US Economic Recovery and Growth part 3
You know, when I look at the events around the world I wonder if the difficulties in America and Europe are self-inflicted.
In late 2009 I was examining some Google charts (not reproduced here for copyright reasons … and I have to go back and search for them) of GDP growth of many European countries and I noticed that there were many warning signs in these charts long before, many, many years before, the 2008 recession. And that got me thinking.
There is a difference between the way Asians think and the way Westerners think about business and investments. The average American thinks about investments as putting money in the stock market where as the average Asian thinks about starting a business in the Real Economy. That is the main reason why Asia is booming. If you give an Asian $10,000 the very first idea that comes to his mind is ‘what business can I start with this money’ where as the average American or European would probably ‘look at which stock to buy’. It is truly a completely different point of view. I think, the reason being that long, long ago the average Westerner had lost his sense of excitement in the Real Economy.
I began my Bread Diaries blog some six months ago (the second restart of the blog, in two years) and I was very excited about making bread. I was playing with bread making techniques without a bread making machine and carrying out many experiments. I moved from wholemeal breads to plain breads to flat loaf breads to pizza and then to cheese and cakes. It was a very exciting. And now I suspect I have discovered a ‘new’ way of making cheese. Actually, two types of cheeses, may be a third type too. One of them is like cream cheese and the other is like a cross between Mozzarella and Cheddar. Okay, they are not perfected yet but eventually I will get there and then just may be, I can start up a cheese making business!
Furthermore, I have by accident, discovered a fast chocolate cake recipe. And within my tiny 6.5 ft. by 14 ft. kitchen which is crammed with a washing machine, a clothes dryer, a large deep kitchen sink, a small larder, a small store, a 3 ring gas cooker & hood, an electric oven, a microwave, cupboards, gadgets … except the fridge which has to be in the dinning ‘hall’ cum living room, I believe I can make 80 chocolate cakes a day – by myself. Do you think I can make money and flood the market with cheap chocolate cakes and get rich from a tiny apartment kitchen?
I have achieved all of this without funding, without income and on a zero budget. Furthermore, in Malaysia, when we apply for patents, the patent office takes seven (7) years to reply (I guess the pen is heavier than the sword). The businessmen in the West should be ashamed of themselves because they have VC, funding, monthly salaries, cash in the bank, your patent and other institutional systems are working efficiently. Shame on you businessmen in the West. Personally, I think businessmen in the West have been too spoilt and pampered by their governments.
When I visited my friends in San Francisco, in the 1980’s I found them very excited about the new technologies they were trying to create within their own companies. I believe that that sense of excitement, that is the good news factor, sustained economic growth for the next 20 to 30 years.
Where is the sense of excitement or play in Western companies? It is dead because many on the board of directors were employees who took a safe, no risks, path to the top. Their way of thinking has influenced other employees from the top all the way to the bottom. When the people at the top of these corporations take cover, everyone below them takes cover. I guess the entrepreneurial spirit left with the founders of the company. These long term ‘play safe’ people will give a multitude of reasons why their companies can fail but not one reason for success.
- Dr. Peter Achutha, 2 September 2011