The United States is blessed with abundant natural resources, peaceful borders, a strong middle class, best in-class learning institutions, the strongest military in the world, deep and liquid capital markets, a transparent and consistently enforced rule of law and a stable form of government.
But, despite these advantages, in some important ways, we are falling short. Too many of America’s young people lack the education and skills to succeed. Roads, bridges, and other infrastructure are deteriorating following decades of underinvestment. Economic security remains too far out of reach for too many people.
Overcoming these challenges requires collaboration between the public, private and non-profit sectors. In fact, we need each other. No one group can go it alone. The public sector can leverage its scale and ability to direct resources; the nonprofit sector is effective at identifying needs, opportunities and solutions; and the private sector contributes innovation, human talent and financial capital.
As business leaders, it is our responsibility to step up and do our part. Of the 150 million people who work in the United States, 130 million work for private enterprise. These businesses generate jobs and economic growth, which is necessary for higher wages, more employment and greater opportunity for advancement. This growth also supports critical public services on which we all depend.
As major employers in every state in the country, Business Roundtable CEOs take seriously the responsibility of creating quality jobs with good wages and benefits. These companies provide health care to millions of employees, including retirees and their families; billions in training to promote individual personal growth and development; and educational opportunities for their employees and families. Many are leaders on issues of social responsibility. And they are some of the biggest supporters of philanthropic efforts in the United States.
Looking to the future, overcoming our economic challenges as a nation depends on fulfilling our shared responsibility to act. Business leaders have a vital role to play. Working together with partners in government and in our communities, we are dedicated to making a difference.