Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The New Old Economy

After 3 years of listening to bullshit I have decided to chime in on the economy debate from a suburban married guys point of view. If you take all of the Ivy League theoretical economic crap and throw it out your left with the values that built this country. Freedom, Liberty, Honor and Humility. There is no quick way to the top that is sustainable. Growth needs to be in terms of tangible assets not deferred options. Businesses are formed to create profit for the owners who took the risk to begin with. That profit is to be used at their discretion. If they choose wisely they will build a solid company that will outlive them. If they are greedy and unwise, the company will implode and fail. That is what was wrong with the bailouts. Those companies should have failed or disintegrated into smaller manageable pieces. We failed our own system. When you make solid, conservative business decisions, you will succeed. When your greed gets the best of you, you fail.

Our economy is progressing well. We will not recover from where we were because it was built on false pretenses. If profits are up, growth will follow. The growth may only be 2-3%, but it is positive, sustainable growth. This will lead to healthy businesses that will be built to withstand an unforeseen threat to our economy. Profit is good when it goes from innovation, production and sustainable processes. Profit coming from destruction, oppression or misrepresentation only leads to failure.

We as a society tend to try to get to cute for our own good. Our country was founded on core principles of civility. The government should be the guide, not the leader. Natural selection will always prevail. A fundamental shift in the public perception must be towards a common good, not individual success.(read that again without your political antennas up) Working for a living is a honor, a privilege. Yes, there are some who do not have to based on the success of their families or by luck. For the rest of us, we need to get back to working to live, not living to work. Our lives should not be the pursuit of riches, but rather finding the riches in everyday. Would I like to have 1 million dollars, yes, just like I would like to have a pool in my yard, or a vacation home. These are things that I did currently have and I think they may provide riches in my everyday life. Truth is, I do not know. One million dollars may pay off my current liabilities but it also may provide more.

Quality of life is measured within. Jobs comes and go, kids grow, cars fail, real estate is cyclical but what is now is all you have. The moments make our quality of life. These moments do not have a price tag. The impression of that moment is not based on location, Paris, Rome or New York, it is based on the intensity of the focus and clarity of the interaction. Our economy gives us the power to control our destiny. It is voluntary. You can work 80 hours a week or not at all. Your choice. That is liberty. When you are able to control the true meaning of "The American Dream" you will notice that the race dissolves into exploration.

I was taken back a bit by the message in the Chrysler commercial during the Super Bowl. Finally, somebody gets it. I am not saying it is the leadership at Chrysler, but somebody in that process understands where value lies. I find it interesting that most people who speak of global expansion and less regulation are the one most leveraged here in this country. They need somewhere else to make profit dollars. This basic principle should always prevail, more should export than import. If we continue to be a plus 70% consumer society, we will always be at the mercy of our lenders. Hence, where we are today. Our companies should first take pride in being American, that is why they have opportunity.

We are always in changing times. That is one thing that will never "change". Each generation misunderstands the next. What we have lost is the values of two generations ago. Humility and honor. If you need to be reminded simply read or watch accounts of WWII. That is what sacrifice is. For some, that will not blend with their entitlement platform, or it is too easy a solution. Whether your liberal or conservative, white, black or blue this country and the economic platform is ours. We as a people have allowed it be what it is. We the people need to take it back.

I went on a family trip to Puerto Rico a few years back. I was lucky to find a house for rent outside the usual tourist areas. Before I left a coworker who was born and raised in Puerto Rico told me that most people there were lazy. I remembered that as we went about the small towns and villages. We had a great time on that trip. People we friendly, sites were memorable, very relaxing. When I returned back to work I sat down with my coworker and talked about the trip. She again stated how lazy people were. My comments to her were this, they live in a paradise. Most don't seem to mind that they are living in what we consider to be poverty. We stopped at many roadside food stands and talked to many people. All happy, engaged in the discussion. I don't think a million dollars can replace stillness and humility.

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