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Could this be a Solution to Economic Crisis and the Future of Business?

The Importance of Philanthropy and The Rise of The Nonprofit Organisation

It takes an evolved individual to recognise that the only response that will solve this economic crisis is to give money away. The reasoning is simple; if you do not reinvest into the roots of society then its flower will surely whither.

There are any number of phrases and sayings that reinforce this, but a purely economic reasoning that underpins this is; if less money comes down from the top of the wealth pyramid than goes up, then there is going to be a ‘cash flow” problem.

The people at the bottom can’t create wealth or employment unless they are given something to work with, and if the governments print money it disappears in overhead, loan repayments and spiralling inflation, filtering upwards into the ‘safe’ commodity markets. Nature hates imbalance in all things and will always seek to achieve an equilibrium, the greater the imbalance, the bigger the impetus is to push back, which is why nonprofit organisations are the fastest growing sector in business today.

There is recognition here that there is significant pressure on decision makers in the private sector to provide substantial returns for their investors and this necessarily leads to questionable decisions being made. Banks who repackage high risk loans, energy companies who falsify oil reserves or cut corners with safety, food and drink manufacturers who bulk with addictive and harmful chemicals, you name it. The irony is that this does not necessarily represent greed as many of the share holders are pension funds trying to provide security for the old at the cost of a future for the young.

Nonprofits are free of these pressures, because of donations and accounting rules all transactions are transparent. Salaries are open to scrutiny and bonuses non excitant. Other businesses find that they prefer to deal with the nonprofit organisation as there are no hidden agendas a trust reputation relationship is easier to establish; equally there may even be the possibility of positive PR!

The lesson of the Chinese monkey trap is clear; the monkey is trapped by his desire to acquire the fruit and his inability to let go of it when it is in his grasp. It takes a lot of courage to trust and let go, by some it is called “a leap of faith”.

“Be the change you want to see

– Mohandas Mahatma Ghandi

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“Society is judged by the way it treats its prisoners”

Prisoners straight into work programme
“Ex-offenders who claim jobseekers allowance will be immediately referred to the Government’s Work Programme, and employers will be paid for the number of criminals they employ, it has been announced.”

If you treat people less than fairly, do not expect them to play by the rules;

I predict that this scheme will not work, as prisoners will prefer to break their licences rather than to remain on a placement that by necessity will take on the shape of a “chain gang”

For how else will employers trust them?

Prison and Custody officers are taught “Behaviour breeds behaviour”, give respect and you get respect back. I once asked one of the most profliic young offenders in Gloucestershire what it would take to stop him committing crime, he replied “A house, a car, and a job”.

How does this scheme change the twin problems of crime and the poverty that causes it?

Is it only criminals that live in fenced in properties with automatic gates, security guards and bars on the windows?

Where else in society do we find examples of the “something for nothing” culture, so pervasive that our young adults see it as an expectation?

The Chinese monkey trap is an ingenous device, it is a cage far too small to contain a monkey, but it is big enough to hold fruit. Once a monkey reaches in to the cage and takes hold of his prize, his paw becomes too big to retract from the cage. It is his reluctance to let go off his prize that traps him, thus it is with our society today, we are all trapped by the reluctance to let go;
Joblessness and poverty cause depression, addiction, crime, and broken families. Who knew?

“Be the change you wish to see” – Mohatma Ghandi


Why do People Fight Regulation?

In my work as a complex systems analyst I often wondered how it was that the systems I was analysing had become so complicated that they no longer functioned properly, or at all.

To me it seemed simple; you drew a big circle around the system, looked at what was going in, then examined what was supposed to be coming out. “The Big Picture”.

By doing this simple exercise I could surmise what ought to be in the circle and then compared this to what was actually in the circle. They almost never matched, as I had designed a system from scratch whereas the system that I was examining had evolved over time.

The problem with this evolution was that there were always unconnected systems, or two systems doing the same job and systems that used to fulfil a purpose but no one had thought to remove.

In the very worst cases a loop could be found, just like the one I have discovered in society today. In order to get the funds to set up a non profit organisation or company, most fund providers and investors require you to have a non profit organisation or company.

Volkswagon used to have a 1.9 diesel engine, wonderfully simple and easy to maintain. Client demand for power steering meant bolting on a pump, hydraulic clutch and brakes another, air conditioning yet another and when it came to put a turbo system to it, suddenly a whole redesign was going to be needed, because the engine was becoming less able to drive all these bolt ons and remain economical or cool at low revs.

The same thing occurs within bureaucracies and government designed system. The more laws and regulations that are generated, the harder the engine has to work in order to power the system overhead.

As these laws and regulations are created piecemeal, without considering the big picture, the tendency only to create more overhead and push the problem somewhere else rather than solving it.

When I first learned what function a politician or government representative performed, I assumed that it was to render their positions unnecessary. To create a just and equitable system that would require no further tinkering. The judiciary would be there to catch the occasional injustice or inequity that may occur within the system.

The major problem with this premise is that any politician within government needs to justify his or her own existence within the existing framework.

Mathematical logic shows that NP complete systems (where anything that it is possible to be computed, can be computed) with very few rules at all. Isaac Asimov showed us that only four laws would be needed for an effective social legal structure.

So why is it that we have so many laws and regulations when only a few are needed? These extraneous laws, this extra overhead is, quite literally, strangling society and the possibility for business growth.

I would say that now is the time that we need to have a serious look at our approach to regulation and our desire for control. For each control and every regulation are as a ratchet to a cog in clock, slowing it down until it can neither move backward or forwards.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” – Albert Einstein