneficiaries of upwards of $8 TRILLION dollars in US taxpayer cash and "supports" to put liquidity back into the marketplace?

Where's the solution with regard to putting a saddle on Wall Street? Hell, I'd settle for just freakin' knowing where the money went that's already been pissed away?

The U.S. Treasury, contrary to popular belief, is not some bottomless put that can just continue to print cash. The world's financial and credit markets--a lot sooner than most here realize--are soon going to stop buying our Treasury Bills and bonds, and our national debt is going to be downgraded (by the ratings agencies). This is how all of this is going to be funded, in case anyone didn't realize this.

Going forward on this track, also sooner than most realize, the dollar will be replaced by the Euro and/or the Yen or Yuan as the primary currency, and that--in and of itself--will place major inflationary pressure on our economy, and add yet further interest payments to our foreign debt, which already is virtually insurmountable in terms of our government's ability to pay just the interest on that down--and that was before we (probably) doubled it over the past 90 days.

The cash that has been spent--much of it to foreign governments which many here don't realize is where the money went--was a good portion of all the goodwill we had, at least as far as the credit markets are concerned. When--not if--these backstop funds are expended, the time to pay the piper will arrive.

As most of our country's leading economists will tell you, the downward spiral in this country is not going to stop on January 20th, 2009. (This is like a fast-moving locomotive. You don't just push a "stop" button.) Like a patient on life support, we will go through 2009, and probably 2010, and even into 2011, with the situation getting worse, and nobody really even knows if the patient will survive. Even President-elect Obama knows this. Hopefully, by sometime in late 2010, or 2011, we'll turn the corner. But, most would agree it won't happen much sooner than that.

Meanwhile, the banks and financial services firms remain almost completely unregulated, at least as far as the credit swaps, derivatives and hedge fund markets are concerned (it's predicted, by Nouriel Roubini, among many others, that up to 30% of all hedge funds will tank by the end of next year--that's trillions of more dollars, much like the Lehman Bro's debacle, which many will cite as the real cause for a lot of our problems now).

So, we're $8 trillion into the deal, and much of that isn't even accounted for, and now we're going to attempt to pour another $5 trillion into the economy (anyone that thinks this investment in infrastructure is going to cost any less than that is kidding themselves).

As Roubini, Stieglitz and many others have said, this needed to be handled before January 20th, 2009, not after that. The money that we could get and print without totally undermining our economy in the eyes of the rest of the world has already been spent. (And, we don't even know where much of that went!)

Barney Frank's been screaming for Obama and Co. to get out in front of this now--yes to call out Bush before he leaves office--before Obama takes office, very much in line with Roubini's and Stieglitz's sentiments.

People, January 20th, 2009 is too damn late! And, it is that which most in the blogosphere don't understand. On top of that, we're addressing symptoms and not the cause.

What parts of these realities don't people understand?

by bobswern 2008-12-06 09:12AM | 0 recs
They put liquidity back into their employees..

In the form of million dollar bonuses..

Trickle down economics..

by architek 2008-12-06 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama lays out BOLD recovery

I like the Public Works Programs. The DEmocrats should have been planning for the last few years to transition some of the laid off autoworkers into getting Public Works project jobs.

I am on board these Obama proposals.

by Pravin 2008-12-06 06:14PM | 0 recs

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