As President Bush exited Washington D.C. yesterday, President Barack Obama, the forty-fourth President of the United States of America, was sworn into office. While the occasion was certainly significant for many reasons, Barack Obama had already set into motion much of his new agenda for the country weeks before, with much of it focused on the field of technology.
President Obama and Democratic allies in Congress have called for copyright reform, to help the laws deal with issues like internet radio sensibly. They also called for legislation of net neutrality and legislation against some types of internet connection capping. And controversially, they have called for the transition from analog to digital television to be delayed until later this year (from February 17) to allow people enough time to get their converter boxes, which the government funds for have current run out.
In his inaugural address yesterday, President Obama hit on several key parts of his tech initiative. He stated, "For everywhere we look, there is work to be done; the state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.”
This passage of his speech alludes to his push for medical records to be digitized within five years. President Obama says this will lead to a much more efficient system and great cost savings, which will translate to cheaper medical care. The passage also includes an integral part of his tech policy, which is to increase the amount of cheap broadband connections to rural America, and make sure that telecoms do not abuse these connections by download caps or throttling. He is also calling for a revamp of America's dilapidated power grid, much of which is 50 years old or even older in some areas.
He also stated, "Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good."
This passage of his speech fuels speculation that the U.S. may move toward a more European style of antitrust law, where businesses are more aggressively policed for anticompetitive violations. Many have speculated that this may affect companies like Intel or Microsoft who dominate certain markets and exercise certain pricing or bundling techniques to try to expand their empires.
President Obama also called for increased U.S. reliance and research on wind and solar power and he left the door open for nuclear, saying the country also needed other "natural energy sources". He also called for an increase in technology in schools, to help the next generation stay competitive in the world economy.
Among the other salient passages of his speech was the following, "And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."
This could be interpreted as an allusion to President Obama's calls for increased accountability of domestic surveillance programs, and greater transparency in the government in general.
While the speech gave many allusions to his tech policy, it should get really interesting in the weeks to come. With a Democratic Congress, the new President has a virtual open road to legislate his tech agenda. However, the most important part of these policies -- their fine details -- will only arise in weeks to come as they are translated into legislative initiatives.
quote: We need to look at which infrastructure investments will increase our GDP the most.
quote: The American road system is bar none one of the best in the world already
quote: I've never been on a US road that was as smooth or as well maintained as the Bundesautobahn has been the few times I've had the opportunity to drive it.
quote: The American road system is bar none one of the best in the world already.
quote: I admittedly didn't get through the entire article. 99% of his policies scare the crap out of me.
quote: Let's wait and see what happens shall we?
quote: <insert baseless insult here>
quote: So basically you don't have a clue what his policies are,
quote: 99% of his policies scare the crap out of me.
quote: Straight from Karl Marx - COMMMON GOOD - This man has never sacrificed for the common good he is a snake the same as Bush.
quote: Actually, the terms selfishness/selflessness do not gain their meanings from the actions one takes, but the reasons for taking those actions. I can give all of my possesions away (ie: a selfless act), but if I do it for selfish reasons, I am still being selfish.
quote: However, if we're strictly comparing records of service - or lack thereof - Obama beats W handily.
quote: But the point is that no president's list of policies will all be perfect. Some of Obama's tough decisions will be hard for you (or me) to swallow. But, to quote Bush, I hope you can agree that he was willing to make the tough decisions.
quote: "What's the solution to trying to use market forces to provide the greatest good to the greatest number? Hmm? Did you just whisper communism under your breath?". You are a joke as I never said that the govt should provide anything for anyone, you are a trickster who cannot handle the truth.
quote: If the digital switchover occurs on schedule, nearly more than 16 percent of the nation’s 114.5 million television households would suffer either partial or complete loss of television signals, Nielsen said.
quote: A December report from The Nielsen Co., which provides television audience details to television networks and cable channels, said more than 83 percent of households were completely ready for the switch nationwide, while 6.8 percent were completely unready.
quote: There's nothing wrong with a national health care system. We have public and private schools. We can have public and private health care too.
quote: ...but to destroy what we currently have used by 84% of this nation and replace it by some mass government run and managed entity...
quote: Also, the US can't remain competitive against countries that do have public health care.
quote: Just look at how the American auto companies are struggling.
quote: I said we should have both public and private health care, not get rid of private health care altogether. There's no problem with that.
quote: It's not free. We finance it though taxes.
