Let’s Rebuild with Commercially Driven Socially Focused Business

I believe that (big) business should be able to reap the rewards of their toil. The greater the toil should equate to the greater the reward … not always so….. either way, the greater the reward the greater the moral and ethical responsibility to give back, pay forward whatever ….. I believe that tax should be a last resort, in fact it is a bad last option; it is a stick, or at least it should be, to bring those less accepting of their responsibility back into line. Regrettably the way taxes work and are implemented is more akin to blanketing an area with napalm rather than a surgical black ops insertion and extraction.

In one of his YouTube videos, US television personality and anti-crime activist John Walsh, at first glance, is an OWS (Occupy Wall Street) style chant from a public figure. Perhaps it is not intended that way and he simply wanted to keep the message short or the person who posted it to YouTube edited out the important last bit; who knows? Either way, I believe it is unfair to throw a standard response or solution at an entire demographic. We don’t lock up all Muslims just because some committed terrorist acts (please no comments re Gitmo)!

I like the general gist of John’s  message, and I believe he is right about professionals in those areas and more; let’s not forget nurses. They deserve more, they deserve better!

In finding a solution however, it’s too easy to appoint blame to one or more demographics and say they caused it, or even if they didn’t they have to bail us out. What would happen if big business were simply taxed more? How much recovery would that really bring about and how many jobs would that really save? It’s not a structural or a strategic solution to a problem that can’t be fixed by what is the equivalent of a bandaid on a broken arm. Yes the nurses, police, and paramedics might be saved but now they would have more work than they could handle, since the same speech maintains that civil unrest is caused through poverty … I tend to agree that poverty is a contributing factor … but to draw a direct immediate connection between layoffs one week and crime spikes the next as a response is a bit left field for me.

As a result of higher taxes and less profits (some of) the (big) business will have a difficult time keeping all of their people employed, so now, according to the speech, because of increased unemployment there will be increased crime; and one can imagine that by extension there will be more need for medical professionals as there will be increased stabbings and other attacks and undoubtedly there will be a load more people stressed out of their brains with the accompanying conditions or side-effects ranging from depression to attempted suicide.

For me, I believe the solution to many of these problems lies in entrepreneurialism and small to medium business with governments enabling them to create jobs, and governments working with (if necessary forcing) the central banks to create the fiscal environment that incentivises business and people alike to increase spending.

A few days ago my brother-in-law commented to my wife about how the unemployment level in the Netherlands was becoming extremely bad. OK. Between you and me the rate of unemployment as of November 2011 is 4.9% and thus only half the European Union as a whole of 9.8% (Reference: http://bit.ly/tDK0Py). Certainly the Netherlands as a country has known worse times, but it is a stark contrast to the levels of 10 years prior which were almost half this…. ahhhhh the golden years!!!

Nonetheless the effects of unemployment are (or should be) clear, especially in countries that have such luxurious social security systems as the Netherlands and Germany (I just know I am going to be in trouble with some people for that comment). The more unemployed there are, the less taxes are being collected and the more monies are leaving the state coffers. The general feeling in the community is one of low energy and people as a whole aren’t enthusiastic about spending what little they have which has a knock on effect with other businesses that suffer and eventually have to lay off more staff.

Now more than ever we need visionary leaders in politics and business to chart a course that will enable the economies of the world to be steered commercially back to prosperity! Business is the answer, not governments. Governments now more than ever need to step out of the way of business and be supportive rather than obstructive. Something they should have been doing from the start. Business owners also need to realise their responsibility in the rebuilding of our economies and work both commercially and socially in delivering their products and services.

I welcome your thoughts!


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