The market is not your momma. That was one of the core messages of a recent national Chamber of Commerce webinar.
Your mom, in most cases, will love you no matter what, and will allow, forgive or even justify almost any errant behavior on your part. The market, or any sector of it, is not so forgiving, and will not allow, permit or tolerate deception or fraud — at least not for long.
In an open market, like ours, hucksters may dazzle (some of) us, for a while, but full disclosure is inevitable — and relentless.
The government’s role
It is in any economy’s best interest to help other economies stabilize and flourish.
Any stable economy’s best friend should be a secure, reliable and objective government. Every one of us, from consumers to parents to workers to corporate leaders works better (and sleeps better) with an enduring trust that everyone knows, lives by, and follows the same rules and guidelines.
The irony is that many who describe themselves as conservatives or traditionalists, seem to be going out of their way to undermine trust in our most basic of institutions. From the Supreme Court to “Big Pharma” to public schools to “mainstream media”, many “patriots” take it as almost a statement of faith to distrust the institutions that are the conceptual framework of every aspect of our economy and culture.
Disorganization, if not chaos, are the calling cards of many of us.
What few seem to realize is that stability, even in countries far away from us, is to our advantage.
Economic stability is the ultimate ‘force-multiplier’ when it comes the societal aspects most of want. If our burning issue is immigration, for example, we should support and advocate for policies that create and sustain economic stability at home.
Virtually every desperate immigrant huddling at our border, or doing almost anything to get into our country, would far rather live a stable, productive life among their own people, and who, at a minimum, speak their native language.
The greatest gift we could give them (and ourselves) is not a work permit, but a safe life in their home country.
To re-state the obvious, economic and political instability, if not chaos, even many thousands of miles away, is a threat to all of us.
Instability, like stability, is contagious
Government’s role is to clarify and enforce rules that apply to all of us. From consumers to corporations, every one of us, to meet our own goals, personal or financial, needs consistency and stability.
Our potential, as individuals, as families, as neighbors or even as entire nations, is somewhere near infinite, or at least unmeasurable
The most ancient of civilizations leave behind works or texts that, for most, have become a defining legacy for who and what those civilizations were. From pyramids to holy scriptures to stone monuments (like Stonehenge or the statues of Easter Island) or works of art, the values and ideals of entire culture and civilization coalesce into lasting tributes that fascinate and puzzle us centuries or millennia later.
Projects of this scale take one thing; cooperation. And it’s not just an issue of cooperation of those people of those cultures at those times.
Generations that follow the construction of these creations have the obligation, or at least the opportunity to preserve and protect those monuments that meant so much to those who came before them.
But not all are willing, or able.
History is not your momma
Wars, plagues and the sheer passage of time are the true masters of human destiny — and our most treasured expressions. Lost cities and orphaned civilizations are perhaps the ultimate benchmarks of human history — and a near endless source of fascination — and inspiration for popular adventure films.
For better or worse, what we do and what we leave behind will be the only future generations will know of us.
Going for a POC
The terms POC has, in some circles, taken on a new definition; POC stands for Proof of Concept.
Ideas and processes are essential, but, in most cases, what matters to most users is how any concept manifests itself — what does any given idea, philosophy or belief system have to do with how any given tool or item is used — or essentially, if not uniquely, useful.
Any new feature or system is, by definition, “new” — which means not familiar, maybe even unsettling and, by necessity, packed with features and “learning curves” many of us struggle with.
The premise behind Proof of Concept (POC) is that any “concept” or new trend, belief or technology makes demands on us that we don’t always welcome. And most of us, with our almost hard-wired logic and time-frame like to tell ourselves that the “next big thing” will be in fact “big” and enduring.
The “proof” (of POC) is not in a lab or testing procedure, or even in the government approval process, it is in our daily use, sometimes over decades, that tells us how safe and reliable, or even useful some dazzling new product might be.
In short, regulations should not be arbitrary or onerous, but they should set the framework, like speed limits or basic traffic laws, that work to everyone’s benefit — and certainly for each one’s safety and stability.
Playing by the same rules is how every game, or economy, political process or legal system, works.
From cyber-currencies to food safety, our daily lives, and financial security, rely on an implicit trust in our larger networks of providers, shippers and retailers — and much more.
AI is the most powerful, if not dangerous tool in our hands and across the marketplace at every level. From schools to work or how we communicate, AI, without much exaggeration, has changed everything.
If you wanted an example of Proof of Concept (POC) in action, we, our entertainment and education and even our basic beliefs and decisions seem to be at the mercy of AI.
In a sense, we are all lab-rats in an experiment that is packed with variables and shifting circumstance and stakes.
Like this (relatively) new year, in a variety of situations and frameworks, we are only just beginning…
To see more, or keep an eye on how the US Chamber looks at the possibilities of 2024, take a look here: www.uschamber.com.