President Obama and My Four Components to the Future

This blog has really helped develop my sense of the economic future or at least a future I would like to see. It has four components to it. Two are tactical and very achievable and two are conceptual and high level.

They are:
Energy Innovation
Health Care Efficiency
Information Value
People Insight

I try to hit on these topics as much as I can as they related to the working world. For instance, I believe Energy Innovation and Health Care Efficiency are two areas ready to explode in growth. Smart entrepreneurs should be marshaling their resources in those two directions. The next five years are pivotal as to who the next big businesses are. Information Value and People Insight are skills that will be make or break for the next generation of leaders.

So, other than the obvious, what does this have to do with President Obama? His campaign and stimulus both hint at taking these four directions. For instance, here is an excerpt from his recent speech on January 8th, 2009:

And this plan begins with — this plan must begin today, a plan I am
confident will save or create at least 3 million jobs over the next few
years. It is not just another public-works program; it’s a plan that
recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment — the fact
that there are millions of Americans trying to find work even as, all
around the country, there’s so much work to be done. And that’s why
we’ll invest in priorities like energy and education; health care and a
new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive
in the 21st century. That’s why the overwhelming majority of the jobs
created will be in the private sector, while our plan will save the
public sector jobs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and
others who provide vital services.

To finally spark the creation of a clean-energy economy, we will double
the production of alternative energy in the next three years. We will
modernize more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improve the
energy efficiency of 2 million American homes, saving consumers and
taxpayers billions on our energy bills. In the process, we will put
Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced —
jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, constructing
fuel-efficient cars and buildings, and developing the new energy
technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a
cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.

To improve the quality of our health care while lowering its cost, we
will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within
five years all of America’s medical records are computerized. This will
cut waste, eliminate red tape, and reduce the need to repeat expensive
medical tests. But it just won’t save billions of dollars and thousands
of jobs, it will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable
medical errors that pervade our health care system.

Strangely, the undertone I most agree with is the idea that a 21st century economy begins with shovel and dirt. For too long we’ve become too elitist to attend to bridges, dams, and road projects correctly. But these areas are foundational and multipliers for the more advanced work that is sought.

I’m looking forward to what President Obama says at his inauguration. It is rare that someone gets the chance to be legendary… and knows it.


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