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  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    14 Oct '11 00:57
    Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/opinion/theres-something-happening-here.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general:

    Something’s Happening Here
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: October 11, 2011

    When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs defining. There are two unified theories out there that intrigue me. One says this is the start of “The Great Disruption.” The other says that this is all part of “The Big Shift.” You decide.

    Paul Gilding, the Australian environmentalist and author of the book “The Great Disruption,” argues that these demonstrations are a sign that the current growth-obsessed capitalist system is reaching its financial and ecological limits. “I look at the world as an integrated system, so I don’t see these protests, or the debt crisis, or inequality, or the economy, or the climate going weird, in isolation — I see our system in the painful process of breaking down,” which is what he means by the Great Disruption, said Gilding. “Our system of economic growth, of ineffective democracy, of overloading planet earth — our system — is eating itself alive. Occupy Wall Street is like the kid in the fairy story saying what everyone knows but is afraid to say: the emperor has no clothes. The system is broken. Think about the promise of global market capitalism. If we let the system work, if we let the rich get richer, if we let corporations focus on profit, if we let pollution go unpriced and unchecked, then we will all be better off. It may not be equally distributed, but the poor will get less poor, those who work hard will get jobs, those who study hard will get better jobs and we’ll have enough wealth to fix the environment.

    “What we now have — most extremely in the U.S. but pretty much everywhere — is the mother of all broken promises,” Gilding adds. “Yes, the rich are getting richer and the corporations are making profits — with their executives richly rewarded. But, meanwhile, the people are getting worse off — drowning in housing debt and/or tuition debt — many who worked hard are unemployed; many who studied hard are unable to get good work; the environment is getting more and more damaged; and people are realizing their kids will be even worse off than they are. This particular round of protests may build or may not, but what will not go away is the broad coalition of those to whom the system lied and who have now woken up. It’s not just the environmentalists, or the poor, or the unemployed. It’s most people, including the highly educated middle class, who are feeling the results of a system that saw all the growth of the last three decades go to the top 1 percent.”

    Not so fast, says John Hagel III, who is the co-chairman of the Center for the Edge at Deloitte, along with John Seely Brown. In their recent book, “The Power of Pull,” they suggest that we’re in the early stages of a “Big Shift,” precipitated by the merging of globalization and the Information Technology Revolution. In the early stages, we experience this Big Shift as mounting pressure, deteriorating performance and growing stress because we continue to operate with institutions and practices that are increasingly dysfunctional — so the eruption of protest movements is no surprise.

    Yet, the Big Shift also unleashes a huge global flow of ideas, innovations, new collaborative possibilities and new market opportunities. This flow is constantly getting richer and faster. Today, they argue, tapping the global flow becomes the key to productivity, growth and prosperity. But to tap this flow effectively, every country, company and individual needs to be constantly growing their talents.

    “We are living in a world where flow will prevail and topple any obstacles in its way,” says Hagel. “As flow gains momentum, it undermines the precious knowledge stocks that in the past gave us security and wealth. It calls on us to learn faster by working together and to pull out of ourselves more of our true potential, both individually and collectively. It excites us with the possibilities that can only be realized by participating in a broader range of flows. That is the essence of the Big Shift.”

    Yes, corporations now have access to more cheap software, robots, automation, labor and genius than ever. So holding a job takes more talent. But the flip side is that individuals — individuals — anywhere can now access the flow to take online courses at Stanford from a village in Africa, to start a new company with customers everywhere or to collaborate with people anywhere. We have more big problems than ever and more problem-solvers than ever.

    So there you have it: Two master narratives — one threat-based, one opportunity-based, but both involving seismic changes. Gilding is actually an optimist at heart. He believes that while the Great Disruption is inevitable, humanity is best in a crisis, and, once it all hits, we will rise to the occasion and produce transformational economic and social change (using tools of the Big Shift). Hagel is also an optimist. He knows the Great Disruption may be barreling down on us, but he believes that the Big Shift has also created a world where more people than ever have the tools, talents and potential to head it off. My heart is with Hagel, but my head says that you ignore Gilding at your peril.

    You decide.



    I personally think Gilding has it largely correct; we cannot adequately use the tools of the "Big Shift" until we have social systems in place that more fairly distribute income and wealth and provide greater means of opportunity.
  2. 14 Oct '11 01:37
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/opinion/theres-something-happening-here.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general:

    Something’s Happening Here
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: October 11, 2011

    When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to T ...[text shortened]... place that more fairly distribute income and wealth and provide greater means of opportunity.
    Only our fearless leaders in Washington can save us all!!
  3. 14 Oct '11 01:55
    That is an exceptional piece.
  4. 14 Oct '11 02:00
    Originally posted by badmoon
    That is an exceptional piece.
    Thank you.
  5. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    14 Oct '11 06:52
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/opinion/theres-something-happening-here.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general:

    Something’s Happening Here
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: October 11, 2011

    When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to T ...[text shortened]... place that more fairly distribute income and wealth and provide greater means of opportunity.
    And you like the title because it reminds you of "Ohio" ...
  6. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    14 Oct '11 07:00
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/opinion/theres-something-happening-here.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general:

    Something’s Happening Here
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: October 11, 2011

    When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to T ...[text shortened]... place that more fairly distribute income and wealth and provide greater means of opportunity.
    It's interesting, but the US needs to pay attention. China and all these rapidly developing nations represent billions more consumers -- but China can't be allowed to keep their currency artificially low. Slap 'em with tariffs and send all the Chinese students home if they don't respect free trade (which would incidentally lower college tuitions by a LOT! That would not hurt "business" or "markets" because US public universities are not-for-profit despite the fact that they charge ridiculous prices. See how that sword cuts both ways...?)