quote: And I think you'll find that it's clearly there in the Amendment IX.
quote: Look at the WHO's list of best health care systems in the world. France tops the list - not nationalized, but nationally insured.
quote: Colombia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Morocco, Chile, and Costa Rica are among those who outranked the United States at #37. All of these countries provide health care for less cost than the U.S.
quote: There are certain areas where government control improves cost by eliminating major expenses - like 95% of the back office at medical practices...obs thanks to inefficiencies aren't the jobs we want.
quote: What it was meant to do was show that the question of whether a 'right to health care' is in the Constitution or not isn't important. Because a right doesn't have to be listed in the Constitution to be a right of the people.
quote: None the less, I still feel there is a strong argument that, to "promote the general Welfare", it is a responsibility of government to mandate universal health care coverage.
quote: You see the logical leaps you've totally failed to fill in there? Please elucidate how a lower cost system of universal health care coverage is the cause France's economic woes. You haven't explained what taxes the French pay for health care
quote: You don't want to live in Costa Rica, and it's obviously the health care system's fault.
quote: By the way, you are aware that universal coverage, for instance, is not the same thing as a government health care system? We don't have to go the route of Canada or Britain to still ensure access for all Americans.
quote: US citizens under the age of 18 should get free health care.
quote: They all comment about how great their government medical this and that would be if only they had all the advanced treatment facilites available to them.
quote: I could understand that attitude given your story, but it still doesn’t change the fact that as bad as some of the experiences are at hospitals, they can and most likely will, get much worse under a government run system.
quote: As it is, countries like Canada are able to offer their citizens drugs at low costs because they know that the manufacturers are still going to spend the large sums of money developing new treatments because they know they can recoup their money from the American patients. Once the treatments are found and approved, the actual cost of the chemicals in them are just pennies, so it is still incrementally viable to sell them to Canada even if they get relatively little from the Canadian patients.
quote: If the government regulates how much I can charge for this or that procedure, why bother offering better service than the guy down the street?
quote: When Canadians get *really* sick, where do you suppose they go?
quote: Where are they going to go once America's government run health care has beaten down all aggressive desire to truly come up with new/better cures?
quote: They all comment about how great their government medical this and that would be if only they had all the advanced treatment facilities available to them.
quote: Not wanting to wait is not a necessity
quote: There are only a handful of procedures that wait times have become so long in Canada, that people can just no longer wait
quote: Aside from a few cardiovascular treatments and risky transplants, there is not too much you guys do that we don't
quote: How is it that other nations have been able to implement a national health care system while still maintaining a surplus?
quote: If he screws up, burn him at the stake.
quote: But can't we just sit back and build up a case for/against him before the flames start shooting already?
quote: I mean I hate the people that can only point out the bad in an Obama presidency
quote: "I'm going to rebuild this country" If hearing a politician, especially a Democrat, saying that doesn't freeze your blood then you aren't a good American.
quote: You have some gall to talk about what a good American is, when clearly you'd rather Obama screw up
quote: You don't care about this country, you only care that people you like are in charge.
quote: Reward the losers and scofflaws.Punish the producers.
quote: Take away the guns so a new gestapo can not be resisted or avoided.
quote: These lefty politicians think alike whether their name is Obama or Hitler. Hitler was a leftist. After allNAZI == National Socialist
quote: Get a clue people. This merchandized inauguration is just the beginning.
quote: Hitler was a leftist. After all
quote: The collapse of the housing market was caused by government intervention requiring/pushing for EVERYONE to own a home.
quote: by Master Kenobi on January 21, 2009 at 1:10 PMYep. Rules like "Equal Lending" practices that were enforced required a certain percentage of loans to be given to low income or minority groups, resulting in screwing up the market. Nobody in their right mind would provide a loan to someone who couldn't pay it back, but the government mandated it.Nobody could or would ever screw things up worse than the government.
quote: Yep. Rules like "Equal Lending" practices that were enforced required a certain percentage of loans to be given to low income or minority groups
quote: The Community Reinvestment Act, passed in 1977, requires banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they take deposits. Just the idea that a lending crisis created from 2004 to 2007 was caused by a 1977 law is silly. But it’s even more ridiculous when you consider that most subprime loans were made by firms that aren’t subject to the CRA.
quote: loans made under the CRA program were made in a more responsible way than other subprime loans
quote: Of course they didn't. That's not the point.
