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President Obama Calls For Ending Wall Street Brain Drain in Major Economic Speech Yesterday
Obama Supports Growing Nat’l Movement to Burst Bubble of Financial Speculation, Following OURTIME.org’s “Stop the Brain Drain” Petition
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During yesterday’s economic speech in Kansas, President Obama encouraged the nation’s best and brightest to consider careers outside Wall Street – a national movement initiated by non-profit organization OURTIME.org and a group of public policy students from Stanford University. "If we don’t have an economy built on bubbles and financial speculation, our best and brightest won’t all gravitate towards careers in banking and finance," President Obama said. "Because if we want an economy that’s built to last, we need more of those young people in science and engineering. This country should not be known for bad debt and phony profits. We should be known for creating and selling products all around the world that are stamped with three proud words: Made in America." The full speech transcript is available here. OURTIME.org, a national organization standing up for Americans under 30, launched the “Stop the Brain Drain” petition in October to demand the end of a practice that is weakening America’s economy and implore universities to support America’s top talent in creating new businesses, developing innovative technology and improving government. “Entrepreneurship is on the decline, and America is an unemployment crisis.” says Matthew Segal, co-founder and President of OURTIME.org. “If more scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians become entrepreneurs, they will not only create more jobs for America, increase our standard of living, and keep us competitive in a global economy, but they will also accrue more wealth long-term. I have friends and colleagues who work on Wall Street and believe that a strong financial services sector is essential for a successful economy. But at the same time we have to ask: How can we foster and encourage more startups from our best and brightest?” The petition, which demands universities immediately cease the practice of allowing Wall Street recruiters preferred access to students in exchange for financial contributions, has grabbed the attention of the mainstream media over the past month, including stories in the Huffington Post, the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. Among the 1,300 Americans who have signed the petition is New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman. Additionally, since the campaign’s launch there have been supportive Twitter
messages from Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, and Former Secretary of Labor and MSNBC contributor Robert Reich. You can view the full petition or join the effort by going to: www.stopthebraindrain.org. Teryn Norris and Eli Pollack, both part of the group of Stanford’s public policy students who launched the petition with OURTIME.org, co-authored the op-ed, “Stop the Wall Street Recruitment,” which was published in the Stanford Daily and referenced in the New York Times. In the op-ed, the two students call out America’s universities for allowing Wall Street firms to continue preferential treatment that is “antithetical to the civic mission and responsibility of higher education.” The two authors go on to state, “It is time for the academic community to seriously address this problem.” View the full op-ed in the Stanford Daily here. The Kauffman Foundation recently released a report, which stated that because financial systems often hire the very individuals who otherwise would have comprised the most robust pool of prospective founders of high-growth companies, the financial services industry has had a “cannibalizing effect on entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy.” The report goes on to say that “excessive financialization exacerbates and distorts the flow of capital in the economy, potentially suppressing entrepreneurship by drawing away entrepreneurial talent." View additional background information, including facts and figures – such as statistics showing that in 2010, 20 percent of Harvard graduates were recruited to work in the financial services industry, three times more than in previous generations – here. Over the past few months, OURTIME.org has been outspoken on America’s economic issues: polling its members on their support of the “Buffett Rule”; supporting the boycott of political contributions with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s Upward Spiral Campaign; and launching a petition in August calling on Congress to “CANCEL their vacation, head back to Washington, and get to work on behalf of their constituents.” OURTIME.org is a national organization founded and run by young Americans, leveraging pop culture, business partnerships, and online organizing to drive civic engagement through economic empowerment. To follow OURTIME.org on Facebook go to: http://www.facebook.com/OurTimeOrg. Or to follow OURTIME.org on Twitter, go to: www.Twitter.com/OurTimeOrg. ###