The economy, the press and the paradox

Wealth is not created by financial manipulation, the trading of equities or the financing of banks. They just enable it.

Wealth is created by productivity. Productive communities generate more of value.

Productivity comes from innovation.

Innovation comes from investment and change.

The media lemmings, the same ones that encouraged you to get a second mortgage, buy a McMansion and spend, spend, spend are now falling all over themselves to out-mourn the others. They are telling everyone to batten down, to cut back, to freeze and panic. They’re looking for stories about this, advice about this, hooks about this.

And of course, the paradox. If, in the middle of some sensible budgeting and waste trimming, we stop investing in the future, stop innovating, stop finding the breakthrough that leads to the next round of productivity gain, then in fact they’re right, it does last forever.

I believe that we’re on the verge of some exponential increases in productivity. Productivity in marketing as the waste of reaching the masses goes away. Productivity in energy as we figure out how to make a renewable process that gives us incremental units of power for free (think about the impact of that for a moment) and productivity in group work and management as we allow the network to do more than let us watch stupid YouTube videos at work. The three biggest expenses of most endeavors (the energy to make it, the people who create it and the marketing that spreads the idea) are about to be overhauled.

What a tragedy it will be if we let defensive thinking hold us back.