Some Good News
The fundamental force dominating the global economic condition right now is fear. The equity markets seem to have no other reality. Any rally of a day or two when buyers enter the market to take advantage of historic lows in share prices is then wiped out by the longer term, more powerful emotion of outright fear and increasingly entrenched pessimism..
The media does occasionally gives us the heart warming human interest story and tells us of jobs out there but serve this up only after spending most of the time delivering bad news with a tone of concern and a furrowed brow. We turn on the news, or open the paper with an expectation of learning of something else that sounds bad and, yup, there it is, another story of a company or a country in crisis or people having lost everything. Watching the stock market indices has become a pure Pavlovian experience. Red downward arrows and the pessimism deepens, the upward green arrows allow us to feel a slight sense of positivism. Bad news rains down on us every day.
In the past two months I have been traveling across the U.S. and Canada delivering speeches. Most of the groups I have spent time with are CEOs or owners of businesses. When I ask them about their business and what they are interested in or concerned about when they think of the future the answers have been negative and expressed with great concern. “We are down 40% this year.” ” I have had to lay off people for the first time” ” I am worried about this being a depression” “We are becoming a socialist nation”. “When will this recession end?”
I speak to them about the “Great Recessions of 2008-2010/11” explaining that the economy will contract for 2009 and that 2010 may start a technical expansion but that it will feel like a recession through most of that year. By the way, the slash is there because the recession will end in 2010 if the federal government is efficient and effective in how they inject the trillion plus dollars into the economy. If that process gets bogged down or is poorly executed then this recession could drift into 2011.
As regular readers know, I think that this current economic collapse is part of a transition time between two ages, the Information Age and the Shift Age. A new global order is taking shape. That whenever a new order takes root it causes disruption and destruction of the old order. In other words, the tough times are a natural process in preparation for a new Age, and that the Shift Age will be one of incredible opportunity and transformation.
Last week I was in Saskatchewan to speak to three different groups of company owners or CEOs and the story was different. As I went around the room asking what business they were in and what their thoughts were concerning the future, I thought I had been dropped into another reality. Comments like “We are in expansion mode”. “I am very optimistic about our prospects” “We are up over last year” and ” I hope that the recession that seems to be everywhere else doesn’t come here”. Wow! I felt that I had been dropped into an entirely different place. As it turns out, Saskatchewan’s economy was up more than 1% in the fourth quarter of 2008 while Canada’s was down more than 3% and the U.S. down more than 6%
What really excited me was some of the specifics coming from the CEOs. One CEO told of working to secure the intellectual property for a supplement he has developed that decreases inflammation at the cellular level of the body in a majority of people who have used it. An anti-aging supplement if you will. Another CEO showed off a mouse-like device with patented technology that is a secure credit card swipe instrument that encrypts the on-line buyers’ personal credit data so that it never needs to go out unsecured over the web. Wow! [Note to readers: I am taking that supplement and I have one of the mouse-like encryption devices in my briefcase, though it has yet to become operational.]
So, with all the doom and gloom we are bombarded with every day we must remember that this is not universal. Saskatchewan clearly is not participating in the global economic meltdown. Not only that, but there is development in Saskatchewan of new technologies and products that point to a bright future of health and technological innovation.
As a futurist, I do see that, after travelling through a rough and painful period, humanity is about ready to move into a new Age of incredible opportunity and almost unbelievable innovation and transformation. It sure was nice to get a taste of it up north in Saskatchewan..