It' a very important speech. It should be read in fulll - not just the peroration (below).
Andrew Sprung - the best analyst of Presidential rhetoric around 0= - observes:
Obama gave a great speech today, focused on reversing rising income inequality, which he called "the defining challenge of our time." It's been a dispiriting autumn, and as Obama's returned to the bully pulpit in recent days I've thought that maybe I'm past getting keyed up as he cranks up the rhetoric. But he didn't do that. He offered new thinking and reframed our political discourse. He expanded and refocused the narrative he's been developing throughout his political career.***
"[E]ven as I will keep on offering my own ideas for expanding opportunity, I’ll also keep challenging and welcoming those who oppose my ideas to offer their own. If Republicans have concrete plans that will actually reduce inequality, build the middle class, provide moral ladders of opportunity to the poor, let’s hear them. I want to know what they are. If you don’t think we should raise the minimum wage, let’s hear your idea to increase people’s earnings. If you don’t think every child should have access to preschool, tell us what you’d do differently to give them a better shot."
Full transcript: President Obama’s December 4 remarks on the economy - The Washington Post:
Look, I’ve never believed that government can solve every problem, or should, and neither have you. We know that ultimately, our strength is grounded in our people, individuals out there striving, working, making things happen.
It depends on community, a rich and generous sense of community. That’s at the core of what happens at the THEARC here every day. You understand that turning back rising inequality and expanding opportunity requires parents taking responsibility for their kids, kids taking responsibility to work hard. It requires religious leaders who mobilize their congregations to rebuild neighborhoods block by block, requires civic organizations that can help train the unemployed, link them with businesses for the jobs of the future. It requires companies and CEOs to set an example by providing decent wages and salaries and benefits for their workers and a shot for somebody who’s down on his or her luck. We know that’s our strength: our people, our communities, our businesses.
But government can’t stand on the sidelines in our efforts, because government is us. It can and should reflect our deepest values and commitments. And if we refocus our energies on building an economy that grows for everybody and gives every child in this country a fair chance at success, then I remain confident that the future still looks brighter than the past -- (applause) and that the best days for this country we love are still ahead.
Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.) Thank you. (Cheers, applause.)
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