we must change from the perturbations of laissez-faire hedging and swapping, to consumer protection and regulatory reform; change from apathy and meanness, to more social responsibility; from puritanical petulance, to liberal pragmatism; from treacherous disadvantages and inequities, to reliable standards and sureties; as far away from delusive (unregulated) financial adventures as possible and toward rightful and trustworthy enterprises (public and private) - retrogression, retrenchment and lawless avarice cannot endure.
social agreements (about how we have hoped to improve) are painfully but eventually "decided"; however, in my remembrance, the stubborn ignorance and spiteful obstruction of unscrupulous plutocrats, fanatic Inquisitors and irresponsible libertarians has persistently defied the "popular will" (which has most often been temperately liberal, I think). I doubt that the obviously doctrinal pessimism of the professional mourners on the political right (despite incremental reforms and steady recovery) can dampen American hopefulness or, God be good, our expectations/opportunities.
public education is the greatest boon of the American experiment, and teachers are the teeth of the key to that blessing - I think that paying, preparing and provisioning teachers much more while refitting and re-forming the institutional 'constructions' to better serve both pupil and public is the turn to make.
TO DO BETTER
what seems beyond the quaint 19th century, 'nation of shopkeepers' notion with which Mr. Romney deludes himself (and stupefies the crowd) is the genuine necessity found, over time, for consumer protections, cost controls, and investiture/promotion in the public interest (which give stability to markets and security to standard of living). what government can do more cheaply and efficiently than private industry (Medicare for instance) it should do, and what is done privately for the public well-being should be guaranteed. infrastructure investment and deficit relief should be "triggered", if gridlock dangerously delays destiny, and using military spending for business lending/contracting and R&D seems a familiar plan (was it not military industry that was transformed by 20th century ingenuity).