Tuesday, January 28, 2014

State of The Union: Buzz Words Watch List

"China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is."  That's a great line and sounds like one from an economic development sales guy.  But, after all, that's one of the jobs of the President in a global economy.

This is my annual analysis of the State of the Union Address of the President.

For the first few minutes of the 2014 State of the Union Address of President Obama, I thought I was listening to a summary of Joel Kotkin's writings or, even, some of the points long-made in this blog about policies that take advantage of America's advantages.

Then, I heard even more policy statements with a great ring to them:
  • Tax reform that makes onshoring of manufacturing easier
  • Infrastructure investments that prepare for the future
  • Energy independence that includes natural gas, including incentives for CNG fueling stations
  • Business-sought immigration reform
  • A STEM education focus
  • Workforce training reforms
Count me a skeptic though about these platitudes.  These may be more gestures than actions.  Time will tell.

It's too bad this wasn't the speech at the start of 2013 instead.  Regrettably, election years are not the years when these policies get done.

I counted one mention of Ohio (actually Youngstown) and five mentions of the word manufacturing, a pace that does not match his re-election year shout outs to the State and the industry sector, but still ranks higher than his early years in office.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers' Republican address had just one manufacturing reference.  Skills training and immigration reform had good rings to them though.  I wish she had focused on this topic to find common ground and to help elevate this issue to the agenda.

In the end, this was an event that can't expect to have made much difference going forward.  I hope I'm wrong.

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