Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - Page 9 News List

Voters have given Obama’s hope and change a second chance

Obama’s re-election shows that voters support the candidate who is perceived to be trying his hardest, despite his flaws and the current economic woes

By Thomas Friedman  /  NY Times News Service

All that said, my prediction is that the biggest domestic issue in the next four years will be how we respond to changes in technology, globalization and markets that have, in a very short space of time, made the decent-wage, middle-skilled job — the backbone of the middle class — increasingly obsolete. The only decent-wage jobs will be high-skilled ones.

The answer to that challenge will require a new level of political imagination — a combination of educational reforms and unprecedented collaboration between business, universities and government to change how workers are trained and empowered to keep learning.

It will require tax reforms and immigration reforms. The US today desperately needs a center-right Republican Party that is offering merit-based, market-based approaches to all these issues — and a willingness to meet the other side halfway. The US is starved for practical, bipartisan cooperation, and it will reward politicians who deliver it and punish those who do not.

The votes have been counted. Obama now needs to get to work to justify the second chance the country has given him, and the Republicans need to get to work understanding why that happened.

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