    Once the Chinese people can start buying, Americans go to work supplying them with all sorts of stuff.

    Same applies for other nations.
  7. 14 Oct '11 11:12
    Certainly it's thought provoking. I wonder, who promised anyone a job? If you were instead to say that people assumed they would get jobs if they did certain things, that I could agree with. I also wonder what they see on the other side of the Great Disruption or the Big Shift.
  8. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    14 Oct '11 12:15
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/opinion/theres-something-happening-here.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general:

    Something’s Happening Here
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: October 11, 2011

    When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to T ...[text shortened]... place that more fairly distribute income and wealth and provide greater means of opportunity.
    Hagel is a fool. It's the siren song of perpetual growth leading us to doom. What is needed is not more growth, but a more equitable distribution of the wealth we currently have.

    Just as we currently shake our heads at people who once viewed the malfeasance of 'divine' monarchs as being being both good and necessary, in 100 years we will likewise shake our heads in disbelief that there were once a people who would tolerate the malfeasance of CEOs and bankers. Their time in the sun is drawing to a close. The Wall Street bankers will be toppled from their gilded thrones, just as Gilding seems to think.
  9. 14 Oct '11 12:46
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Hagel is a fool. It's the siren song of perpetual growth leading us to doom. What is needed is not more growth, but a more equitable distribution of the wealth we currently have.

    Just as we currently shake our heads at people who once viewed the malfeasance of 'divine' monarchs as being being both good and necessary, in 100 years we will likewise shake ...[text shortened]... all Street bankers will be toppled from their gilded thrones, just as Gilding seems to think.
    After spending a decade blaming everything on George Bush I see you finally found a new scapegoat: bankers & Wall Street. We are all part of an economy. It may be convenient to blame just one group but it is certainly inaccurate. If you invested in a home and it went down in value, it isn't the banks fault. If someone else makes more money than you, it does not mean that society should take their money and give it to you. Banks and companies are highly regulated. Government regulation failed. People wanted to buy things they could not afford and thus "main street"y greed certainly fueled our current situation.

    I think it more likely we will view this period where people blame others for their own personal economic situation as the height of selfishness. Fortunately, I do not think your jealousy will lead to anything significant.
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    14 Oct '11 13:02
    Originally posted by quackquack
    After spending a decade blaming everything on George Bush I see you finally found a new scapegoat: bankers & Wall Street. We are all part of an economy. It may be convenient to blame just one group but it is certainly inaccurate. If you invested in a home and it went down in value, it isn't the banks fault. If someone else makes more money than you, ...[text shortened]... of selfishness. Fortunately, I do not think your jealousy will lead to anything significant.
  11. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    14 Oct '11 13:04
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/opinion/theres-something-happening-here.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general:

    Something’s Happening Here
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: October 11, 2011

    When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to T ...[text shortened]... place that more fairly distribute income and wealth and provide greater means of opportunity.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuZS6aknDxQ&feature=player_embedded

    This is a great little video showing the similarities between 'Arab Spring' and the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement.
  12. 14 Oct '11 13:20
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Much of the anti-wall street banker movement is merely a way of creating a new group to be prejudice against. So if you are tired of hating people based on there skin color or sexual orientation, you now can hate someone because of their occupation. It should be obvious that all banks and corporations aren't evil and certainly the overwhelming majority of banks and corporations broke no laws and did nothing that anyone should complain about. There are always many causes to a financial crisis. But apparently it is easier for you to use hatred and jealousy and expect others to simply give you their money than to examine the actual facts.
  13. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    14 Oct '11 13:35
    Originally posted by quackquack
    Much of the anti-wall street banker movement is merely a way of creating a new group to be prejudice against. So if you are tired of hating people based on there skin color or sexual orientation, you now can hate someone because of their occupation. It should be obvious that all banks and corporations aren't evil and certainly the overwhelming majorit ...[text shortened]... and jealousy and expect others to simply give you their money than to examine the actual facts.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    14 Oct '11 14:19
    QQ's solution to the present economic difficulties is for those working to accept less wages; that will provide greater wealth to the God Men who create all that is good in society. All hail to them!
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    14 Oct '11 14:21
    Originally posted by spruce112358
    It's interesting, but the US needs to pay attention. China and all these rapidly developing nations represent billions more consumers -- but China can't be allowed to keep their currency artificially low. Slap 'em with tariffs and send all the Chinese students home if they don't respect free trade (which would incidentally lower college tuitions by a LO ...[text shortened]... ns go to work supplying them with all sorts of stuff.

    Same applies for other nations.
    A great idea; let's allow our workers to be driven out of their jobs on the off chance that some distant day in the future the Chinese will raise their wages and consumption levels enough to buy all the products we won't be making.