The Golden Goose
Mr Zakaria, I agree with you that the world is doing very little to prevent a major collapse of the new global economy. People are sticking their head in the sand as everyone’s pension fund, including mine, is evaporating.
May I suggest that, financially, countries are poor bedfellows. Hence the current state of the Euro. The following example may not be the best, but it is the one that comes to mind at the moment.
I own one-ninth of an apartment building. Five of a total of fourteen apartments are rented. The sociétaires look after the apartment they have a right to occupy as fellow owners, but the building itself is rapidly deteriorating because of a lack of proper maintenance.
In my opinion, the problem here may be that the balance between individual and collective needs militates in favour of misunderstood individual needs. Once an individual closes his or her suite’s door, he or she sees only the elegance and comfort of what he or she considers his or her “one-ninth.”
We inhabit a society where people are unable to grasp that individual needs will not be fulfilled if collective needs are not taken into consideration. They do not realize that the two are inextricably linked.
Nor do they understand what I call a “healthy” form of capitalism. As originally conceived, capitalism benefitted the people. A few well-heeled individuals invested money in a business, employed people locally and, once the employees received their salary, they usually spent it within the community.
This is no longer the case. Nowadays, capitalists have their products manufactured at the lowest possible cost and ignore all other societal factors. In other words they export manufacturing jobs nilly willy.
No one can blame them, but it would be my opinion that efforts should be made to encourage companies that will employ locally. Again, it’s a question of balance.
I am not an economist and cannot therefore comment in the same manner as an expert would. But I have observed that the moment certain persons get rich they also become misers. And I have also observed that, if people are well inside their cocoon, they are often quite willing to block other concerns from their consciousness, not realizing they will eventually be their own victims.
If one kills the golden goose, she can no longer produce golden eggs. That is what some are doing in this society. As a result, they are less than wise.
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September 26, 2011