Thursday, January 24, 2013

One For You...

Sometimes, I'm of the opinion that the single biggest cause of "the Great Recession," as it's often called, is that most people don't really understand how businesses work. Whether it's airline loyalty programs, or just the everyday operation of the workplace, people don't seem to understand what goes on "under the hood" in the world around them. Especially when it comes to businesses.

To put it bluntly: we don't operate in a greater society that is set up to succeed when we do. In other words, in the grand scheme of things, the fact that you are I do better tomorrow than we do today doesn't do anything for everyone else. (Conversely, if we're worse off tomorrow than we are today, society at large doesn't really feel the effects of that, either.) And while there's nothing inherently wrong with this state of affairs, it does mean that there are no direct financial/economic incentives for  us to help one another do well. And this applies to businesses as well. And it leads to a very simple conclusion - things are rarely done by others for our benefit. Instead, people do things for their own benefit. We might be somewhat better off as well, but that's a happy coincidence, rather than the direct intent.

Realizing this may help us better evaluate the costs and benefits of the system that we currently live under. And perhaps decide that perhaps we should change it.

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