India in Obama's State of the Union twice: my amplifications

India in Obama's State of the Union twice: my amplifications

Last night U.S. President Barack Obama  mentioned India twice in his annual State of the Union speech. While both allusions were appropriate, they missed the point a bit.

First he said, “Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science.”  Yes it is true that students in China and India are often much better at math and science than their American public school counterparts, this is NOT a new realization in India (or China). Indians have been good at mathematics for 2,000 years or more, from the invention of  “Zero” to the creation of a form of calculus.  We need to change the thinking in the United States in a deep way to embed a respect for science and math at the earliest age.

India figures twice in State of the Union. President Obama
India figures twice in State of the Union

Then talking about the economy, Obama added, “To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014 -– because the more we export, the more jobs we create here at home.  Already, our exports are up.  Recently, we signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs here in the United States.” That’s nice Mr. President, but we need ten million new jobs in the United States. I am on record saying that we can increase American exports to India by 500 percent, see my article in Business Week in October.  We need more visionary goals.


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