The Blog

President-Elect Obama: A Lesson from Your Mother-Put Women in Charge of the Economy!

Obama's mother knew a thing or two about how women, when in charge of the economy, be it of a household, a bank, or a country, can make a real difference.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

I love Obama's mother. I love her idealism, her open-mindedness, even her naivete, which lead her to believe the world and her country could indeed be the best it could be. And the election of her son is proving it to be so. I am so sorry she did not live to see it.

S. Ann Dunham Soetoro was a teen mom, and then a single mom doing a PhD, then a pioneering woman working with microcredit. As someone who worked with single moms for many years in the US and finished her PhD just as she became a single mom herself, now working to help make microcredit more well-known...I understand, also as an ex-pat, what Ann Soetero was trying to do. And we have heard what a strong effect she had on her children.

She also knew a thing or two about how women, when in charge of the economy, be it of a household, a bank, or a country, can make a real difference. In fact, they would not have messed it up the way these swapping flipping cheap credit guys have done over the past decade or so. Women invest in their families, and know that the way to build a strong sustainable society, with a healthy economy, is by taking care of everyone, not leaving people out. Usually the women and children are the ones left out.

Obama had not only his inspiring mother, working with microcredit, which mostly helps poor women with small loans to build their own businesses, and TRUSTS them to pay back (which they do much better than those swapping flipping high flying guys did...of and they took your money with them!)...she had a mother who rose in the ranks to become an executive of a bank! So Obama has two generations of women in his family who worked in finance! I hope he learns lesson from that, as well as from the local, grass-roots elements in these banking ideas, passed on by his mother and grandmother, as he puts together the group which is going to help us out of this mess.

Look at Iceland, which after it went bankrupt, put women in charge of it all to clean it up. Most of Scandinavia has already done so and they are faring much better than the rest of the world. There must be something about testosterone and gambling, making air out of air, that makes sense to guys. To women, it frightens us, because there is no there there.

And you cannot feed children with it, or pay the rent, or the clothes for school, or feed your children, on hot air! It's the mothers and the grandmothers who scrimped and saved and put the money away in the past.

Look at organizations such as Muhammad Yunus's Grameen Bank, and the women who own and run it, and are the borrowers paying back at a rate of 99%. Look at all of the microcredit organizations around the world, which focus on loaning to women, because they know, they have learned that women put the profits back into their families, send their children to school, and build a more sustainable future!
In one way, women's roles have not changed all that much... when someone else makes a mess, we often are the ones cleaning it up. If Obama is really smart, he will take a lesson from the women in his family, and set us on a true course towards a deeply sustainable future this time! Get rid of the good ole boys, bring in the moms! I want to see a majority of women running this economic turn-around...or America might be in trouble for a lot longer!