This week we learned that the State of the Union is [spoiler alert] "strong." Asserting that "the shadow of crisis has passed," President Obama decried growing inequality and laid out a vision of growth for the middle class -- which he mentioned seven times. Proposals included higher minimum wage, child tax credits, and free community college. Unanswered was why he didn't do this back in the days of bipartisan belt-tightening, which extended the decline of the middle class. Meanwhile, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, mindfulness was on many minds -- sessions on the practice, which attendees once rolled their eyes at, were standing room only this year. Click here to read and watch all our Davos coverage.
Why is that man smiling? ...
Currently, we have only a few of the specifics, and this week I will write about: what I do know about the proposal; the need for more particulars; arguments in favor of, and in opposition to, the proposal; and an alternative proposal.
Most of our article today is going to deal with Obama and his speech, ending with the snappiest portions as this week's talking points. But before we get to that, let's take a quick look at what the Republicans have been up to, as well as some other minor political news of the week.
When Netanyahu makes his third appearance in the House Chamber, the political and strategic gap between Obama and himself will again be thrown into stark relief, with ramifications echoing in both countries' foreign and domestic policies.
As the economy continues to improve, many employers are struggling to find skilled workers to fill the jobs they are creating. At the same time, tens of millions of frontline American workers in low-wage jobs could be trained to fill more skilled roles but lack a clear career path. These workers are only half as likely as their higher-skilled colleagues to receive career-relevant training.
To overcome our nations' political gridlock, we'll need to develop new ways to integrate both the conservative and liberal values that underlie the polarization.
We all need to laugh! So when Moms Clean Air Force was told Florida Field Manager, Nicole Hernandez Hammer was invited as a personal guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union, I was asked to Live Tweet the event.
If you're reading this and think that young adults should simply work their way through school with a summer job or forgo higher education entirely, know this: That is not how our economy works anymore.
I thought the State of the Union was one of Obama's best addresses recently, because he focused on what is real for this country: growing economic inequality where only a few are doing "spectacularly well" while many families are still struggling just to get by.
If his K-20 proposal actually becomes law, thousands of young people whose hopes for college seemed as remote as landing a corner office job will have an entry into a world of possibility. They will have access to both a college and career pathway for the array of jobs requiring Associates degrees or certification.
Do Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush have the Reagan-Obama swag that can waltz through the party of those multiple responses to SOTU last night? Or do they look more like the former Massachusetts Governor -- Dukakis?
If we ended this neglect we could also launch a transportation manufacturing renaissance across America because when we start building and modernizing our economy again, U.S. factories will start humming.
Good speech? Bad speech? That's irrelevant. And it's not important what you think of the president either. What's more important is what will actually impact your company. And based on the above, some of what the president discussed will impact you. That's what you should be thinking about as you begin this new year.
Oxfam International released a report this week, just as the World Economic Forum opens in Davos Switzerland, which projects that by 2016, 1 percent of the population will control more than 50 percent of the wealth.
Too often we begin with old assumptions about what government can accomplish or what business can do; we need to cast fixed ideas aside and remain open to learning from these examples, and many more, in order to find our way to restoring the promise of work.