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About Search. The President. Thank you all very, very much. Good morning to everyone. Governor Engler, I'm proud to be with you, sir, and thank you for that kind introduction. Greetings to Chick Fisher, your chairman, and Jerry Warren, both of whom have been most hospitable to me.

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I've been here several times before this most distinguished American forum, and I'm delighted to be back. This morning I am here for a very serious speech, serious business. I'm releasing today an Agenda for the American Renewal, and I've come here today to introduce it to you and to the Nation. My agenda diagnoses the economic problems our Nation faces, lays out the principles that should guide us in the years ahead, and explains the integrated approach that I am pursuing to meet the challenge.

Over the past weeks I have been discussing certain elements of my economic agenda, and in the weeks ahead I will be expanding on those and other ideas. The document that I'm releasing today shows how the pieces all fit together. But let's begin this morning by stepping back, taking stock of where we are as a great nation in the broader sweep of history. The American people have just completed the greatest mission in the lifetime of our country: the triumph of democratic capitalism over imperial communism. Today, this year, for the first time since December ofthe United States is not engaged in a war, hot or cold.

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Throughout history, at the close of prolonged and costly wars, victors have confronted the problem of securing a new basis for peace and prosperity. The American people recognize that we stand at such a watershed. We sense the epic changes at work in the world and in the economy, the uneasiness that stirs the democracies who served as our partners in the long struggle.

We feel the uneasiness in our own homes, our own communities, and we see the difficulties of our neighbors and friends who have felt change most directly. We know that while we face an era of great opportunity, we face great risks as well if we fail to make the right choices, if we fail to engage this new world wisely.

But America has always possessed unique powers, and foremost among them is the power of regeneration, to transform uncertainty into opportunity. Only in America do Looking for Warren Michigan peopleany left have the people, the talents, the principles and ideals to fully embrace the world that opens before us. For America to be safe and strong, we must meet the defining challenge of the 's: to win the economic competition, to win the peace. We must be a military superpower, an economic superpower, an export superpower. My agenda for renewal asks that we look forward, to open new markets, prepare our people to work, strengthen our families, save and invest so that we can win.

Our renewal depends on economic growth but growth not for the few at the expense of the many, not for the present at the expense of the future. In our country we've always prized an entrepreneurial capitalism that grows from the bottom up, not the top down; a prosperity that begins on Main Street and extends to Wall Street, not the other way around. That's the lesson I learned as a young man, packed up a Studebaker and moved to Texas after another war, at the start of another era. I saw jobs, prosperity, an entire future, built with the hands of ordinary men and women with extraordinary dreams.

Our Nation has never been seduced by the mirage that my opponent offers of a Government that accumulates capital by taxing it and borrowing it from the people and then redistributing it according to some industrial policy. We know that the clumsy hand of Government is no match for the uplifting hand of the marketplace. My international economic and trade strategy will guarantee our position as an export superpower, extending our global economic reach in tandem with our security presence to stretch beyond our borders so that we can create more jobs within our borders.

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At the same time, we need to foster at home the capabilities that will keep us in the lead: radical changes in our education system to prepare our children for a constantly changing workplace; incentives for the entrepreneurs and new technologies to sharpen our competitive edge; job training, health care reform to promote the economic security of our working men and women; and new approaches for reaching out to those who have been left behind, since in the century ahead we will need the talent and the energy of every single American. Finally, because our greatest strengths flow not from Government but from the personal initiative of free men and women, my agenda aims to check the growth of Government and, in some important ways, to reverse it.

Together, the components of this new agenda should renew America according to her most cherished principles. To place this agenda in a larger context, let me turn briefly to five profound changes now at work in our economy. When Americans gather around the kitchen table at night and talk about how they'll meet a mortgage or pay the doctor's bill, they're feeling these changes in their daily lives.

Before the changes have run their course, they will have forever altered the way Americans buy and sell, work, and create. The first great change in our economy is ironically caused by our very success in ending the cold war. In the short run, deductions in defense spending Looking for Warren Michigan peopleany left meant painful layoffs in many industries, and we are taking steps to ease this transition. But in the medium and long run, deductions in defense spending will free up priceless skills and technologies for peacetime growth.

Second, most of our industries are transforming themselves from old-style hierarchies into flatter organizations, with fewer layers between customer and executive. The new organizations emphasize a skill-based work force, "lean production," and shorter production cycles. From castings to computers, this is a revolution as dramatic as the one made earlier this century, when Henry Ford led the country from craft-based production to mass manufacturing. While these changes are essential to maintaining our competitive edge, they've come with a cost.

Everyone in this room knows that: layoffs, cutbacks among both white- and blue-collar workers. These hard-working people need reassurance, not only about their economic security but about preserving the sense of self-worth that only work can provide. The third change: While the 's brought us the greatest peacetime expansion in our history, the boom also led too many of us to take on too much debt.

We have been paying that down, that debt, and lower interest rates have helped us do it. The process is largely over, but consumers and companies remain cautious. The fourth change involves our financial system. We entered the eighties with a year-old banking system, deed for the days when tellers wore green eyeshades, not for an era when billions, billions of investment dollars can cross borders at the speed of light. In the late seventies, record interest rates and inflation rates rocked this anachronistic system.

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The less efficient institutions could not survive, obligating the Federal Government to protect the savings of millions of Americans. Now, this process of paying debt down is nearing its end. Our financial system will become more flexible and efficient. But for now, lenders are cautious and, despite low interest rates, small business still can find it hard to get the credit.

