Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Progressive, Centrist or Conservative ... ALL the decision makers have it wrong!

Dear Colleagues

E-mail marketing is ubiquitous ... and more and more worrisome. Based on some sort of analysis the marketing community has decided that I am "progressive" and in some things they are correct. But in some things I am not ... very NOT. The problem with this pre-judgement of my interests means that I will tend to get offers about things that the marketers' algorithms think I might be interested in ... and they will get it very wrong.

Bottom line ... my view is that both the politicians of both the "progressive" wing and the "conservative" wing of the body politic are mostly wrong ... and the center is not much better. There is a terrible problem with leadership in politics ... but the leadership of the corporate community might well be worse. The ideas of ethics and the moral compass are, it seems, about as extinct as the hairy mastodon. This is an e-mail I just received!
CREDO's not just an activist organization — we're America's only progressive mobile phone company.

Did you know that your current mobile phone provider may be supporting politicians who are working directly against your progressive values?
  • If you're with Verizon Wireless, you should know they donated to Senator David Vitter (R-La.), who later urged President Obama to expand offshore oil drilling even after the devastating spill in the Gulf 
  • If you're with AT&T, you should know that since 1998, they've donated more than $16,000 to Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who called the threat of global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”. They've also given more than $300,000 to the election campaigns of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who downplayed BP's heinously negligent oil spill as an "act of God."
Fortunately, there's an alternative to supporting companies like that: CREDO Mobile. We're an independent, progressive company that fights for the causes you believe in.

We're the only mobile company that's calling for a complete moratorium on offshore oil drilling, and for the EPA to disbar BP from all future federal contracts. And since 1985, we've donated more than $65 million to progressive nonprofits like Rainforest Action Network, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice and the ACLU.

Plus, with CREDO Mobile, you won't sacrifice a thing when it comes to your service. Join us today and get:
**10% off your monthly fee for 24 months
**Contract buyout credit up to $200
**No contract for 30 days
**Number portability; keep your current number
**Free car charger with your order
**Nationwide coverage on the all-digital Sprint® network, reaching more than 280 million people.†

So have a look at your last mobile bill and ask yourself: is your phone company working for your values, or against them? Think about it. Then think about CREDO Mobile.
The big challenge for ordinary people is to sort out what is good information and what is misinformation. The ubiquitous nature of modern advertising and the tiny sound bytes that masquerade as investigative journalism is very dangerous ... and nobody is paying attention. The financial melt-down was something of a wake-up call, but the profit flows of the corporate world has rebounded quite well with cost cutting that impressed the capital markets but set the stage for a much more difficult longer term recovery. For the wealthier classes, the stockmarket rebound has rebuilt wealth, and the world is therefore fine. For the poorer classes ... foreclosure is still happening, and unemployment and financial ruin is staring them in the face!

There is huge disconnect! Communities all across the old industrial world are experiencing serious levels of unemployment ... governments are in financial trouble ... yet the big corporate entities are earning high profits ... and the capital markets have boomed! These facts do not add up to a sustainable future ... and the big question is rapidly becoming how bad is the future going to be?

As long as the prevailing system of metrics is the one that the capital markets has used for decades ... essentially for ever ... then the future is going to be a mess. If profit is the only metric that is considered important, and social values and quality of life in the economy are ignored, then the allocation of resources by the capital markets is going to end up starving the economy of what it needs to have a future. There was a time when the US invested heavily in educational activities which were the envy of the world ... whatever happened? Some US education is world class, but most is way below world class ... but expensive non-the-less. US infrastructure used to be very impressive, but the investment in important infrastructure has been neglected for decades ... not enough profit in infrastructure investment. Deployment of cutting edge technology has been shortchanged in developed countries ... better to do the investment in low wage developing countries.

What is the future going to be? Will it be possible to get decision makers to make decisions that will give us all a future? My conclusions is that if profit is the only metric, then the future will be awful ... but if quality of life and building human capital and creating opportunity for everyone is a part of the metric and on the decision makers' agenda, then the future can be better than ever.

Peter Burgess

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