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Our American Purpose

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2003 by RDFollendoreIII

October 1, 2003

Someone needs to stand up and shout that "Technology does not have feelings because it simply does what we make it to do!"  If there was a inherent flaw in the philosophy of the 90's it certainly was not just because of technology.  Technology worked.  It was what we did with it that didn't; but even more than that, it was the way that we approached the financial exploitation of technology that has failed us. All of the investors who created the financial attraction and all of the disingenuous speculators who were after the money created thunderous noise that prevented genuine opportunities from rising to the top and prevented us from utilizing technologies true benefits. Truly new technology is not only difficult to implement, it can be difficult to adjust to. It changes our value systems, making situations that once were predictable, unpredictable.  Making sure that new ideas work fairly and predictably is important because it reduces the reluctance to embrace the necessity of change. Simply opening up some valve and allowing anything and everything invites the dogs to eat your dog, immediate social resistance, and the potential of making every personal and business option unpredictable.    

You see, we have this instrument that we call technology but we also need the visionaries who write the policies to manage and use it.  Technology can give our nation the ability to organize and reach congruence more efficiently, but this can only be effective if there is some degree of trust in our common purpose of our objectives. To have purpose means to establish a feasible plan for creating predictable results.  When my "baby-boom" generation grew up America was supposed to be the land of opportunity.  It was a place where the "American" dream is possible. Maybe it is time for us to admit that we no longer serve an American purpose. The opportunity to acquire our dreams is systematically being ripped from under us and like sheep we are allowing it to happen. The greed of globalistic outsourcing is not only affecting what we do, it is affecting all of the reasons why our forefathers came together to be a nation. If this new concept of America does not include the regulation of otherwise rough and unbridled forces that limit the potential benefits to individual citizens, then we must desperately begin to rethink the entire concept of the American purpose.

Today, American families are constantly being financially and emotionally squeezed as their communities are finding it more and more difficult to protect their culture and their way of life.  Competitive pressures have stripped cities and counties of their local power to control sprawling growth. Last year tens of thousands of Americans had their property condemned by the government as a blight, and sold to corporations because doing so raised higher tax revenues..  Every day, issues of Globalism continue to rush into and overwhelm local economies and there is someone new being elected who believes that it all can be turned around if government were run more like a business.  To the big guys billions are not enough.  Even Levis are leaving our shores for the sweat shops.

For the property speculators, explosive growth is seen as the holy grail for wealth as they continue to take on a disproportionate influence with respect to community decision making. We are witnessing the signs of a new kind of economic depression, a civil one, where prices are not just being propped up; where they are manipulated into expanding and collapsing.  That hyped up concept of profit taking that failed us in stock market a few years ago is once again being applied in other areas. We have already forgotten that all of the money went some where but no one was ever willing to ask just exactly where.  Now, doubling real estate property prices for instance, doubles profits and inflates value.  Is it a coincidence that all of this is taking place at the moment where so many jobs are being lost?  It makes no difference.  

The result is that people with fixed or limited incomes are finding that they can no longer afford to own land or be a part of a community.  They are being displaced instead of being bought out.  Many Baby-Boom Americans are unable to count on their source of income to pay their bills.  They are losing their retirement funds.  In significant pockets throughout America, local people are being churned out of positions that they once held for decades, discounted while other forces and outside influences continue to whittle at local control.  All of this is not being adequately reported or accounted for by our media or our leaders. It sounds too much like a conspiracy, even if we are doing it to ourselves.  Even if many of these problems can be attributed to outsourcing.  It would have been so much more simple if it were just another example of a Government conspiracy.  The problem is that there is no one in the Government that is that smart and they are not even smart enough to publicly recognize it.

The infamous rise of outsourcing increases profits and reduces costs, but it also insulates both the consumer and the community problems and concerns arising from the fulfillment of those services.  Ask any outsourcer to solve a situation and they will respond that they have no control, no responsibility or authority to speak to your other than performing a specific defined task.  They are telling the truth.  Outsourcers are deliberately isolated from authority, the business is isolated from managing responsibilities and we the consumers are helpless.  That is the beauty of it. But problems are not being fixed, they are being ignored and outdistanced by those who should be responsible.  

The lowest outsource bidder may be the most profitable, but they are also the least responsible and the most economically vulnerable.  Within that process the technical infrastructure is degrading and falling apart.  America is slowly finding out that unregulated outsourcing illustrates that the "free market" is really not so free.  The fact is that there is always a limit to the boundaries of bureaucratic rhetoric, whether it come from conservative or liberal side. The perfect utopian ideals of free running economics has permeated into the fabric of policy making where it is now saturated.  No where is that better illustrated than in our present Federal Government.    

There can be no doubt that Government over regulation has historically been a problem or that it will continue to be a problem.  But it is becoming more and more important to look at what we can not do that we once could not.  Americans must soon wake up to the fact that it has been a mistake for America to deregulate business in the face of the forces of Globalization. The equation of relating big Government to over regulation is a myth perpetuated by big corporations.  Without regulatory practices there can be no level playing field for competitive business forces. In the final analysis, industries are not made of just corporations, they are made up of continuing opportunities.  In our modern world, proper Government regulation of business is not a matter of all or nothing, it is a matter of degree and timing.  Every time America loses a job overseas because our Government was not willing to protect us, America loses its purpose.  The rich may feel guilt that they have so much while others have so little, but they sure as hell do not intend to give up what they have. What they are willing to do is take advantage of Globalized economics and get even more wealthy at the expense of the average American.  

Government needs to be able to do a better job at managing the regulatory practices that protect us. They need to stop thinking about regulation as black or white issues or as tit-for-tat compromises.  Modern regulatory practices means that through advances in technology there can and should be increasingly timely and appropriate decisions and policies implemented.  There should also be reasonable situational allowances and tolerances and that requires better delegation of authority to local decision makers who exist to listen as well as to make personal decisions.  The local actions of these delegated decision makers need to be far better managed and coordinated than they are today.  That is not happening because we have been too concerned about the figment of terrorism.  

Our American Government needs to be able to govern through power of electronics.  In the age where massive commercial decisions must be made in seconds rather than months, E-Government is not merely a buzz word, it is a necessity for America's economic and social survival.  We need to keep in mind that technology is just a potential tool to enslave and suppress people, it is also the potential means to allow a breath of humanity into the otherwise automated bureaucratic loop.  That just needs to be designed in where it now is not. 

But such powerful and dynamic tools of Government will also lead to changing issues and expectations.  If we Americans are to be expected to believe in our nation then we need to be expected to be constantly willing and able to understand its purpose as well as its objectives. We have to be willing to debate.  We must be willing to consistently ask the most fundamental questions that may lead us to answers that we may not like.  Is exploitation the only purpose of America?  Is the protection of profiteers the purpose of American government?  Are appropriate fundamental human values just as important as the glorious principles of law? If so then why are judges in our court system handing out mandated sentences?  Abstract mathematical formulas for justice are always inherently unfair, just as the formulas for economics for wealth have been.  We must find new ways to change all of that if humanity is to limit the explosion of catastrophic problems.  The least of our American citizens should not be left out.

Our world has been witnessing the rapidly growth of Global social, economic and environmental problems that have arose in large part from the ways that we Americans have chosen to do our day to day business.  These problems are the direct result of a vacuum of opportunities the have been suddenly released from new unregulated technical ways to do business.  The question is no longer if this vacuum will be filled, but how filling it will best benefit our nation. Unless we begin to choose to use our technology in ways that improve us now, the relationship between local and centralized decision making with respect to policies will continue to fragment our American purpose and our resolve. 




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved