Sign of the Times (from Wall Street Journal)
This picture was the on front page of WSJ yesterday (2/3/09). The title was “Sign of the Times: A Thousand Line Up for 35 Jobs in Miami.” The caption was “Gloomy Prospects: People began lining up Saturday to apply for Miami firefighter jobs Monday. Consumer spending fell in December for the fifth month in a row, and a Federal Reserve survey finds banks are keeping a tight grip on lending.”
Need I say more?
(ps. An example of great photo journalism work. )
I just highly recommend this article in last weekend’s New York Times Magazine, The Big Fix (What can Obama do to transform an economy that can no longer count on Wall Street or Silicon Valley?), by David Leonhardt -
It’s a very sightful article and it triggered me to think about a few things specifically relate to Lotus Partners’ work and my personal beliefs -
- What tomorrow’s economy will look like depends on how today’s education system produces. A quote from this article, “Education may not be as tangible as green jobs. But it helps a society leverage every other investment it makes, be it in medicine, transportation or alternative energy.“
- In the section, “A Matter of Norms”, in this article, the author talked about “The norms of the last two decades or so - consume before invest; worry about the short term, not the long term - have been more than just a reflection of the economy. They have also affected the economy.” We should do our part to not accept “norms” in our society that we know are not healthy and don’t make sense. Better yet, start establish new “norms” are make sense and have long lasting values.
- David Leonhardt said this about Green Jobs - “Like so much in the economy, our energy policy has been geared toward the short term. Inexpensive energy made daily life easier and less expensive for all of us. Building a green economy, on the other hand, will require some sacrifice. In the end, that sacrifice should pay a handsome return in the form of icecaps that don’t melt and droughts that don’t happen - events with costs of their own. … But all those benefits will come later. The costs will come sooner, which is a big reason we do not already have a green economy - or an investment economy.”
Let’s now ask ourselves - Are we going to stay in the status quo and the comfort of current “norms” - being fearful of short term costs?
I know my answer - let’s challenge the accepted “norms” from the past that have taken us to this dismal state of ecosystem and economy. Let’s rebuild a new economic foundation that’s based on long term thinking to take us on a healthy and sustainable growth.
This evening I went to a talk by Mario Livio (author of The Golden Ratio and Is God a Mathematician?). I walked away with this awesome quote by Bertand Russell -
Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.