Now, on some issues, like the Recovery Act, we've found common cause. On other issues, we've had some pretty strong disagreements. But I'm here today because I'm convinced we can and must work together. Whatever differences we may have, I know that all of us share a deep belief in this country, our people, and the principles that have made America's economy the envy of the world.
President Barack Obama speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2/7/11
"I just dropped my butter knife. Can I borrow yours?"
America's success didn't happen by accident. It happened because of the freedom that has allowed good ideas to flourish, and capitalism to thrive. It happened because of the conviction that in this country, hard work should be rewarded; that opportunity should be there for anyone willing to reach for it. And it happened because at every juncture in history, we came together as one nation and did what was necessary to win the future. POTUS, again.
Loud cheers. "He said 'Capitalism', right?"
We still have, by far, the world's largest and most vibrant economy. We have the most productive workers, the finest universities and the freest markets. The men and women in this room are living testimony that American industry is still the source of the most dynamic companies, and the most ingenious entrepreneurs. POTUS, same speech
"Free markets, YAY!"
"Shut up, idiot, he's talking about American industry."
But we also know that with the march of technology over the last few decades, the competition for jobs and businesses has grown fierce. The globalization of our economy means that businesses can now open up shop, employ workers and produce their goods wherever there is internet connection. Tasks that were once done by 1,000 workers can now be done by 100, or even 10. And the truth is, as countries like China and India grow and develop larger middle classes, it's profitable for global companies to aggressively pursue these markets and, at times, to set up facilities in these countries. POTUS
"All right! That's what I'M talkin' about!"
These forces are as unstoppable as they are powerful. But combined with a brutal and devastating recession, they have also shaken the faith of the American people - in the institutions of business and government. They see a widening chasm of wealth and opportunity in this country, and they wonder if the American Dream is slipping away. President Obama
"So. . .Steelers or Packers? You a bettin' man?"
We cannot ignore these concerns. We have to renew people's faith in the promise of this country - that this is a place where you can make it if you try. And we have to do this together: business and government; workers and CEOs; Democrats and Republicans. Obama
"Jesus, somebody spilled sauce on my tie."
We know what it will take for America to win the future. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our competitors. We need an economy that's based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations, but what we make and sell around the world. We need to make America the best place on earth to do business. O
"See that guy behind me? Don't look! I met him at a party last year. He could buy and sell both of us. Wanna say hello but I can't remember his name. Shit! Know him? Don't look!"
And this is a job for all of us. As a government, we will help lay the foundation for you to grow and innovate. We will upgrade our transportation and communications networks so you can move goods and information more quickly and cheaply. We will invest in education so that you can hire the most skilled, talented workers in the world. And we'll knock down barriers that make it harder for you to compete, from the tax code to the regulatory system.
"Yeah, I've heard that song and dance before. Show me the money, buddy. Show me the money."
But I want to be clear: even as we make America the best place on earth to do business, businesses also have a responsibility to America.
Now, I understand the challenges you face. I understand that you're under incredible pressure to cut costs and keep your margins up. I understand the significance of your obligations to your shareholders. I get it. But as we work with you to make America a better place to do business, ask yourselves what you can do for America. Ask yourselves what you can do to hire American workers, to support the American economy, and to invest in this nation. That's what I want to talk about today - the responsibilities we all have to secure the future we all share. Barack Hussein Obama
"Picked up another place on Hilton Head. Love those short sales!"
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. BHO
"Where's that waitress with the coffee? Is it hot in here? What time is it?"
We have faced hard times before. We have faced moments of tumult and change before. We know what to do. We know how to succeed. We are Americans. And as we have throughout our history, I have every confidence that will rise to this occasion; that we can come together, that we can adapt and thrive in a changing economy. And we need look no further than the innovative companies in this room. If we can harness your potential and the potential of the people all across our country, there will be no stopping us.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America. That guy still talking
"Okay, so. . .I'm ready for a drink. How about you?"