Are we heading towards a recession in the U.S.?
Economic signs are troubling: 5% unemployment (two year high) potentially rising to 6.5% by 2009, a horribly weak dollar, consumer lending woes, and a declining trade competitiveness leading to a rising current account deficit.
How will our politicians respond to these problems? So far, they believe that short-term, temporary stimuli will work, even though efforts from the past (low interest rates) did nothing but potentially make the problem worse. Tax cuts, spending packages, and lower interest rates simply mask the true problems. Our corporations will continue to try "addition through subtraction" by their band-aids (eg, outsourcing) versus true productivity efforts. Our schools will ask for more funding instead of seeking reform. Nobody will address solutions from our past that have worked before.
Productivity is a "lost art" in America today. Rarely is this term used as a solution today within our businesses (outsourcing instead is proposed), schools (more spending proposed), government programs (cuts/more spending), and labor unions (win-lose propositions).
What would you think if you heard of a solution that wasn't the same packaged solution that hasn't worked before? Would you as a manager, worker, student, teacher, politician, and consumer be willing to sacrifice and work for it, or are you only willing to pretend to seek new solutions? Would you be willing to sacrifice and work hard for productivity, or do you simply want the "easy out" for whatever you do?
Our nation's ability to compete rests with all individuals and institutions. Are you willing to change to make it happen, or will you buy the same "easy out" solutions as before?