The administration can encourage us to think that recovery is right around the corner but I don’t believe it. I believe we are in a new economic reality and we had better respond to it quickly.

Why do I believe this?

Look at where the serious money lives. Japan is stalling out. The European Union has gone from a cooperative economic trading block to becoming a support group. Europe is going through some very serious belt tightening. The U.S. is resorting to the insane tactic of printing money to buy its own government issued bonds. That’s little more than a shell game to put money into circulation.

Where’s the money? Surprise! Russia is cash fat from oil. China is cash fat from sucking the blood out of our manufacturing base.

Seriously, you really can’t make children’s toys in the United States on a fully automated production line because of labor costs? Bullshit. Greed. And our kids pay the price by sucking on lead painted blocks and inhaling God alone knows what is inside that stuffed toy.

And we blame vaccinations for autism?! Uneducated people believe really dumb stuff.

I can’t even find a dog toy made in the once mighty, industrially rich US of A.

We were scared when the debt hit $1 trillion. Remember when we used to talk about stacks of money reaching the moon? We’re now at $14 trillion of national debt. How high is that stack? Mars? Neptune? If it keeps going up, it will reach your anus.

The debt is now about $40,000 for each and every person in the entire country. A family of 4 must pay the interest on $160,000. That’s a mortgage payment in many states.

What is very serious is that there is no end in sight to the red ink. This year alone we will add about $1.3 trillion to the debt. Does anyone believe we can cut spending by that much? If every working person paid $6,000 more in taxes this year, we’d balance the budget. We can’t get close without some serious taxation. But have you got a spare $6,000? I don’t.

I don’t want to be all doom and no gloom.

Here’s the gloom.

We really resist change. And if we don’t change the way we do things, we’re going to sink.

We don’t have a particularly ethical base from which to draw talent. Business is choking on greed and mental laziness. That’s serious trouble.

But there is a tin lining. (We spent the silver long ago)

The very few businesses that work to differentiate themselves from the pack, the ones that let their talent breathe the fresh air of creativity, the ones with the courage to try new approaches and create new roads, those companies will succeed. The companies that relegate HR departments to managing benefits and open internal talent agencies to attract and retain thinking people will do wildly well until they too fall back to complacency.

Where to start facing this new reality?

I just told you. HR becomes the accounting department for employee benefits. Start a talent agency. Seek out and tolerate the creative odd-ball that just might be the next Bill Gates.


Our education system is failing miserably from K-MBA-PhD. If you want smart, thinking, innovative people around you, create them. Start a training program. Teach math, science, writing—teach anything and everything. ALL LEARNING IS BENEFICIAL. Start a company library. Pay your talent $50, $100, $1,000 to read a book (give a test!)

Bring in speakers on various topics. ALL KNOWLEDGE IS BENEFICIAL. Knowledge opens the mind and stimulates thinking.

Look, it comes down to this. If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.  General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army

Get with it.

Chris Reich

Chris Reich