onsdag 26. januar 2011

Obama: Innovasjon, forskning og konkurranseevne er svaret

Barack Obama holdt i natt den årlige State of the Union Address. En tale som skal handle om de store og viktige spørsmålene. For eksempel hvordan USA skal skape ny vekst og flere arbeidsplasser. Hele første del av talen handler om hva et land må gjøre for å lykkes i en kunnskapsøkonomi. Hvordan USA kan lykkes i konkurransen i en tid der Kina har verdens kraftigste datamaskin og er vertskap for verdens største private forskningsfasiliteter for solenergi. Og svaret til Obama er at USA må "out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the word". Here er en "enhanced" YouTube versjon av hele talen:



New York Times har laget en oversikt over hvor ofte en del nøkkelord er brukt i alle State of the Union-taler siden 1934. Obama nevner innovate 11 ganger, noe som er ny rekord og han nevner jobs 31 ganger. Det er ganske interesssant å se hvordan lederen i verdens mektigste land bruker denne talen til å fortelle at kunnskap, innovasjon, forskning og utdanning er viktigst av alt. Disse analysene hører vi alt for sjelden i norsk politikk, dessverre. Hele første del av talen handler om betydningen av å ha et sterkt og mer innovativt næringsliv, blant annet disse avnittene som er like relevante for Norge som for USA:

"We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future. And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get there. The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation. None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do -- what America does better than anyone else -- is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We’re the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It is how we make our living. 

Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout our history, our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS. Just think of all the good jobs -- from manufacturing to retail -- that have come from these breakthroughs. Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we would beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t even there yet. NASA didn’t exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people."

Obama snakket deretter mer om betydningen av å være ledende på energiforskning og om betydningen av å ha gjennomgående høy kvalitet i skolesystemet, både i toppen og i bredden. Etter hvert kom Obama også inn på betydningen av å modernisere offentlig sektor, både for å spare penger og redusere budsjettunderskuddet, noe USA er nødt til å gjøre, men også for  skape en offentlig sektor som fungerer i internettalderen:

"We live and do business in the Information Age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black-and-white TV. There are 12 different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different agencies that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked. 

Now, we’ve made great strides over the last two years in using technology and getting rid of waste. Veterans can now download their electronic medical records with a click of the mouse. We’re selling acres of federal office space that hasn’t been used in years, and we’ll cut through red tape to get rid of more. But we need to think bigger. In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America."

Det er ikke blitt lettere for Obama å få igjennom politikken sin med det flertallet som nå sitter i Representantenes Hus. Men det er forhåpentligvis slik at både demokrater og republikanere kan samles om hovedprioriteringene i denne talen, tiltak som fremmer innovasjon, forskning og konkurranseevne i næringslivet og modernisering av offentlig sektor.