Thursday, December 4, 2014

Condoleezza Rice Speech in Wichita

When Dr. Condoleezza Rice was announced as the speaker for the Wichita Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and dinner, I said I would report on her speech.

As a fan of hers, I am sorry to report that her speech was a mild disappointment. It was generic and only 20 minutes long. She spoke about international policy primarily (no surprise). We learned China and Russia are acting badly; hardly an observation that required special expertise. The only domestic issue she addressed is that she believes everyone needs a good education. She then took questions and answers for about 20 minutes. No real insight there, either.

There was nothing about Furgeson, the lagging economy and Dr. Rice said the U.S. was the "freest nation in the world." We aren't even close, anymore. The latest index of personal freedom has the U.S. 20th! I often think the people inside the Beltway and in academy are disconnected from the rest of Americans. That comment seems to strengthen that observation. It is my personal opinion that our declining economic and personal freedom contributes to stagnating incomes and lack of jobs because it discourages innovation and entrepreneurship. I would have very much appreciated her addressing that issue.

It is the type of speech I would have expected from a political candidate two years from an election. She has said, multiple times, she is not running. After that designed not to offend anyone speech, I'm not so sure.

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