Reboot or Retool?
Today's OpEd in the New York Times by Tom Friedman describes rebooting America. He's frustrated with the lack of investment in infrastructure in the US, as well as our lack of focus on key trends, such as energy efficiency. It's a great read.
But, reboot isn't right. We don't just need to restart, we need to adjust the mindset. I've been frustrated by the anti-intellectualism in the US. We elected a President that 'we wanted to have a beer with.' Forget that. I want the smartest person we can find, with the judgment to make the really hard decisions.
I think we need to retool. We have to be ready to do things differently, and go back to valuing education, achievement, diversity, and equality of opportunity. America's greatest strength in the modern world is our diverse population. We should be able to understand more of what is going on elsewhere because we have people from almost everywhere right here in the US. And, we should welcome more of them. We need to improve the education system in our country and give more awards to scholars and fewer awards to actors and athletes. We need to remind the world and ourselves that we stand for liberty for all and open opportunity.
I'd love to see musicians, actors, and athletes start to revere people of academic achievement. We need to de-emphasize financial engineering and go back to real engineering. This starts at the top. I hope we have a President that will set that tone, and I hope that more leaders in our country will do the same. And, each of us can do our part, particularly as we set the values of our children and influence those of our friends and family.
Happy holidays! Let's get onto the right path in 2009.