Continuing the metaphor that our trees offer us.
In yesterday’s post I offered up the idea that:
The analogy with planting trees is very apt. For any clown can plant the tree but parenting that young tree into a mature forty-foot high beauty takes professional management.
That post had been inspired by a recent essay over at Patrice Ayme’s Thoughts regarding the observation by Andy Grove, the founder of Intel, that promoting start-ups without the commensurate focus on growing those start-ups into viable commercial concerns was strategically and politically incorrect. Back to that essay for a further extract:
However, American-based manufacturing is not on the agenda of Silicon Valley or the political agenda of the United States. Venture capitalists actually told me it was obsolete (before stepping in their private jets). That omission, according to Mr. Grove, is a result of another “unquestioned truism”: “that the free market is the best of all economic systems — the freer the better.” To Mr. Grove, or Mr. Trump, or yours truly, that belief is flawed.
Andy Grove: “Scaling used to work well in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs came up with an invention. Investors gave them money to build their business. If the founders and their investors were lucky, the company grew and had an initial public offering, which brought in money that financed further growth.”
The triumph of free-market principles over planned economies in the 20th century, Mr. Grove said, did not make those principles infallible or immutable. There was room for improvement, he argued, for what he called “job-centric” economics and politics. In a job-centric system, job creation would be the nation’s No. 1 objective, with the government setting priorities and arraying the forces necessary to achieve the goal, and with businesses operating not only in their immediate profit interest but also in the interests of “employees, and employees yet to be hired.”
As even the New York Times now admits, the situation has degenerated since 2010. Although the employment rate halved, in a slave state, everybody is employed. But neither the economy, nor the society, let alone progress and civilization are doing better.
“Insecure, low-paying, part-time and dead-end jobs are prevalent. On the campaign trail, large groups of Americans are motivated and manipulated on the basis of real and perceived social and economic inequities.
Conditions have worsened in other ways. In 2010, one of the arguments against Mr. Grove’s critique was that exporting jobs did not matter as long as much of the corporate profits stayed in the United States. But just as American companies have bolstered their profits by exporting jobs, many now do so by shifting profits overseas through tax-avoidance maneuvers.
The result is a high-profit, low-prosperity nation. “All of us in business,” Mr. Grove wrote, “have a responsibility to maintain the industrial base on which we depend and the society whose adaptability — and stability — we may have taken for granted.” Silicon Valley and much of corporate America have yet to live up to that principle.”
If we return to that analogy of the tree, think how long and how much attention must be put into the conditions that will promote not only sustained growth of that young tree but growth to the point where it can propogate its own saplings.
As it is for young companies. The skills that company managers require to nurture that company to the point of self-sustaining maturity are many and varied. But they are underpinned by the need to be truthful and trustworthy, to be devoted to the employees of the company and to instill in all who work, and finance, that company to “love the customer”. Not just those customers that are the big spenders but also, and especially so, the many, many smaller clients that can make or break a company’s reputation.
So with that in mind let’s take a peek at USA LLC and UK Ltd.
Here are the closing paragraphs from Patrice’s essay:
Our corruption is not just an economic and social problem, a political problem, and a civilizational problem, as it was under Aristotle. It is a problem for the entire planet.
“We empowered a demagogue“, laments Mr. Kristof. His true calling, and that of the Main Stream Media, was to empower plutocrats, and their obsequious servants. How sad they are.
I like being outside the fray of party politics. I wasn’t born with a sufficient capacity for compromise to believe that any political party has all the answers to all questions. And yet, equally, I can admire those who can make the sacrifice to take part in this process. It is, for better or worse, at the heart of democratic politics.
That demands that it be done well. This requirement is predicated on three things. The first is a willingness to pretend you have the answer to all things. The second is a leadership that knows this is not true and which as a result respects its opponents. The third is an acute appreciation of the fact that compromise in pursuit of a higher goal, whilst saving face, is the ultimate political aim: nothing really happens without the accommodation of others.
He then closes his post:
Passion, dogma and steadfastness, come what may, are not what makes party politics.
Conviction based on wisdom, understanding and compassion does.
But these qualities remain in far too short supply, even if they’re not quite out of stock, yet.
And that’s the party political problem.
Many people both ‘sides of the pond’ would nod heads in agreement with that.
Is it possible to become bored with hopelessness?
There is reason to believe something like that is beginning to happen in Great Britain. Call it despair fatigue.
For nearly half a century, British culture, particularly on the left, has made an art out of despair. This is the land where “No Future for You” became the motto of a generation, and then another generation, and then another. From the crumbling of its empire, to the crumbling of its industrial cities, to the current crumbling of its welfare state, the country seemed to be exploring every possible permutation of despair: despair as rage, despair as resignation, despair as humor, despair as pride or secret pleasure. It’s almost as if it’s finally run out.
and closing, thus:
Twenty-first century problems are likely to be entirely different: How, in a world of potentially skyrocketing productivity and decreasing demand for labor, will it be possible to maintain equitable distribution without at the same time destroying the earth? Might the United Kingdom become a pioneer for such a new economic dispensation? The new Labour leadership is making the initial moves: calling for new economic models (“socialism with an iPad”) and seeking potential allies in high-tech industry. If we really are moving toward a future of decentralized, small, high-tech, robotized production, it’s quite possible that the United Kingdom’s peculiar traditions of small-scale enterprise and amateur science—which never made it particularly amenable to the giant bureaucratized conglomerates that did so well in the United States and Germany, in either their capitalist or socialist manifestations—might prove unusually apt. It’s all a colossal gamble. But then, that’s what historical change is like.
In other words, it’s this!
One of the age-old maxims from professional company managers is:
It’s always a case of putting people before profits!
Putting people before profits should be in the front of the minds of all our leaders and masters; both sides of the ‘pond’.
Or in tree language investing in this:
to achieve this:
Come on good people, we really do need healthy, mature trees in our 21st C. societies.