Happy New Year!
The year that everyone and everything has been predicting will be worse than 2008 is here! Welcome. I hope you find this year no more painful than last. On the other hand, you may find this the relieving moment in your life. Finally, we all came to understand the latter part of last year that our mindless conspicuous consumption formula for fueling our economy has no meaning that is fulfilling. Just buying stuff for buying stuff, just trying to prove you're richer than the next guy (while enjoying emotional bankruptcy), just projecting profit off the backs of tradition and sympathy that only follows an Anglo-Christian philosophy (better known as revisionist history), we find ourselves outspent, outwitted and broke.
So what many of us have learned or practiced this past Christmas season is restraint. We traveled less, spent less at Macy's, ordered less IPhones. No matter how much they marked down the price, we decided it's better to keep what little cash we have left in our pocket. So how will the 'greatest country on Earth' get outta this one? Well I guarantee it better not be by spending. But if we have to spend, let it be on job creation and production of goods and services which is purchased by those in the world who need it and want it. That should be the promise of globalization, that the machine that moved us in the 1840s and 50s, the 1870s, 80s and 90s, the 1920s, 1950s and 1960s, and again in the 1990s can once again be the production engines that generate one dollar in work for every one dollar earned. Or at least earn half that.
As long is production is honed in our hands, the spirit and infrastructure and investment in our own people, not just in skill, but in hands, can produce the amount and kinds of things the world needs and wants from us. The world will buy from America; we just have to have something to sell that's worth it.