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“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you. . . . And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect.”
I listened to the president’s speech in a judge’s chambers where the lawyerly group thrilled to “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” But for me it was those expressions of global solidarity that thrilled. And these allusions to the challenge of inequalities here in the United States, with obvious implications for inequalities everywhere:
“a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but the reach of our prosperity, on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart, not out of charity but because it is the surest route to our common good.”
My italics, with an immodest reference to a recent speech to the Dutch Scientific Council.
What did you hear in the inaugural address that sheds light on how the Obama administration will change (or not!) the U.S. relationship with the developing world?
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.