Musings: Harvey and Irma to the Rescue: Politics and Perspective

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Just when you think the hammer is about to come down, nature bails out the “Great Dealmaker.” The Russian investigations not included, President Trump may have lucked out because of the disasters of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. While a devastating tragedy for many and a lifetime challenge for some, these natural phenomena may have provided a convenient cop-out for the Trump administration as an excuse for not accomplishing any or most of his main promises such as an infrastructure stimulus bill and tax reduction. I mean, who is going to argue against helping those smashed lives and flooded communities? Of course, these future stimulus packages (estimated to be over $350 billion for both Harvey and Irma), will certainly provide conservatives with the ammunition to contest any increases in the national debt, reduction in taxes and, yes…the Wall.

Harvey and Irma to the Rescue: Politics and Perspective

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

However, neither Trump, the Republicans or the Democrats have yet to provide any sort of Vision or Mission statement other than “Make America Great Again.” The definition of ‘Great’ needs some real clarification. Indeed, it brings up the thorny discussion of what makes a country great? Is it wealth? Is it power? Is it values that are actually practiced and not just given hypocritical lip service?

As a consultant and agent for change, I see the real need for dialogue that I fear most of my fellow citizens are not ready for or interested in having. For example, when there are symptoms of problems, most wise people will look for root causes first before attempting to formulate solutions. Are our current economic and political systems capable of providing solutions to our myriad of complex problems? Socialism has been proven to be a failure not because it’s a bad idea rather it is not aligned with real human nature. Some strive to compete, get ahead and prove they are superior to or hold power over others. Others just want to be left alone and seek a stress-free existence and are told what to do and how to do it.  The question we should be asking is: “How can we reconcile an economic system with the variations in basic characteristics of human nature? As a business analyst and economist, it seems clear to me that we can develop a system that can cater to a range of human personalities while not sacrificing those with personal initiative and a desire to realize their potential. I call it the “Fusion Economy.”

The basic model has three levels of economic systems: 1) Pure capitalism that allows for those who wish to excel economically. 2) A “Socialism” level that would provide a subsidized middle-class income for those with jobs or in academia or those in the pure capitalism level who want to recuperate or take time-off to learn new skills. 3) Kibbutz-like “self-sufficiency” modeled based somewhat on the Israeli subsidized, semi self-sustaining farms. These state subsidized towns would provide for all basic needs, but all citizens of those communities would be obligated to take retraining or education (top schools for all levels would be located there) and volunteer for at least four hours a day on the farm or to provide other services. Any citizen can move freely between all three levels provided that they can qualify and be accepted at each level. (Each level would have a specific list of requirements).

The above idea is just a start at trying to design a social-economic-values based polyglot system that could match personality types as well as provide a safety net for those in need or who cannot compete in any of the levels. The “out-of-the box” discussion is to start at a point where we analyze the needs and abilities of the various segments of our populations and not just consider the simple market forces ideal that has brought our financial system to its knees and fostered a new type of elite, corrupt class that will sacrifice others for their convenience.

The idea of a “Fusion Economy” is not perfect by any means, but it is a different approach to the problems that are here now and will be in the future. However, I don’t hold out much hope and fear that future conditions will revert to a Lord of the Flies solution. We have the potential to do great things, but we need to start stretching our imaginations just as we do in business every day.


Additional Reading

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