Of the various domestic policy prescriptions of President Obama's 2015 State of the Union address, one message stood out clearly: though the economy has improved significantly since the darkest days of the Recession, the nation still has much work to do when it comes to reducing economic inequality.
What if football were more like modern medicine? Perhaps the only way to advance down the field would be to renounce all progress to date and start again each time at the 20-yard line. You never get to build on your prior gains. That seems a dubious game to me.
President Obama addressed several youth issues, but as young people we have to make sure these policies are being developed with the interest of young people in mind and advocate for the issues that directly impact our lives.
The year 2015 may yet produce solid returns for investors in US stocks. However, it's looking more and more likely that TINA ("There Is No Alternative"), more than any other factor, will be responsible rather than strong earnings growth.
Passing new trade agreements would be critical to our smaller exporters, which don't have offshore affiliates to help them overcome trade barriers and gain market access. Trade promotion opens doors for small businesses that would otherwise remain closed.
While I share president Obama's goals, I fear the complexities of data security could lead to solutions that don't solve the problems -- or actually could make the problems worse.
This is not just an educational but an economic issue and as such, every segment of society should support the president's efforts to find ways to expand early childhood education access for all children.
After a State of the Union Address, we're used to a rebuttal from the other party. This year, two of them turned out to be on the schedule.
Climate change is a civilization challenging issue that requires a global consensus and legal obligation to act. Demand that our country put commitments on the table now for the upcoming UN climate conference in Paris. If the US leads, the rest of the world will follow.
Wobbly nationalistic middle classes are not to be underestimated as political forces. They tend to have a stronger sense of their own importance than lower social classes, which explains why the spectacular global growth in incomes of the bottom 50 percent seems to have so little direct political valence, however huge it is in terms of how well humanity lives. Middle classes in more authoritarian states like China might indeed make even stronger demands, as a class, than in democracies, since their ascendance under "state capitalism" could lead to greater expectations of the state. One can imagine income inequality becoming a genuinely strategic question.
Yes, we are still talking about women receiving equal pay in 2015. While there are several factors that contribute to this discrimination, one that comes to mind is an old, but not fully abolished legal practice known as coverture
Members of Congress, don't just say you support equal pay and then use gridlock as an excuse for continued inaction. It's time to walk the walk. Seize this broad public and political support as an opportunity to come together and move forward on one of the most fundamental economic issues of our time. Families are tired of waiting.
Let's hope Obama starts re-connecting the two issues -- environment and economy -- so that the public and policy makers on both sides of the aisle get used to dealing frankly with the trade-off.
This particular SOTU kicked off what I imagine will be a life-long campaign to shape the country according to his values, and he's decided to start building momentum now, for a life-long campaign for change once he leaves the White House.
The New York Times reported last week that in the closed-door Republican Senate Caucus retreat, Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell "encouraged the Republican troops to refocus policy on the stagnant middle class." That would be like asking the wolves of the world to stop hunting and refocus on cultivating asparagus.
Obama's push to tackle income inequality provides any Democratic nominee with a central organizing theme and policy purpose. It also challenges any Republican nominee to either reject government action in that direction, alienating the strong majority of Americans who favor it--or embrace such government action, alienating the Republican base.