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My scorecard for President Obama in his attempts at innovating America’s failing economic, financial and social systems.
1- Redesign the failing financial system — C.
Obama put the foxes in the hen house, appointing Wall Streeters and their supporters in the economics profession to reform the cult of speculation. They failed and we have band-aids and await another financial crisis in the years ahead.
2- Redesign the auto industry — B minus.
Obama appointed an investment banker from Wall Street, not a cat nut, innovator or designer to solve a problem that has little to do with finance or numbers. In fact, GM is in trouble because it was run by numbers and not leaders who understood US and global car culture.
3- Redesign the system for curbing CO2 emissions and global warming — B.
Obama is pushing for a cap-and-trade system that gives away so much to the polluters that it won’t have much effect for nearly a decade.
4- Redesign the health system — ? Who knows?
Obama is waffling on the one thing that is crucial to a better health system- a public option for health care. Without it, there won’t be any real competition for the insurance companies who dominate our failing private system. Right now, there is a good chance that a public option won’t even be offered.
No guts, no glory. Innovation requires leadership and the willingness to accept casualties in a battle for what is right. FDR did that. A.G. Lafley did that. President Obama, so far, has shown a preference for compromise before battle. He needs to take the heat to be an innovation leader.
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