Clinton stresses importance of knowledge at UAlbany

When it came to the question of who is supposed to act on these changes, he said that he has always been skeptical of the American government. This comes from past abuses of human rights. Clinton also said that our system of government has come under attack as private interests groups have hijacked democracy.

So who can do it? He suggested non-governmental groups are making a large impact on the world and are giving the opportunity to anyone to help change the direction of their countries.

"There are great things that non-governmental groups can do like mine," he said. "We try to answer the how question and turn good intentions into policy changes."

Clinton also focused on the vast differences between First World problems and Third World problems, proclaiming that if the power had gone out in the SEFCU Arena, the air conditioning had turned off and the microphone shut off, most of the people in the room would be afraid. In poorer countries, most of the people living there would have been happy just to have those luxuries in the first place.

Even before the earthquake in Haiti, where Clinton was working with his Clinton Global Initiative, 75 percent of there were people living on less than $2 a day.

"In the really poor places, what they need are the systems that got you from birth into these chairs tonight," he said, adding that he understood some of the people in the audience have had struggles in their lives. "But at critical junctures along the way you had access to clean water, access to sanitation and a roof over your head and you would never starve or die of a disease."

At the end of the evening, Clinton was asked questions that were submitted by students from the University of Albany. One wanted to know how the college could play a role in the economic growth.

He praised the university's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering as a program that could pave the way for the rest of the state.

"If you could paint the picture of what upstate New York will look like in 10 years, what does it look like now and what do you have to do?" he said. "You're very well suited to do that."


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