Taking Care of Business

So… banks are experiencing a priapism that just won’t shrink.

Sixty per cent of the people support a cap-and-trade bill.

Everybody loves the public option.

Much larger CRE defaults than expected are predicted.

Recession for all means depression for many.

So… what’s happening with all of this? Our green compass has definitely lost its magnetic north Franklin, or the device has been broken down and sold as parts. Now what? Do we know the way to San Jose?

Like an uncle’s hand on your knee, it’s funny that we assume and perhaps long for a return to normal – when that’s the last place we need to go. How many times will we lurch back toward something that holds nothing but FAIL before we realize the futility and set out in a frightening new direction? The truth is we’re already headed there; all the above plus anything you read in newspixels are signs of this. Remember the change-thingy?

The whole arrangement – not impure for any reason, political or other, besides it simply could not last – is shifting. We’re waking up slowly, trying to see things the same way, but they are already different. And that’s unsettling. An economy that makes money off of money is a fabulously faulty set-up; it entices innovation that is self-immolating of the whole. Then we stand back, gape and wonder who was to blame. These would be lessons in any other context; what we will call them now, it’s hard to tell because we are attempting to see them through eyes that want to make the best of what’s left rather than use the knowledge to change what we see. We only want to adjust our vision, but it’s semantic optometry at best.

An example, as private equity firms rush to cash in on green tech. They are attempting to extend exactly the same cycle that brought us such hits as health insurance companies, credit default swaps and off balance sheet transactions: shareholder value is given precedence over actual value, much less social value. The model must be tied to it’s own failings, then we won’t have to crush it. Remember triple bottom line? This stuff is not as hard as it is different. Different from the way we have been doing business up until now, which is taking care of business, not people or planet.

If you don’t do all three, taking care of the one doesn’t work.