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(NECN: Lauren Collins, Medford, MA) - President Bill Clinton was in Medford, Mass Sunday to deliver a lecture at Tufts University.
He said that the biggest problem in the United States is not the debate between Republicans and Democrats.
“It’s the anti-government ideology that has driven the right wing of our country for the last 30 years -– the idea that government is always the problem.”
He told thousands of college students that there will always be a gap between what the private sector can do and what government can provide.
“And I believe it’s very important for the non-governmental movement to gather strength. Not only to urge better practices and a better government but also to find ways to step into that gap. To find ways to do things faster, cheaper, better.”
As examples, Clinton told stories of his own NGO, The William J. Clinton Foundation, and of the work of the Clinton Health Access Initiative to bring life-saving drugs to HIV and aids patients in third world countries.
“You have to finally develop some sort of economic model, even if it requires some kind of subsidies, that actually work for people. Now I say that because we found that the same model, buying in bulk, worked to help poor farmers in Latin America.”
Clinton said that his White House years were guided by two questions: what are we going to do and how much money are we going to spend on it.
He said that in the 21st century, one has to be steered by how are we going to turn good intentions into positive change.
“And if you focus more on the how question, you can always find something that’s worth doing. “
Clinton has a book coming out on Tuesday which he did not talk about Sunday night.