Rana Foroohar, TIME Assistant Managing Editor in charge of economics and business, weighs in on the economic messages in the State of the Union address:
Factory jobs for life are gone. We should worry about China eating our lunch. Education is the way to a bigger paycheck. Clean energy is good; Big Oil is bad (so are greedy bankers). We need better teachers. We need better bridges and railroads. Corporations better pay their taxes. Kids need to study harder. We all need to spend less.
Those were some of the key economic takeaways from Obama’s State of the Union speech, but what struck me most weren’t the top line items (all of which are true), but whether we have the right ideas about what our strengths are, and whether we can still leverage them quite as well in an era in which wealth and power are shifting quickly from West to East.