Tuesday, February 12, 2013


My observations from watching the State of the Union tonight:

I heard manufacturing mentioned more times than I expected. This small, symbolic word count gesture matters. Seven mentions is better than none.

The talk of a generic policy to support manufacturing got one of a very few bipartisan standing ovations. That's a positive sign too.

Actions? It's time for a national manufacturing policy.

$50 billion for highway funding may sound good on the surface, but "fix it first" is a phrase that, at least in Ohio, has meant to exclude economy-expanding, capacity-growing suburban highway projects. The nation needs a balance of infrastructure projects dealing with maintenance alongside those in areas where growth can be accommodated and facilitated. "Grow it too" should be the added catch phrase.

Energy efficiency was one of the buzz phrases too. However, the federal government should not be involved in setting standards for private, commercial buildings' energy efficiency. These policies and programs, even in private hands, tend to be urban-biased, i.e. LEED certifications. I don't trust that federally-led ones would be less so.

STEM education efforts to match high school education with business needs was good bully pulpit language. A challenge put to keep college costs down certainly has a nice ring to it too.

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