Dec 292011

Source: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton
Abstracted from pages 17-18

I believe the only way we can keep the American dream alive for all Americans and continue to be the world’s leading force for freedom and prosperity, peace and security, is to have both a strong, effective private-sector and a strong, effective government that work together to promote an economy of good jobs, rising incomes, increasing exports, and greater energy independence.

All over the world, the most successful nations, including many with lower unemployment rates, less inequality, and, in this decade, even higher college graduation rates than the United States, have both. And they work together, not always agreeing, but moving poured common goals. In other countries, conservatives and liberals also have arguments about taxes, energy policy, bank regulations, and how much government is helping an affordable, but they tend to be less ideological and more rooted in evidence and experience. They focus more on what works.

That’s the focus America

needs. It’s the only way to get back into the future business. In the modern world, leaned too few citizens have the time or opportunity to analyze the larger forces shaping our lives, and the lines between news, advocacy, and entertainment are increasingly blurred, ideological conflicts effectively waged may be good politics, and provide fodder for the nightly news, and columnist, that they won’t get us to a better future.

Our long antigovernment obsession has proved to be remarkably successful politics, but its policy failures have given us an anemic, increasingly unequal economy, with too few jobs and stagnant incomes; that is at a competitive disadvantage compared with other nations, especially in manufacturing and clean energy; and left as a potentially crippling debt burden just as the baby boomers begin to retire.

By contrast, other nations, as well as cities and states within the United States, with a commitment to building networks of cooperation involving the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, are creating economic opportunity and charging into the future with confidence.

My argument here isn’t that Democrats are always right and Republicans always wrong. It’s that by jamming all issues into the antigovernment, antitax, anti regulation straitjacket, we hog-tie ourselves and keep ourselves for making necessary changes no matter how much evidence exists to support them.

The antigovernment paradigm blinds us to possibilities that lie outside its ideological litmus tests and prevents us from creating new networks of cooperation that can restore economic growth, bring economic opportunity to more people and places, and increase our ability to lead the world to a better future.

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