Skip to main content

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.

Originally posted to webranding on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 04:46 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

    by webranding on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 04:46:56 PM PDT

  •  Is that Concept Considered Taboo? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox, jakebob

    ...its also true of America itself...inside..ghetos

  •  Yeah. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama

    I'm from Illinois too.  So I've been following his policy since 2002. He gets pretty easy to read after awhile.  I'm so glad he's held up under pressure.  One foot in front of the other.  We've got along way to go.

    Did you see the poll about how 70% of Kossacks here spend time only blogging and are not out in the real world advocating and organizing?  How do they think this works?  It's a shame that people haven't caught on that the only way to get the change we need is to get out there and make it happen.  It truly is the only way.  Obvious.  

  •  Agreed. (4+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't call myself a "capitalist," because that's far too limiting a label, but I do recognize that properly regulated capitalism plays a critical role in human progress.  If the world can learn to navigate between degenerate profiteering and bureaucratic stagnation, the potential is boundless.  A liberal should be a strong champion of entrepreneurship and innovation, and a strict overseer of established business interests.

    "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

    by Troubadour on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:14:01 PM PDT

    •  Awesome comment Troubadour. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Not A Single Problem There (0+ / 0-)

      and that basically the other core to Obama's response to this question. Government is important, to oversee. Government doesn't work so well in a place like Kenya where you have to pay a bribe to do this or that.

      Agreed it is a tough line to walk. We just got it wrong here on many different levels. But we still do it better than most.

      "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

      by webranding on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:18:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Government doesn't work well in the US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        where the healthcare industrial complex is spending $1.4 million a day to keep the government from doing the right thing.

        •  I'd say it works pretty well. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Certainly works better than Indonesia and Brazil - the only other countries in our population class.  And while health care in European countries is certainly better, we shouldn't pretend that the level of suffocating bureaucracy in most EU countries is optimal.  There's a reason the EU constitution was rejected everywhere it was put to popular vote.

          "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -Bruce Lee

          by Troubadour on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:42:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed, I've Fought A Legal Battle Against (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            a billion dollar health care company, that didn't work so well. But I've always worked for small firms (less than 60 people) and folks could argue this should be different but my experience is if you have an idea you can get if off-the-ground here. Often much our government was in the favor of those small firms.

            And recently I ran into a legal issue with a much larger firm (I know work for myself) and government was on my side.

            I often find it is so easy to talk about what is wrong, and more than a little is, but we rarely talk about what is right. And much is right here.

            "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

            by webranding on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:49:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure I follow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, iRobert

    Are you suggesting that South Korea's rapid rise from the devastation of the Korean War is due to American aid?  Or that with more American aid, Kenya would have had the same trajectory?

    That is a curious way of looking at it, and quite demeaning to both the Koreans and the Kenyans.  I would argue that Korea succeeded and Kenya failed because of Koreans and Kenyans, not because of any outside party, and outside aid and advice and encouragement are nice but hardly determinative.  The US has/had strong relationships with South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, which have shown excellent growth, but we did our best to obliterate Vietnam and it has shown growth, and southeastern China (Guangdong, with a population equal to most nations) has flourished without our extensive aid.

    •  I Am Not Going There (0+ / 0-)

      and somewhat surprised it took this long for somebody to say what you said. I almost included a disclaimer at the bottom that aid from the United States or any other nation wasn't key. That the US did a lot to ensure that South Korea had a smaller GDP, cause of a freaking war, than Kenya had when Obama's father came to the US.

      Other than just saying that .... I am not going there.

      "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

      by webranding on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:22:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What Levels of Aid Did We Give? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We certainly seemed to have something to do with the rise of parts of Europe and Japan after WW2.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:35:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ford Set His Pay Rates 3-4 Mo. After Income Taxes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    camlbacker, FishOutofWater

    were passed. Before he went to the 40 hour work week, the top rates were at 77%.

    History has shown more than once that when government sets gross boundaries on the pace of accumulation of individual wealth, firm enough to keep the very rich from getting collectively richer faster than the rest of society, the economy adapts by investing in more long-term business planning and greater generosity with workers and consumers, and private charity.

    Meanwhile government has more to invest in infrastructure and safety net.

    One purpose of globalization was to spread businesses across national jurisdictions, so that governments and businesses representing owners were liberated from representing labor as well.

    So the lessons we learned from Reagan, including minimizing tax progressivity and moving labor offshore, mean that Republicans are the ones who do understand and it's Democrats who don't understand that it's no longer worthwhile for business to sacrifice wages or taxes to make the American citizen a better consumer.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:34:27 PM PDT

  •  Not GDP per capita income (0+ / 0-)

    I believe that Barack said that per capita income was higher in Kenya than South Korea.  GDP would not adjust for population.

  •  Rather than guess what he meant, how (0+ / 0-)

    about this,

    By bringing up the example of South Korea, the president said, he was trying to make the point that "the South Korean government working with the private sector and civil society was able to create a set of institutions that provided transparency and accountability and efficiency that allowed for extraordinary economic progress. And that there was no reason why many African countries could not do the same."

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site