By Brian King
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) addressed a group of business and community leaders Monday at the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce's second installment of their 2013 legislative series presented by Davis and Floyd.
Scott began by recounting his childhood, coming from a single-parent home and failing out of high school as a freshman. That is when a local Chick-Fil-A owner took Scott under his wing and taught him that he could be whatever he wanted to be. Scot said that much of what he was taught then has stuck with him until now.
"A life without application comes with negative consequences," Scott said. "I've experienced that. Have you ever noticed that you don't drift in the right direction? All drifting goes in the wrong direction."
Scott said that he was taught that having a job was a good thing, but that creating jobs for others would allow him to have a positive impact on his community. Scott said the current tax code prevents businesses from creating jobs.
Scott described the atmosphere in Washington, D.C. as "combative," but said he had hope for the future as more and more people come together in a nonpartisan way to find common ground. Scott said he has personally seen that happening with education.
"What I believe is we don't really want Republican or Democrat solutions. We don't want right versus left; we want right versus wrong. What most of us want are American solutions to American problems."
Scott said that people like to talk about the unemployment rate in America, but he believes that the unemployment rate is the product of the dropout rate in America. He believes that the unemployment rate cannot be corrected until education is addressed. Scott said he believes that can only happen by decentralizing education, rather than attempting to centralize it in Washington, D.C.
Scott told those gathered that every obstacle is also an opportunity and that the obstacles in Washington, D.C. are no exception.
"My grandfather said he has seen the most amazing things -- band and good," Scott said. "He is more hopeful for our outcome today than he was 50 years ago. He said he has seen more progress in this country than he thought was possible. He charged me with the responsibility of bringing people together to make a difference based on their principles."