Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Inauguration of Change... part I

Late in 2005, I hosted a political fundraiser held at Mariposa Restaurant that was attended by over 40 up & coming business leaders. For many of those in attendance that evening, forking out $100+ to support a political candidate was an ideological challenge, especially given the fact that so many of our generation are dis-encouraged, if not outright disgusted with politics in general.

That night, the political candidate we engaged with spoke of the stages of democracy (attributed to a speech given in 1787 by Professor Alexander Tyler):

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations have always progressed through the following sequence:
1) From bondage to spiritual faith.
2) From spiritual faith to great courage.
3) From great courage to liberty.
4) From liberty to abundance.
5) From abundance to complacency.
6) From complacency to apathy.
7) From apathy to dependence.
8) From dependence to bondage."

It was a sobering thought for many present that evening to think that many of us lingered between stages 5 - 6 before committing spend $100 to come out and engage in conversation with the public servants we have elected to represent us. 

It is an even more sobering thought to think that many people in our own community linger between stages 5-6, and possibly even stages 7-8...which begs the question:

What are we going to do about it?

Barack Oabama is NOT going to change the world and get us out of this mess.  We are living in unprecedented times:

Unemployment is headed to at least 9%. Consumer spending will be off by at least 3% this year and again in 2010, as consumers start to find virtue in savings, which should rise in the US to 6% within a few years. Housing prices are going to drop another 10-15%, taking homes back to a level where they may be more affordable.  The US likely just experienced a 4th quarter with GDP down over 4%. Some estimates suggest 5%. For all of 2009 we are likely going to be down at least 1-2%, which will make this the longest recession since the Great Depression.

Corporate earnings are going to be dismal for at least the first two quarters, with forward estimates being lowered again and again. Global trade is falling rapidly, and it is likely that we will see a global recession this year, which will result in further negative feedback on US, European, and Japanese exports.

The credit markets are still in disarray. While there are some signs that the frozen markets are thawing, the Fed and the US Treasury are having to provide more bailout capital to large US banks. Citigroup is breaking up. Bank of America needs massive amounts of capital to digest Merrill. The hole that is AIG just keeps getting deeper. It is going to take several years for the credit markets to function at anything close to normal, as we simply vaporized a whole credit industry worldwide. To think it will take anything less is simply naive. And in the meantime, the various central banks of the world, along with their governments, are going to step in to fill the need for credit.

(source: John Mauldin, Best-Selling author and recognized financial expert, is also editor of the free Thoughts From the Frontline that goes to over 1 million readers each week. For more information on John or his FREE weekly economic letter go to:
And that's just a glimpse of the economic situation - we haven't even scratched the surface of global warming, wars, poverty....

Don't get me wrong... I voted for Obama, and am proud of it....I happen to think that he is the best thing for America, and, perhaps even the world right now.  I don't agree with all of his ideas and policies, but I do agree with what he stands for, and support what he has become: an Icon of Hope and Change. 

The elections showed us that each of us can make a difference, no matter how small our action is:
[Obama] raised $95 million in February and March alone, most of it, as his aides noted Thursday, in small contributions raised on the Internet. More than 90 percent of the campaign’s contributions were for $100 or less, said Robert Gibbs, the communications director to Mr. Obama.
(source: "Obama Forgoes Public Funds in First for Major Candidate", NY Times 6/20/08)

NOTHING will happen unless each of us initiates change from within.  

So please, leave a comment and share....what will you do differently in 2009 to help initiate change?

1 comment:

  1. I am:

    - Giving so much time to my own improvement that I have no space to criticize others.

    - Volunteering more and be of service to others through giving of my time, energy and resources.

    - Continuing to ponder questions and live in the question themselves.

    - Focusing on the present moment and increasing the joy, love and peace that I experience as a rule of thumb for each and every day.

    - Letting go of the noise....