Today, President Barack Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address to the American people. Since that first address in 2009, the Internet has become an even more ubiquitous part of American life. An estimated 244 million Americans used the Internet in 2012 – 78 percent of the total population – growing more than 10 percent in those four years. So what is the State of the Internet in 2013, as the President embarks on his second term in office?
The Internet is a catalyst for job creation and an amazing accelerator for innovation. The Internet not only drives economic growth across the globe, but also increases the success of small businesses and job creators across the U.S. As our nation continues its economic recovery, Arkansas has a vested interest in protecting the Internet and its ability to bolster economic growth.
How to put the nation’s economy on the path for growth and job creation was the central debate in this year’s election. Now that the campaign is over, the public lens remains focused on our economy; but the nation as a whole is also beginning to see a different demographic picture emerge—one that many are calling the New America. According to exit polls, the non-white share of the electorate reached 28 percent, an all-time high. And this changing face of America has prompted the president and congressional leaders to make immigration reform a top priority alongside the economy.
Highly skilled and talented people are a powerful source of new innovation and job creation, and Internet companies across America know first- hand that immigrants create jobs, build companies, invent new products and services and push the U.S. economy forward in a critically important way.
Campaign strategists and pundits are always trying to predict the newest or most important political demographic groups. For a long time, it was seniors. That was followed by the dawn of the “soccer mom” and lately there has been a lot of talk about “NASCAR dads.” But the strongest untapped political factor these days is rarely mentioned, despite representing a force central to the lives of nearly every American — the Internet.