Category Archives: Economics in Brief

THE SOCIETY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Re-posted)

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor www.BusinessThinker.com;  Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2011-2013).
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This posting is a summary of my presentation to the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Unfortunately, we have entered a century in which many of the old cultures and societies that have been successful under the old technologies and cultural norms have fallen by the wayside.   We witness already  dramatic shifts in economic wealth, both within and across nation states.

There is still some debate about how the new changes in technology will affect some of the more prevalent twentieth century ideologies.   For example, will the new technologies and associated cultural changes support or retard the growth of the liberal democracies? Or, will the vision of George Orwell be realized, with a technology-induced return to a world-wide authoritarian state? Obviously, all the data are not in, and will not be in for another seventy-five years or so. The early returns, however, suggest that many of the new technologies seem to enforce democratic values and practices.   For example, one of the critical features of using information technologies and computerized systems is the rapid and transparent exchange of information across settings, cities, and nations.   This is highly compatible with democratic systems and values. However, we have also witnessed that China has been able to have an effective state control over these advanced technologies so that has been little if any democratization and is some cases it could be argued that we have seen a decrease in democratization! The Economist in a recent article has concluded that the democratization effects on China by technology could have been overestimated.

On the other hand, some of the new technologies will reinforce distinctions between individuals and classes of people, thus perhaps leading to a more hierarchical and elitist structure of society.   Moreover, the ability of the new technologies to successfully manage and facilitate diversity of tastes and markets, may lead to a fragmentation of societies such that it will be difficult to sustain larger goals and visions.   For example, it is unclear whether a television society can really sustain a long-term mission, or goal, or struggle.

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The Business Enterprise and Today’s Society (Reposted)

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor, www.BusinessThinker.com

Founder and former CEO, JPIndustries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial group

 

We have been in the midst of a fundamental and historic shift of how the economies around the world develop. With the collapse of the centralized and state control model of the economy what we have now, however, imperfect it maybe, is the model of the “Free Market.”

This shift is occurring in parallel with two other sociopolitical expressions:

  1. Smaller government, though the last few years this seems not to have been happening.
  2. The need, indeed the demand by our society to provide assistance, protection, and distribution of economic benefits in a “fair” way

What we are witnessing is a major shift on “how we can fulfill our expectations of a humanistic society” while we keep the state’s interventions and control power at minimum.

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Dumbed-Down Politics has Forced us on a Path that We Can Lose the Economic War!


Dr. John Psarouthakis
, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation, Adjunct Professor(ret.), Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

With ideological shouters exhorting the citizenry toward one precipice on the left and another on the right, a polarized America seems poised for a rocky demise, probably in answer to a Last Days tweet. Worse, this critical mass appears sufficient to drag us all down. The debt bomb and the entitlement bomb, to say nothing of other bombs, wait for no man. Depending which true-believer cliff one leans toward, America is descending into either a communal hell of withering fortune and lost freedoms, or an eternal blue flame of capitalist greed. If you find the shouters outrageously out of touch (not in their Doomsday forecasts, but in their self-fulfilling gridlock), you obviously are not alone. So where can a reader turn to find a compelling centrist message for our generation, or even a little book of bull’s-eye polemic? Where is Frank Capra when you need him, someone who can make us believe in the American Dream even as the 21st Century limps on.

Continue reading Dumbed-Down Politics has Forced us on a Path that We Can Lose the Economic War!