We face challenges today such as the fiscal cliff, while we work to dial up the economy into a strong expansion. This is reality. This is something we have to face.
While these efforts are the problems that we face today, they do not define America.
When the world looks at America, immigrants want to move here, scientists and business leaders want to come here, or invest in this country. They don't say, "well, their economy only grew by such and such ... and they are facing that fiscal cliff thing." No.
What do they think about? They think about a high quality infrastructure where they can do business. They think about a legal environment where if they buy property they will own it and it will be defended. They think about pockets of our country where mountains of genius have collected to focus on one industry. Then, those people move to America because they want to join in the cause.
America is a developing nation. We are not a Third World developing nation; we are a First World developing nation. During the darkest days of our financial crisis when the feeling here was that all was lost, our economy was still the most powerful economic engine in history. Let me rephrase that. In the worst days that we've experienced since the Great Depression, our economy was still the greatest the world has ever known.
We are not great because of what we did in the past, or where we are headed. We are great because of what we are accomplishing right now, today. In the entire history of mathematics, nobody had the capacity to input complicated calculus equations into a plastic calculator that cost $100 and would spit answers out in a millisecond. In the history of the world, thousands and thousands of years, never has someone ever been able to sit in a chair, buckle a seat belt, fire up a jet and go off flying through the sky, landing thousands of miles away within hours. Never possible anywhere else. It wasn't done until Americans did it. Now we do it every day.
Next time you dial someone on your cell phone, stop and think about this. You are pushing on a piece of glass that registers electrical impulses where your finger touches. A complex system of towers and antennae bounces a signal off your phone into someone else’s hands causing another piece of metal and plastic to vibrate in their hand, or omit a ring. Then, you speak softly into a tiny hole and your voice bounces all over the place and it doesn't matter if it is thousands of miles away, your voice will come out of a tiny hole and into someone's ear. The most advanced iterations of this technology came from Apple. Right here. In America.
It wasn't here 10 years ago. The internet wasn't here 20 years ago. Digital TV and DVR's were not here. Flat panel TVs were not here. And now the Boeing Dreamliner revolutionizes flight and companies are buying it around the globe. And now the commercial space age revolution is taking root and we are having an easier and easier time out in a dark black ocean — in space.
America's amazing time is not in the past. America's great minds and talents did not exist in some previous generation. The college kids we have graduating today are the smartest and most tech savvy people in history. The usage of these new tools allows rapid progress and breakthroughs that were not even remotely possible before.
In America, today, all this great accomplishment comes from a workforce where about a quarter of the population has a college degree. Somewhere over 10% of the U.S. population still believes the sun orbits the Earth. We have vast amounts of land. We have vast amounts of resources. The greatest resources we have are millions of talented workers and entrepreneurs and scientists who work to create these marvels. We've got people researching at universities today what we will take for granted tomorrow.
America is a developing nation. Countries around the world would kill to have the potential that we have and the economy that we already have today. There is so much opportunity that all we have to do is unleash it and ride the wave. All we have to do is cooperate and solve our problems so we can move past them. We are at the edge of expansion if we seize the position we are in this exact moment. We are already at the top of the world and we are about to get a whole lot better.
I'll leave you with one example. Were you aware that the U.S. is the number one manufacturer in the world? We produce more products than anywhere else on the planet.
Bickering, arguing, and failing to compromise is far too small thinking for the great country that we are today. America is a great nation. The more we work together to keep developing the country from where we are, the better the economy and our lives will be.
America is a developing nation and it's time embrace who we are and keep on building.