It’s a scary time to be alive. There are just so many problems, it can seem hopeless.
All these problems, things we don’t like:
- Federal budget/deficit
- Health Care
- Immigration System
- Lack of Money
- Climate Change
- Opioids / Drug Addiction
- Mass Shooting
- Government Gridlock
- High taxes
- Poor Leadership
- Carbon Emissions
And we aren’t really doing anything about them.
It’s pretty clear government isn’t up to the challenge.
So if the government is out…
What are we going to do?
If we want progress on these problems, and the government is incapable of action…
What are our options?
I’ve thought about it a lot and…
It Really Just Leaves Business
The free market is among the most powerful tools humans have ever created2(discovered?). Private enterprise has resulted in some of the most amazing improvements to the human condition.
There’s no reason the private sector can’t be more involved in improving life for everyone.
By using consumer choice, we can “force” companies to take a more active role in helping society.
- Using consumer choice to reward companies that are helping.
- Demand businesses get involved, help identify strategies.
- Communicate those strategies to consumers, help educate about the fundamental issues.
Impact Consumerism – The concept of rewarding companies for positively contributing to society, and boycotting those actively doing harm.
It’s already happening
There’s no denying that businesses are getting better and better at at least pretending to care about the common good.
There’s been a lot of (although certainly not enough) improvements in the environment, race and gender parity, worker safety, and more.
It’s great to see, but it’s not nearly enough. We need more of it.
A lot more.
How Do We Know What Companies are “Good”?
That will definitely be tricky. Agreement is not currently one of our strong suits.
There’s no quick answer, but the real answer is that it’s a process. Something that evolves over time.
But it starts with asking better questions.
Social media allows us to interact with businesses in a much more meaningful way.
We start by putting the onus on business.
What have you done for the US lately?
Are you contributing or working against the common good?
What even is the common good?
It might seem naive, but the truth is…
It’s a process.
Provided we have companies on board…
How do we measure?
How do we know they are helping?
That they aren’t just “greenwashing” or other PR nonsense that doesn’t really help?
Moreover, how do we even know what’s important?
“How We Fix Everything”
“How We Fix Everything” is a website cataloging the status quo, how the United States’ founding ideals are being met, and attempts to further those ideals.
The goal is a framework that allows visitors and collaborators to explore societal ills, their contributing causes, and efforts underway attempting to address them. A “roadmap to progress.”
Like Wikipedia, the How We Fix Everything will solicit contributions from a broad swath of society and be comprised of hundreds of pages.
While the public sphere does not lack debate about what our societal priorities should be, a centralized catalog of not only the issues but goals and strategies for progress is lacking.
How We Fix Everything aims to remedy that deficiency with the hope of fostering a productive and collaborative digital environment.
There are no final “answers,” just evolving collaboration on what the options are and which are most likely to have a positive impact.
As an example,
Let’s take Inflation
The increasing cost of living is perhaps the most important issue of 2022 and 2023. It will probably determine who wins the 2024 election. But much more important than political bickering is that real people are hurting. Food, housing, and energy are becoming more and more expensive, while people’s wages are not keeping up.
The problem – Too many people are suffering because of increasing costs.
So what can be done about it?
Before we can talk about reducing inflation,
Causes of Inflation – What are the reasons prices are increasing?
- Supply chain disruptions
- Energy Prices
- War in Ukraine
- Declining US production
- Anti-competitive / monopolistic corporate behavior
- Government Stimulus
- High Prices – Gas, food, health care, housing
What is the goal? To bring costs down so that people can have a better quality of life.
How do we do that? What are strategies to Lower Inflation?
- Strengthen supply chains
- Improve infrastructure
- Higher interest rates – (Businesses and consumers spend less – lowering demand)
- Energy independence
- Use less / more efficiently
- Offshore Drilling
- Lower prices
- More competition
- Health care
- Goods and services
What can BUSINESSES do to lower inflation?
- Make sure government spending is used effectively
- Communicate supply chain problems clearly
- Use less / use efficiently
- Invest in renewables
- Help stimulate competition
- Invest in technology that lowers prices
- Accept lower profit margins
- Reduce wasteful spending
- Work with the government to reduce burdensome regulation
Lower cost of health care
- Work with insurance/providers for lower costs / better results
Encouraging businesses to help decrease inflation / lower prices can make a big difference.
That was a crude example but I hope it is illustrative. What’s important is that the framework works for everything. We just need to break things down into problems, causes, goals, and strategies.
We’ve got some big problems to deal with ASAP
Lack of Money
Opioids / Drug Addiction
World stability / nuclear weapons
CLEARLY – Regardless of what party is in power, the government isn’t up to the challenge
So we’re faced with a choice
Keep doing what we’re doing:
- Increasing division
- Widening wealth gap
- Rising costs
- Health care
- Federal deficit
- Higher taxes
- Elections that don’t change anything
- Private sector/finance industry seeking profits at any cost
- Leverage systems we already have
- Encourage businesses to help
- Develop a plan
- Identify goals
- Develop strategies
- Make progress
What do you think?