SHORT v. LONG TERM. LITTLE v. BIG PICTURE.
The stress points in the world today focus on two sets of essentially competing attitudes.
The first is to do with the conflict between short termism- immediate gratification, a focus on business quarter by quarter – and the long term need for visionary strategies to tackle hard set national and international challenges.
The second concerns coping with the planet’s main global challenges – climate change, international trade, refugees, currency movements, the growth of despotism whilst also dealing with “little nation” introversion, zenophobia, and exclusiveness.
We will be touching on thses stres points in the coming weeks.
For now, just think about the recent reduction in corporate tax here in the United States. Billions of dollars that were warehoused abroad as well as those earned at home this year have been given to the companies.
So our Government has less money to deal with our nation’s debt overhang, to improve public education or to revitalise its ancient and collapsing infrastructure. China, for example, already has sufficient high speed railways to encircle America twice over – we have none!
Instead companies, far from being encouraged to invest these windfall funds into R&D or capital expenditure, have spent most of it on stock buy backs – an entirely legal short term almost gerrymandering means of improving the apperance of the corporate balance sheet. Much of the remainder has gone on the instant gratification of one off bonuses and dividend hikes.
The secret of international competetiveness is in improving the quality and number of employees and utilising increasingly cutting edge technology. The one off tax holiday here was an opportunity for us to raise our game. We have missed this opportunity.
Our system has gorged on short term candy at the cost of the long term health of the nation.
Have a good day.