President Barack Obama has told his aides to “change the way” Americans view business, including the way they think about the economy and its role in the nation’s economic future.
The president is using a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., to outline what he calls a “major change in how we view business” and the need to “improve our corporate governance and culture”.
“We need a fundamentally new way of thinking about business, one that doesn’t take into account our personal relationships and our values,” Obama said.
The comments come amid the nation facing an economic crisis as the stock market continues to plummet and wages remain stagnant.
The president’s remarks come a day after he told Congress he was working on a “new vision” for the U, with a focus on the economy, which is struggling to find a footing amid a recession.
“We can do better than that.
We need to do better,” he said at a news conference.
He also said the “fiscal cliff” would affect the country in a “significant way”.
“It’s going to be tough to get through that,” he added.
The speech was the first of the president’s term, and comes at a time when the economy is on the verge of another record high unemployment rate.
“When we have this economic crisis, it can be paralyzing,” said Steve Stahl, an economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank.
“I think the president has shown a strong commitment to making sure we don’t let that happen.”
Obama said his agenda will focus on improving the “business model” of the United States, but he also said that “we need to make sure that our businesses are competitive”.
“You can’t have too much government,” he told the chamber.
“Our job as the leaders of this country is to make the economy work and create good jobs, not to tell businesses how to do their business,” he went on.
“And we have to do it the right way.
We can’t make businesses do things that are in their own best interest, if we don`t do it in a way that’s in the best interest of the American people.”‘
We have to make this economy work’In the speech, Obama called on Congress to pass his “Fiscal Blueprint” to “make sure that we keep our promise to create new jobs and grow the economy”.
The president said he wants Congress to approve his proposals to rein in spending on entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, but also to “ensure that we invest in our infrastructure”.
He also called on lawmakers to pass the so-called “stimulus” bill, which would provide money to companies and workers in the form of tax breaks, as well as investments in infrastructure and education.
Obama said he was also looking at the possibility of an expansion of tax credits to the wealthy.
“It is not the place of the government to tell someone what to do,” he warned.
“But I do think that we have a responsibility as a country to make it work, to make things work, and to ensure that people who make the decisions that they make are doing them fairly.”‘
I want to change this culture’As part of his plan, the president wants to increase the minimum wage and tax the rich to pay for the Affordable Care Act, which he calls one of the “greatest investments the country has made in healthcare in generations”.
“In order to ensure a future for the American worker, I want to make certain that we do not let the American dream be taken away from people in this country,” he wrote.
“That means making sure that people at the top of the income scale can earn more, and making sure the wealthiest people get a fair share of the economic rewards.”‘
Businesses can thrive in a different way’The president also laid out a new vision for how to reform corporate governance.
“The United States has been a world leader in innovation and growth and I want us to continue that, to grow and expand our businesses and make sure they can thrive as they have been,” he continued.
“And we need to have that vision for them to thrive, and they need to get that message across to their employees and their customers and to the American public.”
Because if we want our economy to be great for people and to work, we have got to be able to grow the companies that they’re creating, that they are running and that they can make money in a totally different way.
“To be successful in the future, we need that new approach.”‘
Too much government’The speech is part of a larger push by Obama to address the crisis in the economy.
The economy grew by 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, the weakest pace in nearly a decade, according to the Commerce Department.