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Posts Tagged ‘political backlash in democratic countries’

Change, Change, Change

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 26th, 2009 7:46 AM |

How are we as a nation handling the changes going on in our country?

Change is stressful, especially when the change is involuntary. The ability to adapt to change is critically important in order to minimize the stress, maximize the opportunities, and move forward in life. The ability to adapt to change and prosper from it is the premise for one of my recommended books in the Sense on Cents Reading Room, Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

I first read this book in early 2001 prompted by the merger of Chase Manhattan and JP Morgan. Dare I say the changes ongoing in our economy and world render the merger of two large banks rather pedestrian. That said, the lessons in Johnson’s book apply to professional and personal situations. I have recommended this book often.

I was reminded of Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese? this morning when reading an article in the Financial TimesWhen Austerity Does Not Come Easily:

When the global economic crisis first hit, it was natural to assume that the poorer and more recent democracies would be most vulnerable to a political backlash.

But perhaps we are looking for trouble in the wrong places. It could be that it will be the richer democracies, such as Britain and the US, that find it most difficult to adapt to the politics of austerity.

While this message is neither pleasant nor easily broached, I truly appreciate it and commend Gideon Rachman for writing about it. In regard to change, our country needs to initially understand, willingly accept, hopefully embrace, and then boldly move forward. I think we are still in the very early stages of the “initially understand” phase.

While the Obama administration has put forth large measures and grand programs under the guise of change, I view many of these measures as “more of the same.” That is, inflated government spending and bureaucracy to facilitate living beyond our means. The simple fact is, a country, corporation, municipality, or individual that perpetually lives with an excessive and growing debt burden is postponing and potentially eliminating the chance for real prosperity.

Market analysts, media mavens, and government officials regularly call for an end to our recession in 2009 and a return to “normal.” I view this time in dramatically different fashion. I believe we are experiencing not only an economic test, but also a test of national character. (more…)

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