But the most far-reaching of these five changes is the emergence of a global economy. No nation is an island today. One out of every six manufacturing jobs is directly tied to exports. The crops sown from 1 out of every 3 acres of farmland are sold abroad. Consider some implications of the global economy: When growth slows abroad, as it has recently, our own growth slows as well. America will only grow in the next century if we can compete globally in every part of the world. So we must seize every opportunity to open new markets, particularly those with the greatest potential for expansion.

Now, in drafting an agenda for America's future, we had to assess our strengths as well as our weaknesses. Conveniently, the other side has discovered many weaknesses and very few strengths. Of course, they might find temporary political gain in portraying America as past her prime, over the hill. But they have no more right to argue, for partisan purposes, that our economy is weaker than it is than I have to understate our problems. Our strengths are real. Now, here are some facts. The "misery index," the sum of inflation and unemployment, is Inflation stands at about 3 percent.

Interest rates are at a year low. The purchasing power of Americans gives us the highest standard of living in the world. We enjoy the highest homeownership rate of all major industrialized countries. We send 68 Looking for Warren Michigan peopleany left of our children on to higher education, more than any other country, and well above Germany's 32 percent and Japan's 30 percent.

With 5 percent of the world's population, we produce 25 percent of the world's total output and 37 percent of its high-tech products. Now, I don't mean to suggest that all is well, that we don't need to lead and manage the changes that are transforming our economy.

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But you can't chart the stars if you think the sky is falling down. Over the past 12 years we have almost doubled the size of our economy. It's as if we'd created two extra economies the size of Germany's from scratch.

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How will we meet our goals? Before you hear the specifics of this agenda, let me tell you a little bit about what I believe, because change, if it is to be a force for good, must be guided by principles. The principles that must guide change are the principles that never change. I believe we are a nation of special individuals, not special interests. Individuals draw their enduring strength from their families, from their neighbors and communities, not from the Government. So I believe we must never ask Government to do what families and neighbors and individuals can better do for themselves and for one another.

I believe, because I've seen it, economic growth comes from the small-business woman who takes a risk on a new product, from the computer hacker working in a garage in a cluttered way; from the merit scholar in south L. I believe Government owes it to them and to you to keep tax rates low and make them even lower, to keep money sound, to limit Government spending and regulations, and to open the way for greater competition and freer trade.

But I do not believe, as some might, that Government's obligation ends there. As a conservative I believe that Government can help people, offer them hope and opportunity by giving them the means and the confidence to make the decisions that matter in life. My background has also prepared me for the task of bringing our foreign policies and our domestic policies together to turn our strength as a world power to our advantage as an economic power, to match the security we feel militarily with the economic security that we must build at home.

From now on, if America is to lead the world, we need a leader who knows the territory. My Agenda for American Renewal calls for action on six interconnected fronts. There's no single cause of our present situation. There can be no single cure. The whole of our agenda will be, must be, greater than the sum of its parts. First: challenging the world. During the cold war, we built a global security structure with military alliances across the Atlantic and the Pacific.

In the same way, the post-cold-war era requires strategic economic and trade policy, global in scope and built on our foundation as an economic and export superpower. We are uniquely positioned to achieve this goal. As the largest fully integrated market in the world, we wield leverage with other countries that want access to our market.

As both a Pacific and a European power, we are tied to the largest and most rapidly growing economies across both oceans. As the strongest nation in our hemisphere, we are looked to for leadership by free economies emerging from Chile Looking for Warren Michigan peopleany left the way up to Mexico. The same holds true for the newly born economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where our values, our products, even our language, carry a unique appeal.

The key to America's growth, expansion, and innovation has always been our openness to trade, investment, ideas, and people. As this openness is at last being reciprocated around the world, we find ourselves again at a special advantage.

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The next steps in my strategic trade policy are to secure congressional approval of the North American free trade agreement and to complete the global trade negotiations, the GATT round, creating high-wage American jobs and expanding the pool of customers hungry for the fruits of American labor. Let me emphasize these agreements are steps, not ends in themselves. So I want to announce today that it is my goal to develop a strategic network of free trade agreements with Latin America; with Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia; and with countries across the Pacific.

And then, as these external barriers fall, I believe we can help reduce internal barriers to competition as well in North America, Western Europe, Japan, and elsewhere. Greater competition will encourage entrepreneurial capitalism at the expense of Government power and entrenched interests, spurring unprecedented economic growth. Traveling around the country I've seen it happen already, particularly in some small businesses, as they strengthen themselves for international competition.

A couple of weeks ago, in St. Louis, I visited Public Safety Equipment. They're a company; they make the lightbars that you've seen on police cars. The president of Public Safety told me that a few years ago they recognized they could no longer just sell their products in 50 States, leave it at that. So they took on the world, and now 35 percent of what they make is sold in 48 countries, creating good jobs right here in the United States of America. Public Safety and the hundreds of thousands of companies like it offer a glimpse into the future I see for all American business.

But a business is only as efficient, as resilient, as innovative as the people who keep its books and build its products and devise its strategy. Materials, machines, methods, they'll come and go, but the American worker will remain the key to our economic security. That brings me, then, to the second part of our agenda: preparing our children. The workplace of the 21st century will be constantly changing.

I've heard that from many Looking for Warren Michigan peopleany left people sitting right here at the tables in this hall.

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email: [email protected] - phone:(433) 107-5386 x 8665

Administrator Michael Regan, Remarks For Michigan EJ Conference, As Prepared for Delivery