Monday, January 30, 2012

Economic perfection

 If I was reincarnated, I would vote for being in retailing. If heaven is a full plate every night,   16% will get you there . Roger Corbett , Former chairman of Woolworths appeared on the ABC brim full of the sort of confidence that shakes those of who struggle with trying to keep order in the real world .
The scary part was that both Mr Corbett and the interviewer were talking as though this market means was  God's gift to the world.( it maybe in part)  The temptation to think so narrowly about success is  strong because the road is straight and clear- a comfort zone; there is god and there is no other .
  In the big picture there are always constraints .

The confidence with which retailers retain economic stability is attractive to modellers and big picture eco people . The trouble is that politicains and wannabes seem to want to adopt trading as some sort of perfect model.   Grocers may know about intersecting J curves ( eg agricultural supply and demand) but they certainly don't need to worry about them ; 16% on everything is easy 
When politicians start thinking they can run the country like traders , they forget that we pay the bills . Woolworths works well because their key focus is on keeping the margin low and because the people only support them if they do. (The model for them is OK and infact very helpful for efficiency and effectiveness in some parts of business- its limits work as limits , make sense and keep good ( not perfect) order )
Governments who think they can buy the information they need, need to think again . What is the price of invisible cloth? . From the retailers point of  view , the customer is always right  and..  Why answer all your questions in one when you will pay me individually for each one in order ?  Believe me its much easier to subdivide a problem than to put it together again . Beside there is that 16% for each question
The more questions th
e better for us.     The margin model doesn't fit  good governance cause margins in ecomia are all over the place in terms of reflecting value for money 
All around us , from the problems in the Eurozone to USA,  we have governments who have overspent on trading in information sources and simple efficiency seeking( very easy) . Goverenmnets must know the answers to soem of the questions they are asking . To some extent a government is only as good as the advice it's capable of giving itself

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Missing the point about disasters

RE  Hundreds die under landslides in the Phillipines this week
Westerners rightly love to celebrate the advantages for the world of trade and free enterprise in communities, but many DO NOT see how, in quite rational ways , they are cultivating disaster .We (as prevention specialists) see it cause our leaders are sacking us and funding quick fix .
((Capitalism and free enterprise are generally productive for most countries and provide a means to an end . However the unproductive ( Weber s critical point ) and distorting  elements need to be balanced by good governance ))
SO the failure of many successful  westerners to see BOTH sides OF why the West has more or less mastered economic and ecological balance is a real bummer .To have balance we must have tension and with only the love of freedom WE have had no tension .
Many of my own baby boomers generation do not  sense the limits of their love of freedom ( current financial crisis may assist in changing this) .Their children are having children without the testosterone element present;Over 1/3 of our daughters are trying to bring up children without a male (This imbalance in families and communities creates not more freedom, but real disasters 
Distractedly too, many do not to see the very rational point of planning and the need for coercion on the basis of studied foresight . This childish one eyed worship of freedom now clouds the Wests view of disaster planning ( war landslides, flooding)
While its true that Departments still bear all the right names, the humpty dumpty of sound ecological ,and therefore finally economic,  planning is still broken ;
Emergencies are funded , therefore emergencies grow.Chresmatics is in control and Oikonomia is just a talking point and "the echo" to the main game of  "doing your own thing ".
The West (and its eastern roots  )once lived and grew as a resilience growing economic method - it stabilized because it practiced the tension ( even if it didn't understand it) between resource control ( basically place)resource understanding (age,training and experience)  and resource use freedom ( basically ideas)  

One of the critical distinctions needing to made by aid agencies in their dumb following of new trends (even now they are changing focus -- a huge reason to be more critical of them than most are) is the Western governments  long time control of land ownership and leasing .This land use planning focus was once the most prominent forms of coercion in humans  development of a rural resilience culture ( note the themes in the OT book of Ruth) Ask me for more here. The rush to reassert the clear overdominance of government in the last decades has caused the baby of regional planning to be thrown out with the bathwater.( in many areas where it really works)
Our own local governments have often lost sight of land use controls (U have to have a passion for pretension to promote it) and the neccesity for land leasee,  so its completely understandable that when we go overseas, we don't see the need for something that made us great : Restricting finance for land occupation .No cultural development can occur without it .
The thousands  of people who die under landslides each year should not be allowed to live where they live .
as in our own country TODAY,  governance is /governance models are weak and do not insist on restricting access to land . Bligh and Brumby appear to go into history without confession on this matter.You heard it first here and first on blogger.

The modern Wests love of freedom is a form of slow acting poison in poor rural communities? More here