Inching back to life


When we face a critical juncture on the road, we need to be decisive.

A liberal arts training doesn’t hurt either. Even when two people arrived at the same conclusion, liberal art thinkers insist that between A and B, a straight line might not be the best alternative.

Just the shortest.

As nature would agree, it favors the fittest, not the fastest among us.

We are having a leadership crisis. Our Job Czar, himself the best job outsourcer, says on 60 Minutes “I work for the shareholders” when asked about CSR (Corporate social/civic responsibilities).  Those shareholders might be Saudi sovereign funds, or  Chinese who couldn’t wait to get their hands on the secret sauce of GE aircraft engines).

The seamstresses and the toy makers who saved, end up owning the aircraft makers who overspent.

Remember, the problem of a declining America doesn’t happen overnight.

It is a confluence of factors, none of which favors the American work force (the missing middle class).

It would be easy if it had been a series of  A/B forced choices. I look at Steve Jobs timeline, and notice a parallel between his life and America’s:

starting from 1976 when he built his personal computer in a garage to the latest I-phone roll out.

At roughly the same time, America hosted Deng’s visit to Texas  and ordered a bunch of toys (remember Mattel then, Foxconn).

The rest as they say, is history: restless children play at stationary desktops, while dumb adults tinker with smart phones.

Light-weight, high-yield processors have upended America’s growth trajectory which began with heavy industries ( 50’s American autos are still popular in Cuba).

This shift doesn’t just level the playing field. It erases the whole map (employees carrying personal smart phones to work, hence, increases both personal and corporate productivity).

Now we have to crawl back to life, like in the Wrestler: feeling the rope and relying on muscle memories.

We need to inch back to life with new digital instincts. We need to be the fittest again before resigning ourselves to fateful and final acceptance of defeat.

I never know an America that is fatalistic. In its short history of warfare, its people always take up arms when challenged. In that spirit, let’s reverse course, inch by inch, back to health. It might have been a step back, but who knows, this will end up with two steps forward.

Success always rewards itself with more. It just that we haven’t tasted it lately to remember how intoxicating it once was and can still be.

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