I would have liked to see the fact of persistent unemployment confronted more directly. Business people are greedy. The world is awash in dollars (unlike in the 1930s when the money supply was strangled by being pegged to a limited supply of gold). If a business person could hire an American and make a profit by doing so, the American would be hired. Some combination of regulations, taxes, costs, and education level make it unprofitable to hire those Americans who are currently unemployed. Obama proposes complex, temporary, and patchwork changes to some of these factors. If a small business person were smart enough to navigate this landscape of regulation and limited-time tax breaks, couldn’t he navigate the regulatory and tax landscape in Singapore, Brazil, China, or India?
Phil Greenspun’s analysis of the State of the Union speech is right on the money.