With the mid-term elections behind us, Michael Milken asked more than 200 Vistage Chairs this question during a speech this morning: “Do We Have The Will?” (to truly face up to six crucial issues in the months and years ahead).
Energy. US dependence on foreign oil has nearly doubled since the Nixon Adminstration. Every president since, has promised to reduce our use of foreign oil yet we continue to head in the wrong direction.
Housing. The housing crisis should force us to look at how we finance homes in this country, which is different and makes less financial sense than what’s practiced in any other country in the world.
Entitlements. The math is very straightforward. We can’t continue to fund entitlements as they exist today without making some hard choices.
Education. There are more jobs that require skilled labor and fewer people with the skills to perform those jobs. Milken said that the only educational statistic where the US is not falling behind is “self confidence.”
Immigration. We need skilled immigrant workers. He noted that more than 50% of the highly skilled tech jobs in Silicon Valley are filled by employees who were not born in the US.
Health. Colorado was the only state in the country with respectable figures (by comparison) on obesity – and it is ten times higher than obesity levels in Japan. Our lack of physical fitness and heath is wreaking havoc on our nation’s financial health.
For more on Milken’s views on this topic, check out Toward A New American Century.