Obama IHMO has said a lot of smart things since I started watching him closely as an Illinois resident when he began his campaign for Senate. In case you didn't see the press conference today he was asked about the $20B in pledges from the G8 member nations for food aid, about $5B more than folks thought would be approved. The reporter, if I can gauge accents correctly was Italian. He also asked Obama if it was true he used personal life stories to move the leaders in his direction to pony up the funds.
Obama said he did use personal experiences. That when his father came to the United States decades ago Kenya had a GDP that was higher than South Korea. Today, and the numbers I found vary somewhat, it is not even close.
South Korea $1.206T. Kenya $29.3B.
Lets talk about what Obama didn't say, but I think he believes.
I like to mention often here I am at my core a capitalist. I want to and I want others, even folks that are not Americans, to be able to make a ton (insert a huge boatload) of money if they have a good/original idea they execute well.
Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind if I paid more in taxes to help folks here to have health care and access to housing and quality food. I also, as long as other world nations pay their fair share, if I paid more in taxes so a child in Africa didn't die cause they didn't have access to clean water, a few bowls of rice or grain, or medicine that costs almost pennies in the US.
But this brings me to my capitalist point.
Sure, my first reason in saying this is I don't think people anyplace in the world, much less the United States should not have basic health care and food.
But a close second, even totally interrelated actually is I want people to have access to food, water, health care, housing, and education so they can work to become productive citizens. Citizens that make money. Citizens that maybe in 5, 10, 20 years from now can buy what I sell.
The larger my possible audience, the larger my potential income!
This is what has happened in South Korea. They are buying iPhones, Dells, and Macs. Buying our music, jeans, cars, and large scale industrial equipment we still make in the US to build new modern skyscrapers. They want to come to the US for college. They're using Twitter and Google. You name it.
It is just a win/win. They are happy and American based companies make money and create more jobs.
Ford said a century ago when he was asked why he paid his workers far more then others in similar industries, "I want them to be able to afford to buy what they make."
It is a simple, simple concept but one I think we (insert most Republicans) don't understand. The more people in the world that can afford to buy what I sell, the more chance I have to make money.
I've been thinking this for about 15 years, but almost never hear it said. Obama didn't say it directly today, cause it might not have been politically correct, but my gut is it gets it.