Foundational Fixes For Economy #alt2bailout

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This morning over sausages and beer at Citizen Space, the talk inevitably turned to the economy and whether it was going to turn around or tank.  The great thing about co-working is the diversity of perspectives you can get in any conversation.  Without the corporate silo walls preventing us from interacting, without being organized by similarity of activities performed, and without anything connecting us more then a shared sense of place, we get by the bullshit and get real.

Anyway, I digress, because my point is more about what we really need to change in order to correct for our broader market problems (though I clearly think the silos between us are uber important).  What will it take? Less Greed?  Sure, but how do we stop one of the most powerful and highly motivating of the 7 deadly sins?  We certainly don’t legislate it all away, its an emotionally charged human behaviour.  No, we must really start the change from within.  Microsharing is perhaps an appropriate meme to leverage – now we need to get on to microgrowing, where we each grow a little bit each day in terms of understanding how connected we are to the world around us and the other people in it.

This was one of the original purposes of BrainJams, and then Social Media Club – to bring together people from a large diversity of backgrounds to see past the differences of culture, style, economic status and intelligence and see into the hearts and souls of each other.  To see that as much as we are individuals, we are also all one.  We are on this earth together.  We are part of this ecosystem less then we are masters over it.  We are in it together.

Whether or not you believe in the butterfly effect or chaos theory, you certainly have experienced the impact that another person can have on you and that you can have on them.  There is no denying that we are all connected in some way – the homeless man and Donald Trump, George Bush and Cindy Sheehan, and even Charlie Manson and the Benedectine Monks.  What we do affects others.  Simple.  What we do affects the earth. Simple.  What others do affects us.  We need to be mindful of this impact and find a way to ensure its balance.  To balance our self interest and drive with the broader interest of the world around us and its needs for our unique contribution to it.

What we need to fix to help our economy is to not reward greed and excess with tax breaks and bailouts but with meaningful penalties.  Perhaps they can use their great talents to serve as community organizers – to solve big problems.

One specific place where a change in perspective can have a potentially big impact is in looking at our unrealistic expectations of investment grade returns of our investment capital after a company has developed a mature market.  We probably need to fix the general public perception about investment markets in the US really.  We need to get beyond the expectations of constant never ending growth of our investments and look more to the long term. More like the Europeans with a 5 year view of the market instead of a quarterly perspective.

We need to shift our thinking of investments into alignment with reality.  At some point, investments in mature markets become consistent profitability instead of a doubling of revenue. The investor reward on this investment has a ceiling, but if it is successful will always reward your risk with income in the form of dividends.  Wow, what a concept!  So instead of looking for my money to grow exponentially, I realize it is providing me with $250,000 in income each year.  That sounds pretty darn reasonable to me.

Wasn’t that how utilities and railroads used to operate?

This is clearly a sociological problem. A psychological problem.  So it is hard to imagine any scenario where our government is going to be able to force this sort of change in society.  That change needs to come from inside of us. Each and everyone of us. We need to be aware of the world we inhabit, our role in it, our stewardship of it and our responsibilities to each other that when honored will reward each and everyone of us.

It starts simply with microgrowth.  Personal development and an acceptance of the reality we are facing as a result of a way of thinking that is not based in reality.  Humans Don’t Scale no matter how big our appetite for growth is.

Is it possible for this change in thinking to ever take place? Whats good about it and whats bad about it?

A view of the world in balance with our place in it is all I am seeking,  There are many ways to that path.   Tag yours with #alt2bailout and lets learn from each other and discuss other issues we need to address along with potential solutions to our problems.

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  1. #1 by gregorylent - September 27th, 2008 at 23:25

    you think you can change people’s minds, sweet. did it happen yet? even once in your life? why would now be different?

  2. #2 by Chris Heuer - September 28th, 2008 at 19:39

    Actually, several times in my life I have helped to change someone’s mind on something through exposing them to information and insights they did not have previously. As I have changed my perspective too.

    But no one can really do it through force of will – an individual has to change themselves, which is what I am trying to point out really. We need to wake up a bit and see what is really going on around us – to question the rules we have come to assume are immutable and to see what the cause and effect really is.

  3. #3 by BillyV - April 30th, 2013 at 01:09

    Hi Chris,
    Loved reading this and the background notes on your new business. Though many years separate us, I feel like we have travelled a path that has led us both to the same realizations. When I was well regarded as a highly talented Creative Director in HP, I left that job and joined HP’s field to get closer to customer reactions to creative ideas. Initially I felt naked to this new environ but it became a rich minefield for the kind of thinking that fast tracked 6 HP startups to hit $100M in 12 months and $4B in two years.  When I left HP 10 years ago, I worked with entrepreneurs and helped a few to grow nicely. Now I have been developing innovation blueprints that illustrate how creativity and technology can really make a difference in healthcare, innovation, and relationships among others. I still have work to do and do not have a team of advisors like you assembled but I have a long history being ahead of trends that affect people and translating them into opportunities. I was following you a while off and on but am glad I took the time to read the last two blogs you posted. I applaud your progress.  I have a strong suspicion we may even be working on the same thing, though am sure if it is that the importance will have room for a few early entries. Good luck to you.
    It is exciting to be blessed with the insights to make a difference in the world in areas of high need and after so many have offered lame solutions.

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