Monday, July 09, 2007

Where is the leadership today?

Damn, times have sure changed. In 1944, FDR could get up before Congress and say this:

"We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth- is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed, and insecure...

"We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence..."

"In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security..."

"For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world."

Today I would also add this: a thriving scientific research community can't be sustained in a country that does not make economic security, including inexpensive access to medical care and higher education, a reality for all of it's citizens. No middle class, no scientists.

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