Yesterday President Obama spoke to a joint house on the economy. While his speech was inspiring, it didn’t contain many details. Some of the areas he did focus on were health care reform, withdrawal from Iraq (could this mean cutting defense spending?), diversifying sources of energy, and reducing the deficit. Some other questions went unaddressed. It’s possible that pulling out of Iraq could mean, among other things, a reduction in defense spending (a huge percentage of government expenditures). Would health care reform mean single payer health care? And, will cutting back on oil importation and diversifying our sources of energy mean increasing the green collar economy?
What about education? What about the banks? Will some of the big banks, or some parts of them be nationalized in the short-term? Now for more of a long-term question… Is an economy of growth sustainable in the long run? Over the last 50 years the US has seen an average of 3% growth in GNP annually. In a world which (let’s face it) natural capital is finite, will an economy of growth be sustainable, or will we need to re-envision a new form of economy… one based on something more than growth, a notion that challenges the very foundation of the economic thought that this country runs on?
Check out Obama’s speech @ Democracy Now
Also check this out: Recovery.gov is a website that lets you, the taxpayer, figure out where the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going.