quote: It absolutely amazes me how ignorant people are to the actual economics and what the numbers really are.
quote: As for the top 1% controlling 20% of the wealth. How about the rest of the story or was it too convenient to not mention the fact that this 1% pays NEARLY 40% OF THE FEDERAL TAX BURDEN!!!
quote: If we screw them more things will only get worse as they create the jobs, innovation, new businsess ventures, money for investments,
quote: This is mostly because the OWN more. If they wanted to reduce their tax burden, they could simply own less. We are all subject to the same set of tax laws.
quote: The real dirty secret is that anything other than the current tax system would yeild too few returns to support the government.
quote: And believe it or not, the most expensive program the federal government runs is Defense- this is where a sizeable chunk of our tax dollars go. Programs like wellfare and public education pale in comparison.
quote: Taxing everyone else a greater amount and reducing the top 1%'s tax burden is not likely to increase job creation by a measureable amount or change their investment strategies. The market will do that. Further, the top 1% do not "create" jobs.
quote: Jobs are created when a need arises- effectlively, a demand- not when some rich person waives their magical money clip. Rich people do not create need, a market creates need, and subsequently, that need creates jobs. Rich people might help to finance the fulfillment of a market need through investment, but they rarely do it completely independently
quote: those evil rich,
quote: if they really wanted to reduce their tax burden, they’d just quit working altogether, give up everything they own, and become homeless.
quote: I’m reasonably certain that a good portion of that top 1% are business owners. If you don’t think putting even higher taxes on them ... then you must not know anyone who owns a business, regardless of their income level.
quote: I don’t know of any entity, private or government, that actually “creates” a need. Oh, I take that back. It looks like President Obama may prove me wrong on the latter at taxpayer expense – to the tune of nearly $1 Trillion so.
quote: This says nothing about their moral standing or whether they're evil.
quote: I just don't want to hear complaints about being taxed when they simply have more to be taxed.
quote: To say that rich people "create" jobs shows an extreme misunderstanding of why jobs exist and how our economic system works.
quote: First of all, close to $1 trillion dollars was originally asked for by Bush just to hand over to banks- fortunately, this was with some strings attached. Why aren't you complaining about this? I find it mildly interesting that you don't seem to be bothered by it.
quote: The rich don't prop up the rest of the economy on their own. They don't buy millions of cars or thousands of homes every year on their own- it is the rest of us who keep purchasing that helps to support the wealth that they have, and ultimately to keep businesses running.
quote: People tend to forget that the *demand* part of the market is made up mostly of people outside the upper 1%...
quote: And in this economic downturn, businesses are only exacerbating that need by laying people off. The government is the only entity right now that has the potential to supply jobs as business is unwilling or incapable.
quote: The only time debt seems to be a serious consideration is when the funds might be invested in the middle class in the United States.
quote: When you have a million dollar home, it is considered "wealth" but it is not taxed as income, is it?
quote: When you have a million dollar investment portfolio, that million dollars itself is not taxed as income, is it?
quote: MUCH higher proportion of INCOME taxes than lower tiers.
quote: Again, that’s a very logical point. I don’t know of any entity, private or government, that actually “creates” a need.
quote: Again, you are preaching to the choir here!
quote: But will these jobs that the federal government will provide as a New Deal II filter back into the private sector or will we have a million new government jobs that never go away at taxpayer expense?
quote: Some might argue it the other way: the only time debt is not seriously considered is when funds are spent on government programs at home that never go away, unlike wars.
quote: Its up to the next few presidents to finish the job, imho.
quote: It’s messed up that a large majority of the country is sitting back waiting for the government to fix things for them. Whether it is jobs, mortgages, TV converter boxes, etc.
quote: He also stated, "Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill... and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous."This passage of his speech fuels speculation that the U.S. may move toward a more European style of antitrust law, where businesses are more aggressively policed for anticompetitive violations.
quote: and screw stockholders.
quote: Jeez, stop expecting the government to come in and solve *all* your problems.
quote: However, the richest 1% brings in between 20% and 21% of the total income on a yearly basis.
quote: he'd rather compel us to give our money away,
quote: It was also the impetus for the American Revolution, which gave birth to this nation.
quote: On a less fundamental note, Obama needs to realize that digitizing all medical records is going to place an extraordinary load on the natio's current internet infrastructure. I hope he makes certain the infrastructure is upgraded before it's overwhelmed.
quote: He also stated, "Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good."