Outrage over bonuses paid to AIG managers has predictably included calls for government action. After all, taxpayers are (theoretically) not bailing out the insurance company so its executives can save their million-dollar paydays; if the public is going to keep a private business out of bankruptcy, cutting back on compensation only seems appropriate.
One theory that often brings me hope as I watch the world crumble into a recession is the concept of creative destruction. According to the economist Joseph Schumpeter, an essential component of capitalism is the process of âindustrial evolutionâ whereby enormous destruction occurs as the result of, and to pave the way for, new types of industry and businesses.
Here in New York, one of the controversial issues of the day is a proposed new tax on strip bars and erotic dance clubs. Patrons would be required to pay a $10 admission surcharge, with proceeds ostensibly going to help "victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse and child prostitution."
One strategy for dealing with the financial crisis is to try to persuade one's commercial landlord to cut some slack on the rent. However, last week I heard a rather striking story about a sustainable food start-up that did not have to ask for help--the landlord came to the founder with an offer for an extensive period of free rent and a substantial capital investment.
'The information age is being sabotaged!' This statement should be the head lines of the media. Why? Our modern society depends to a large degree on information, know how, science, education, media, and the Internet.