The Wall Street Journal recently gathered a large group of CEOs together to discuss the top issues facing the country. The broad theme was “How to Rebuild Global Prosperity.” Under that theme were four subsections, and in each subsection a committee of CEOs produced five recommendations. What was fascinating to me was how each set of recommendations matched up with generally liberal positions.
The Energy and the Environment committee recommended:
- Diversify U.S. energy
- Promote energy efficiency
- Cap-and-trade bill
- Federal plan for electric grid
- Diversity transportation systems
The Economy and Finance committee recommended:
- Sustainable job creation
- Bring back winning spirit in U.S.
- Build greater certainty
- Enact global trade pact
- Tax reform
The Educated Work Force committee recommended:
- Education is our top priority
- Council for educated work force
- Reward effective teaching
- World-class teacher corps
- Mobilize parents for change
The Health Care committee recommended:
- Reform health-payment system
- Measure health outcomes
- Hold patients accountable
- Reform medical malpractice
- Promote integrated care
I’m not saying that these are a super-liberal set of recommendations. Certainly if Mother Jones or Howard Dean issued a set of recommendations on these topics, they would be different, although there would definitely be some overlap. But if you take the entire set of recommendations, I would say that they match up more closely with the Democratic platform than with the Republican platform. And if you take the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, I’m not sure that they would agree with any of the CEO recommendations.
What does this all mean? That when you get outside of Washington DC, the country isn’t as polarized as the media makes it seem. A collection of the most powerful CEOs in the country comes up with recommendations that are mainstream liberal. The majority of citizens are sitting solidly in the center, and if politicians and pundits would stop acting like jerks – if they would stop, listen and think – then maybe we could actually solve the big problems that our country faces.