When Enough Became Too Much
“Daddy what were you doing when it all fell apart?”
Thomas Friedman, the NY times columnist recently hit the nail recently saying; “We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese ...
We can’t do this anymore.
I am not an economist or business major. I ran a dental practice for 25 years then taught high school for a few years then moved to volunteering and capacity building for non-profits. What I do know is that something just doesn’t feel right when I hear or see a mega project going up; whether it is retail shopping or residential towers; I can’t keep saying to myself...” Well that’s progress, grow or die, that’s what they say in MBA school.”
So now Mother Nature and Father Wall Street have had their fill. Our air and water, our banks and homes are all in disarray, and it is our own doing. We built and built and borrowed and speculated never looking back at what we did and how we did it. I am as guilty as the next, being in my third condo in FL and seventh home ownership in my short 58 years on Planet Earth. Seven real estate deals, seven mortgages, seven times remodeling, seven times selling. The cost in carbon footprints for just my moving around must be in the tons. I am just one of eight million baby boomers; do the math.
My son, Adam inherited three shares of GM stock from his great-grandfather who was a janitor in a GM BOP (Buick Oldsmobile Pontiac-for history’s sake) Plant in
I believe that 30 years from now we will view 2008 as hitting the Great Wall of Excess. I do not believe politics, the economy or health care will look the same in 2039 as we look at them today. The people we trusted to run the country, the banks we used, the doctors and hospitals we were treated by will all be curious footnotes in thirty years. I think that sustainable, renewable growth will be our mantra from here on. It’s not going to be “less is more” but “less is best.”
Our children will ask us “What were you doing when it all fell apart?” Our answers today will speak to us for years to come.
Have a peaceful week.