South Carolina

April 3, 2013

Bernanke speaks, the world listens

This is the fifth in a series for Envision S.C., an initiative where some of the state’s brightest thinkers share their perspectives to inspire the state to become world class in technology, education and business.

Dillon’s Ben Bernanke’s words have a resounding effect, not only in the United States, but also around the globe. Since 2006, Bernanke has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and is in his second term as chairman. Before assuming the leadership at the Fed, Bernanke served in a number of advisory and academic positions including stints at Princeton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and New York universities.Bernanke was born in Augusta and grew up in Dillon where he attended the local public schools. Later, Bernanke earned his B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

Bernanke is abusy man with a big job – running the largest economy in the world. Bernanke agreed to participate in the Envision SC project but couldn’t do a sit-down interview. Instead, he responded to questions Charleston businessman Phil Noble submitted to him in writing.

“I’m a proud South Carolinian,” Bernanke said in an opening statement. “I was raised in the town of Dillon in the Pee Dee area and attended public schools there. I was lucky to have good teachers and many opportunities to help prepare me for college and my career. I hope that every young South Carolinian has similar opportunities to go wherever their talents, abilities and interests lead them. That means making sure that each South Carolinian has access to the best education our state and communities can provide.”

His vision of South Carolina

We must invest in our future, by investing in our people. In a world that is rapidly changing, educated people; people who can read critically, think analytically, and write clearly will be best able to adapt. Thus I hope South Carolina will continue to bring a “World Class” education to every young person in the state. Although education from kindergarten to the twelfth grade is the foundation that provides young people with the basic skills they need, adults too need educational opportunities. To prosper in our modern, globalized economy, they must have chances to continually reinvent themselves and gain new skills and perspectives.

Education in South Carolina

South Carolina needs to make sure it offers a diverse set of institutions to foster lifelong learning; not only strong colleges and universities but also community and junior colleges, technical and vocational schools, on-the-job training and other programs that people can return to whenever they need to raise their skill levels. The recent financial crisis has underscored that people, young and old, benefit when they acquire a basic knowledge of finance and economics.

The need for financial literacy

Young people need to learn how to manage their budgets, save, and invest their money, find reliable information about buying a car or a house and prepare financially for retirement and other life goals. Our schools and our families must teach young people the financial literacy skills that they need to navigate in the modern financial world. These skills not only help people provide a better life for themselves and their families, but by deepening their understanding of the world economy, they help equip them to be engaged citizens and informed voters. Let me close by congratulating (Charleston College) for its leadership in developing Envision South Carolina. I hope this innovative, multi-disciplinary program succeeds in its ambitious goal with helping the people of my home state, dream, connect, and learn together to make South Carolina world class.

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