Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Economic Vision (Why I went to B School)

It is possible to envision a world in which consumers and producers are cross-connected through global business to create economic growth. This is already occurring. If businesses themselves work responsibly to follow ethical and financial guidelines even stronger than those imposed by governments, then the independent economic network has more power of regulation and control over procedural issues. (For example, if Company A pays higher than minimum wage, then a congressional increase of the minimum wage would not effect Company A.) Therefore, the higher standard level (including interest rate regulation and larger, macro-economic concepts) could be achieved through non-governmental means. The independence could theoretically extend into areas such as money supply where the government and The Fed currently dominate (levels of private cash exchange rival those of the government). Finally, if the more independent economic network is reliable and growing (which naturally occurs through businesses holding higher standards) certain government functions would become redundant and those resources could be reallocated towards servicing national debt, thereby improving the overall domestic financial security while simultaneously building greater international economic policies for businesses.

Basically, if businesses regulate themselves (rather than Congressional Legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley being necessary) then all of the economy would be more transparent and fair. This is, however, highly difficult to achieve because of the concentration of wealth seeks to impose greater barriers to wealth accrual (rich get richer, poor get poorer). The most wealthy people may believe they are receiving maximum benefit from the current scheme and be therefore reluctant to envision a way in which their benefit is obtained simultaneously with the benefit of others. (Yet, many of the most well off do a lot to give back and help out. Organizations just like For All Humanity often rely on the short term generosity of the top tier of financial wealth to improve long term overall cultural and spiritual health.) It is possible to envision a global economy in which sweatshops and poor working conditions simply do not exist because of the higher ethical standards that companies, consumers, and producers become aware of to demand a higher standard. Only once there is more awareness of the intricate relation of market demand with the overall characteristics of the market place will the higher standard exist in reality. This movement is beginning to appear with distinct trade marks such as Fair Trade products, sweatshop-free clothes, RainForest Alliance, Organic farming (and many more!).

So, overall, there is plenty of reason for hope. The greatest hope is if responsible business can regulate itself. Unfortunately, global governments have historically become instruments of unethical profit schemes (they are many in form: embezzlement, corruption, or granting contracts without competition to name a few). So, a greater awareness on the individual level is necessary, and the internet improves the access to information for all people. Again, plenty of reason for hope. Now, if I could just use my computer without burning coal for electricity and contributing to global warming (one challenge at a time!).

**** Definitely read the comments on this one. My friend Matt, who I met in St. Louis through Brian Schwadron, makes some excellent assertions. The vision I hold is a long run thought and this string is worthy of comment from many more people!****

3 comments:

Marcellus Tennyson said...

Well said Jon. Keep thinking Big and bringing sanity to the world. I definitely enjoy your writing and how you tie everything in. There is always cause and effect. You are definitely getting at both of those in this writing. Only thing I disagree with is the Global Warming. I am enjoying this warm weather in North Carolina and I am all for it staying. So keep writing and using that computer. HAHAHA

matt mioduszewski said...

Jon,

good to tackle the big things. That business one is difficult, and without an extensive and experienced position within business-workings, it's easy to mutter about working conditions or rich people being greedy, to point a finger, offer a slice of illusion pie for how it could be perfect, etc. However, going the B-school route can put you heart and center with some of the bigger forces that influence this world, and thus put you in a place to orchestrate paths that meet the same ends without causing the same strife/damage, etc. It will also put you in a position (if you go to work in 'business' jobs) to make very difficult choices that will 'test'?(no, more like, draw upon) your own morals and vision for the world. Let the rubber hit the road, so to speak-and that is a noble pursuit. Keep up the good work!

Be well,
Brian's friend (Matt Mioduszewski)-you met me summer05.

matt mio said...

p.s.: to the friend in NC enjoying the warm weather. My GF is hiking the A.T. and just got through the smokies and is up near the TN/NC/VA border area-Global warming means crazy weather-like the 30 degrees ya'll got just a few days after you left your comment! :P lol