Toward A Softer World

usnews-opinion-hardened-borders-wont-win-us-the-islamic-state-culture-warThis week I had the chance to address three very different problems in three very different parts of the world, but there’s an underlying unity to all of them, and it’s this:  If we’re going to leave a better world to the generations behind us, we need to provide opportunity – both economically and for self-fulfillment – for everyone, not just a fortunate few.

On Monday in West Virginia, I addressed the West Virginia legislature about the education reforms that were undertaken there four years ago as a result of a study that my firm, Public Works, undertook.  People still thank me for the work we did by talking about how it has brought greater opportunity to thousands of kids across that state.  But more remains to be done – one legislator asked me pointedly about bringing 21st Century education to her district when they can’t even get Internet.

The next morning, I was part of a forum at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington about the fiscal future of Puerto Rico.  You can watch the whole forum here – or just my comments here.  My “bottom line” was that the only long-term answer is economic growth through investment in human capital: better education, pure and simple.

Yesterday, US News & World Report posted this piece of mine on the Paris attacks and what to do about ISIS. I’ve generally favored greater intervention, including military, abroad – but the rising tide of those who believe that the ultimate solution to the challenge we face from terrorism is simply military greatly concerns me – as does the cresting wave of intolerance and fear:  We will overcome the darkness not by abandoning all that makes America great, but rather by ensuring all peoples the same opportunities.

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