While I appreciate concerns from Silicon Valley executives about what their innovations may do to American incomes, I believe they're selling American workers short. The future will not change the enduring American values that got us here. Our children and grandchildren deserve the promise we've had: the skills to get ahead, the chance to earn a paycheck, and a steady job that rewards hard work.
And here's one thing I know for sure: it is within our power to provide the future they deserve. When the steam engine came along or the Model T Ford hit the assembly line or the first computer, we didn't throw up our hands. We made choices to make it work for us. And now, too, our future is a choice, not a foregone conclusion.
All of us – corporate America, labor, nonprofits, and government – have a responsibility to get this right. I know some want to single out big corporations for all the blame. It is true that the balance has shifted too much in favor of corporations and against workers. But consumers, workers, and leaders have the power to hold every corporation to a higher standard, not simply cast business as the enemy or let industry off the hook. Last spring, I brought some leading executives to the University of Delaware to discuss these challenges and how CEOs can meet their responsibilities to their workers, their communities, and their country.
Now, I am launching a new effort at the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware to identify strategies for economic growth that put work first. Tomorrow morning, I am speaking in Washington to CEOs from around the country about our shared responsibility to solve this problem. Then, I am returning to Delaware to lead a panel discussion with national leaders in business, labor, non-profits, and government. Many are already doing great work on this issue. My goal is to learn from their successes and find common ground to help leverage and scale them.