Obama: 2009 will continue to be a difficult year

Los Angeles (CA) – In a speech on the economy given at Georgetown University today, President Obama laid out a strategy that includes clean energy and healthcare initiatives for the tech industry. He put the blame on “a perfect storm of irresponsibility and poor decision-making that stretched from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street.” But, he offers five pillars of support for rebuilding that include regulation, education, the greening of America, healthcare, and fiscal discipline.

The complete text of today’s speech can be found here. For the tech generation, the opportunities that this Presidency offers are mainly in the area of health care and renewable energy. If Obama gets his way, the health care system will be required to invest heavily in electronic records. The challenge will be to reconcile the need to dramatically cut costs by creating electronic efficiencies in the system, while dealing with the myriad implications of privacy laws that vary state by state and the often preclude the very activities that the President’s plan hopes to encourage. John Timmer at Ars Technica has something to say about that here.

On the bright side, there may be less of an impediment to the push for renewable energy. According to Greentech Media, an online media company covering green technology, recent quarterly data shows venture capital investment in green technologies totaled $836.1 million in 59 deals in the first quarter of 2009. Albeit, the numbers are approximately back to 2007 levels but, according to the National Venture Capital Association, total venture capital fund raising is at its worst level since the fourth quarter of 2003, when the tech bubble burst.

Unfortunately, most successful tech entrepreneurs tend to be pasty white college drop-outs who have rarely seen the sun, and are too young for a colonoscopy or prostate exam. It’s hard to see how they’re going to get their minds around the problems and challenges we face. We may be doomed until the President gets everyone to speculate on foreclosed housing.

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