Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thomas Friedman Hits a Triple

On Meet the Press today, Thomas Friedman gets it right (h/t Crooks & Liars for the transcript!).
"We didn't get here by accident. As a great country. We actually won at every historical turn. How did we win in every historical turn? Because we had a formula for success. That you can actually date back to Hamilton but you certainly see it in Lincoln. It was five pillars: basically educate our people up to and beyond whatever the level of technology is. Whether it's the cotton gin or the supercomputer. Immigration: attract the world's most talented and energetic people. Third, infrastructure. Have the world's best infrastructure. Fourth, have the right rules for enchanting capital formation and risk taking and preventing recklessness. And last, government-funded research. Put those together, stir, bake for 200 years and you get the United States of America.

If you take all five of those, David, and you look at the last decade, which we call 'the terrible 2's,' possibly the worst if not the worst decades in American History. Education (makes a downward gesture). Infrastructure (makes a downward gesture). Immigration (makes a downward gesture). Rules for Capital Investment, how'd you like that sub-prime crisis? (makes a downward gesture) Research and Development (makes a downward gesture). So all five of our pillars of success have been weakened. That's the underlying theme here. And that's what we've got to be looking; that's what the President has got to be out there defending."

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