A packed auditorium awaited him…
Congressman Paul Ryan today was very warmly received today as he walked on stage at the University of Cleveland in Ohio. With his unique, clear capacity to speak succinctly on the enriching principles of our free enterprise system, Ryan delivered a powerhouse speech on upward mobility and the economy.
FOX 8 Cleveland offers this preview:
WATCH Ryan’s entire speech here (begins @:37).
Transcript of Ryan’s compelling speech:
UPWARD MOBILITY AND THE ECONOMY
Thank you very much for that warm welcome – and thank you Jimmy, for that great introduction. I want to thank everyone at Cleveland State University for your kind hospitality. I especially want to thank President Berkman for his help in making this happen. And of course, none of us would be here today without the extraordinary work of Bob Woodson and the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. Thank you, Bob, for bringing us together today.
We are here in partnership on behalf of an idea – that no matter who your parents are, no matter where you come from, you should have the opportunity in America to rise, to escape from poverty, and to achieve whatever your God-given talents and hard work enable you to achieve.
In so many ways, our nation’s history has been a long struggle to bring opportunity into every life. Our nation was founded on the creed that “all men are created equal” – that we all possess equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But, of course, equality of opportunity hasn’t always been a fact of life in our country – it’s been something we’ve had to constantly fight for. It’s a cause that continues to this day.
Even though so many barriers to equality have fallen, too many old inequities persist. Too many children, especially African-American and Hispanic children, are sent into mediocre schools and expected to perform with excellence. African-American and Hispanic children make up only 38 percent of the nation’s overall students, but they are 69 percent of the students in schools identified as lowest performing.
That’s unacceptable. We owe every child a chance to succeed. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, we owe them “an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.” Upward mobility is the central promise of life in America. But right now, America’s engines of upward mobility aren’t working the way they should.
Mitt Romney and I are running because we believe that Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility instead of a stagnant, government-directed economy that stifles job creation and fosters government dependency.
There is something wrong in our country when 40 percent of children born to parents in the lowest fifth of earners never know anything better. The question before us today – and it demands a serious answer – is how do we get the engines of upward mobility turned back on, so that no one is left out from the promise of America?