Dec 292011
 

Source: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton
Abstracted from pages 12-14

We live in the most interdependent age in history. People are increasingly likely to be affected by actions beyond their borders, and their borders are increasingly open to both positive and negative crossings: travelers, immigrants, money, goods, services, information, communication, and culture; disease, trafficking in drugs, weapons, and people, and acts of terrorism and violent crime.

People everywhere face severe challenges, most of which can be grouped into three categories.

· The modern world is too unequal in incomes and in access to jobs, health, and education.

· It is too unstable, as evidenced by the rapid spreading of the financial crisis, economic insecurity, political upheavals, and our shared vulnerability to terrorism.

· And the world’s growth pattern is unsustainable, because the way we produce in use energy and deplete natural resources is causing climate change and other environmental problems.

Because the world is still organized around nations, the decisions national leaders make and citizen support today determine tomorrow’s possibilities. For poor countries, that means building systems that give more people a chance to have decent jobs and send their kids to school. For rich countries, it means reforming systems that once worked well but no longer do, so people can keep moving forward in an increasingly complex and competitive environment.

That’s what America has to do. We have to get back in the future business. Over the last three decades, whenever we’ve given in to the temptation to blame the government for all our problems, we’ve lost our commitment to shared prosperity, balanced growth, financial responsibility, and investment in the future. That’s really what got us into trouble.

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