Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ECONOMIC VITALITY REQUIRES A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE

This moment in history challenges us to change our way of being, not just bail out a sick economy

NO RETURN TO THE WAY WE WERE. We need a way forward, not just a way out of the economic mess we're in. The standard cannot be "the way we were." Priorities and patterns that seemed to serve some well in the past will not suffice. Those who were serving themselves at America's expense in the past exposed their moral and policy failure with ruinous impact. It's not just that "mistakes were made." Entire market sectors were acting irresponsibly and with tacit approval of America's leadership. That's what triggered the downfall of an already fragile consumer-based economy.

A DIFFERENT WAY OF BEING. The deepest changes we need to consider have not yet been articulated on the public stage. Those who are arguing for tax cuts as the answer miss the point. Those who are arguing mostly for stimulus investment with tax dollars miss the main point. The point of argument is not about too much government involvement or too little. We cannot simply strategize our way out. It's going to take a different way of being to get us out of this economic mess than the thinking and behaviors that got us into it.

HUMANS, NOT OBJECTS OR CONSUMERS. Stimulus or not, here's the fundamental difference I am convinced we must make: to move forward, to create a more equitable and sustainable economy, we can no longer treat people as objects, as consumers, as marketplace gameboard pieces. Nor can we any longer afford to treat the market as a thing to be used for our personal or corporate wealth creation. Instead, we must regard one another as humans, as neighbors, as fractal partners--from the folks down the street to the villages of Tamil Nadu, India. This is the fundamental change that ends marketplace violence. Whatever the economic recovery strategies may be, we will have missed our opportunity to change history's trajectory if we do not embrace this change at personal, relationship, organizational and international levels.

In the spirit of dialog, I welcome comments and/or questions. Click on "responses" below to post. They're moderated only to reduce incivility. Shalom!

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Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.