In his final State of the Union, President Barack Obama addressed the role that the government should play in business and the economy.
“It has been difficult to find agreement over the last seven years. And a lot of them fall under the category of making sure the system is not rigged in favor of the wealthiest and biggest corporations. And it’s an honest disagreement. And the American people have a choice to make.”
The private sector is undoubtedly important, and “there’s red tape that needs to be cut,” the president said. But in other areas, he noted, outdated regulations need to be updated to fit the new economy and to better serve working families.
“But after years of record corporate profits, working families won’t get more opportunity or bigger paychecks by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at everybody else’s expense. Middle class families are not going to feel more secure because we allowed a tax on collective bargaining to go unanswered. Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did. Immigrants aren’t the principal reason wages haven’t gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns.”