There is a need to cultivate an international outlook for the next generation in America, through education. There is a need to teach children more about the world, in which they live, turning away from an America centric view.
Of course, the freewheeling economy allows innovators to develop new products and make a buck off their inventions, but that is something that presidents can only break, they can’t make it work better. The immigration barriers that were created after 2001 have dramatically shut the spigot of smart immigrant graduate students and research fellows coming to work (at zero or low wages) in our laboratories. Over the same time frame we have also cut, in real terms, the amount of Federal dollars spent on research. This cuts off innovation at its source, makes our Universities less attractive to students, and shuts down the careers of promising young scientists, before they have a chance to make their first important discoveries.
The world grows more complex. America becomes more competitive by investing in education/research (they really are the same thing since most research is done in Universities by young people) and allowing immigration at pre-2001 levels (especially student and short term work visas). One important change that needs to be made is cultivating this international outlook for the next generation, in other words, education. We need to teach our children more about the world, in which they live, turning away from an America centric view. We are supposed to be a bastion of multiculturalism - the melting pot or the salad bowl - and yet we persist in an extremely ethnocentric, domestic-heavy world view relative to most other major powers. Another part of this is teaching our children - and learning ourselves - the languages of other major nations. High school Spanish may help you order food at the local bodega, but it won’t help you in business
negotiations with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, French, German, Italian, Russian, or Israeli companies.
Stop fighting wars to spread freedom in far off lands and instead focus on protecting it here in the United States (US) and not with things like the patriot act. All those billions to destroy Iraq, rebuild it, destroy it, etc... would do wonders to rebuild infrastructure, support better health care and education in America. Many of the different ethnicities in the Middle East and elsewhere have been at war for centuries. No matter what the US does, we’re not going to change that in any kind of permanent way. The geniuses are in the process of renting the turnpike to some overseas company for 75 years who will be able to hike tolls 25 per cent in year one and 2.5 per cent each year after. How can we have money to do things all over the world yet have to sell out things like our roads to private enterprise? Even with skyrocketing airline fares, it is often cheaper to fly across the state than drive. Public roads, parks, landmarks, treasures need to stay in the public domain for everyone to enjoy.
I also support your plan to invest in energy research. Obviously America needs new energy technologies. This innovation will manifest itself through market forces - high prices will inevitably bring new products, but the government can speed-up this process through wise policies - or imped it through nonsense such as subsidised corn-to-ethanol programs. Thank you, for your question. I trust, based on your life experiences and educational background, that you represent this international, global, outlook so essential to remaining current and competitive in the 21st century. May God always be with you and your family.