Advice for President Obama

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...
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By Kevin Zwick
Staff Writer

I thought it was funny to be asked to write an article about giving advice to President Obama. I just graduated from Marywood this past fall semester and I am on the hunt for that elusive thing called a job. But I was glad to take a break from the job search to give a few pointers to President Barack Obama:

Be Pragmatic:

In order to be pragmatic, one has to forgo ideological beliefs and concentrate on real life cause and effect. During the campaign, President Obama reminded the People how he worked across the aisle in order to get things done. He also promised to continue this behavior as President of the United States. He must not allow himself to get mired down by ideological beliefs.

The failure of the Bush Administration was that his ideological beliefs were too rigid. The result of the 2008 election was not a rejection of Conservatism, but a rejection of an Administration and political party that allowed ideological beliefs to control its every move.

Rhetoric about “Post-Partisan Politics” was one reason why Barack Obama was elected to the Presidency he must live up to that promise, regardless of the political implications.

Jobs Baby, Jobs:

According to the Department of Labor, both the number of unemployed persons (11.6 million) and the unemployment rate (7.6 percent) rose in January 2009. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased 4.1 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 2.7 percentage points.

Obviously, these results are a result of the terrible economic situation. But this is also a great opportunity for American companies to regain footing in the global market place. Instead of taking the Protectionist route (tariffs on imported goods), Obama needs to push American companies to start training its employees so the American companies are creating the best products, making us the leader in the global market. 19th Century Classical Liberal Economist Frederic Bastiat stated, “When goods cannot cross borders, armies will.”

New York Times journalist Tom Friedman agrees, as he states in The World Is Flat: when countries rely on each other for goods, they rarely go to war with each other. Essentially, he is saying that globalization can be an instrument of peace because countries will rely on each other for goods they need for everyday use.

This “global supply chain” would be a result of a free market economy, and in a free market economy, labor jobs are going to go to the country that has cheap labor. If the government enacted Protectionist regulations, America would find itself falling quickly behind in the fast-paced global market. What America needs to do is educate and train people so they can compete with other people on the other side of the world. President Obama needs to push American companies to train employees with the global economy in mind; American companies can be a very important link in the chain.

Stimulus and Climate:

One way President Obama can kill two birds with one stone would be a “Green Stimulus Package.” On the campaign, Obama promised a $100 billion green stimulus package to create jobs and cut carbon emissions simultaneously.

Green energy costs money. It is a luxury which is not available to most low- and mid-income households. According to the Department of Energy, properly weatherproofing a home, which on average costs $3000 for each household, could save roughly $400 on energy expenses annually. This money could be used toward credit card or mortgage payments. The money could also be used to invest in long-term green energy like solar or wind power. The weatherization process produces business for carpenters and other service businesses. The production of solar and wind energy equipment creates both short-term and long-term jobs: short-term jobs for initial manufacturing needs, and also long-term jobs for upkeep on the equipment.

These are three main points that I feel President Obama needs to tackle quickly and efficiently because, in his own words, “Things are going to get worse before it gets better.”

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