1/27/11

Our Sputnik Moment



No one can argue this is an important moment in US history. President Obama elegantly called it our "Sputnik" moment in his SOTU address.

But if this is our Sputnik moment, who is Russia in this comparison? In other words, who are we competing against? What's at stake? Who are the bad guys? China perhaps? Are we to beat China through better education and innovation? China has it's share of problems. They are also unsure of their educational system, which is regarded as too militarist in style. And they do not encourage any innovation. In fact, so starved, China's been known to steal innovation.

In our Sputnik moment, the key issues just may be education and innovation. We need to be educated and reminded who we are as Americans and what we as Americans stand for in the world. We're not just another country or participant in the global economy, but one who perpetuates the idea of self-governance. Of independence. Of freedom. Should our education system be one of strong union holds or of open competition that weeds out inefficiencies? Should our innovation come from subsidy and government favoritism often controlled by special interests and specific agendas or through a near chaotic free market, where ideas reap rewards but also the burden of failure on their own merits? Or do continually march away from our founding principles as Francis does here?

This is certainly our Sputnik moment, but this time the Reds are much closer than Cuba.

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