Obama 'Pivots' to Knox College
Our president is apparently making yet another "pivot" to jobs and the economy. He is planning to make a series of speeches to cover his new ideas for resurrecting the U.S. economy from the doldrums which it has called home for the past five years.
The first of these speeches is scheduled to take place at Knox College, located in Galesburg, Illinois, a bucolic small town about thirty miles to the northwest of Peoria. It is small enough to require only 257 government employees for everything -- police, fire, libraries, and so on. Galesburg's major claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of Carl Sandburg. Got the picture?
Professor Tim Kasser, a faculty member at Knox, is featured on the first page of Knox's website. He describes his approach to education at this liberal arts institution, which has between 1,300 and 1,400 students, this way:
I study the problems associated with materialistic values that favor money, image, and status: these problems include lower happiness, less civility, and more ecological degradation.
And this is the venue that the president has selected to unveil the initial steps of his grand restart of America's economy? Seems like a good fit for a discussion of economic vitality and an industrial renaissance, doesn't it? After all, if you're going to discuss the revitalization of the entire American economy, why would you want to speak at a place where business and industry are taught? So the president was able to scratch potential sites for this speech such as MIT, RPI, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Cal Tech, and even the University of Chicago (where he actually taught, and which has a highly regarded business program) off his list and focus like a laser on Knox College.
Of course, this information about the venue is something that isn't touted by the mainstream media. Even FOX News glossed over the venue and the logic, or lack thereof, in its selection.
The president has expounded time and again on the utter necessity of a college education. So speaking at a college makes sense in that one aspect. Of course, I'm not sure that a graduate of Knox College is the first person I would call to stop a leaky faucet, tune my car, rewire my house, or anything else that is needed to make sure we have a minimum of sand in the gears of our economy. Those are at least as important to our economy as individuals who have majored at institutions such as Knox in fields like art, music, creative writing, or theatre (all majors available at Knox) but not as essential to creating jobs and reducing our crippling unemployment.
The administration's claims that the president is providing new initiatives to encourage business investment and expanded hiring are at best a red herring. This speech, in this selected venue, seems less a sincere attempt to revitalize the American economy and more an attempt to distract public interest from the plethora of scandals plaguing this administration.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller and a two-tour Vietnam veteran. He writes frequently about political idiocy, business, and economic idiocy and American cultural idiocy. Jim also blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com and can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.