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Solutions for Our New Reality -- They start with us.
Regulations are coming - not because of an administration, but in response to our more urban population. Density is driving the need for umpires. Regulations and compliance costs follow overpopulation and urban community growth.
I heard Thomas Friedman, author of "Hot, Flat & Crowded" and journalist about global conditions, make a comment on Charlie Rose recently somewhat like this... "politicians for the past decades have had the job, essentially, of giving things to people. In the coming decades politicians will have the job of taking things from people."
He was referring to regulations. He went on to say that the Bush administration brought "deregulation" to its zenith... and that now the Obama administration is taking the "new deal" to it's zenith.
An article in the New York Times hints at the reality of the new reality "With Obama, Regulations Are Back in Fashion".
"The Environmental Protection Agency is perhaps the most aggressive advocate of the new regulatory philosophy in Washington. It has moved quickly to reverse or strengthen Bush administration policies on power plant pollution, lead paint and toxic chemical discharges."
When I look at what's changed in the past ten years or so, I must say that my confidence in the products and services I consider buying has gotten very jaded. Will there be a recall? How soon? Is it tainted? What's the got'cha? Is it onerous in the fine print?
Confidence in the consumer marketplace has eroded with contamination scandals, banking and finance scandals, political scandals. Yes, scandals of all kinds.
The natural reaction could be regulations.
Or education about what Mom called, "Just get along, already!"
We live in a different world, and different nation today for one major reason. There are more of us.
The rules that worked when population density was TEN per square mile is a bit different than when it is 4,000 per mile.
We're living in a hive now. Overpopulation has its challenges.
And more regulation to cope with all the errant ways and innovative schemes is one of the costs of dense population centers. More people are now living in urban areas than rural areas. That's a sign of what has changed.
We are an urban nation... and neighbors need referees.
The Compliance Landscape for the Coming Decades
So with this kind of elbow to elbow living conditions, regulations won't stop with the Obama administration. We must look for new solutions to cope with our new reality.
I can think of a few that complement regulations and compliance:
Strive for excellence in our jobs. Be concerned about our customers and neighbors. Produce sustainable solutions.
Learn ethics. Ethics aren't inborn. They have to be developed. That's the work of mothers, in particular. Mothers start the job with loving connections, and fathers continue the job by helping children learn skills for the big, wide world. Children need that balance.
Participate. Your voice, your perspective is valuable, and you need to be heard. We need "systems" for conversing about policies and procedures that matter to us. Not demonstrations and fights -- but civil discourse and letters to the editor, and standing up at a city council meeting, and serving on a board for a nonprofit. And telling your family about what your values and ideas are for a better daily world.
Patience. Democracy depends on rule of law -- not grabbers take all. It's important that we understand that sometimes things cannot go our way -- that it's time for someone else to have a slight advantage. And that's a good thing. Fellow citizens, like sisters and brothers learn to share. And to be patient, and support one another's strengths and help bridge their weaknesses.
Be people first. Professionals second. And be fellow living creatures all the time. Humans are over-running the earth -- think about that. It has implications. We have the mental capacity for self-discipline, for innovation, for making rational, caring decisions. We could use more of that capability building in each of us, and especially in the people we elect to make huge policy decisions for our communities, states and nations.
Get to know yourself -- and work in your sweetspot. Each of us has a strength and a weakness (or more than one). By developing positive strengths and building a team to fill in our weaknesses, we can be a stronger chain with connections, resilience, and integrity. We don't have to be great at everything -- and we can't. But we can diligently develop our best features and contribute a respectful portion to those around us who also contribute value to our world.
Value the best values -- we need values clarification. We've been valueing things like wealth and waste for too long. We've awakened to the fact that resources are dwindling, waste is... well, wasteful, not exotic opulence. Our values, our goals, our actions need to shift along with that recognition of reality. That will help build a more sustainable community.
Together we can weather downturns and disasters. But only together. And we need to strengthen the talents, systems and goals that bring us together with respect, productivity, caring and with a goal for a more civilized future.