Consuming Competitiveness Redux


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In some of my previous blog entries I introduced an idea I call “consuming competitiveness” as the only real way for America to meet the challenges of the future. In my future posts I hope to refine and expand on this idea, and I also hope to engage in a face-to-face dialogue about this concept with some of you at the upcoming amerimold show in Novi, MI next month. For this posting, let me define more clearly just what I mean when I say that Americans need to consume competitiveness if we are to resolve this nation’s current problems and prosper in future generations.

First let me say that as an economist I have concluded that the U.S. is very near or already at a crisis stage in its economic system. This economics-related crisis is affecting our system of governance. Many people think that it is the government that is negatively affecting our economy, and they are correct to the extent that the crisis has turned into a vicious cycle. But I believe that it is the system of economics that originally caused the problem, and therefore the only true solution is also an economic solution. Once we get the economy properly adjusted, the problem with the politicians will largely go away.

This is because the most powerful political force the world has ever known is the American consumer. The political parties would have you believe that it is the American electorate, but only about one-half of the eligible citizens in this country actually vote. And even those who do vote only exercise this choice once every two or maybe even once every four years. In contrast, 100% of the citizens in this country are active consumers, and they exercise this privilege on a daily basis. Voters can sometimes affect real change in America, consumers profoundly change the world on a continual basis.

So if enough consumers want something, the market will provide it. And what I am proposing is that consumers need to desire “competitiveness.” Competitiveness needs to become fashionable, it must go viral and morph into “the next big thing.” We need to use our smartphones and tablets to purchase goods and services that make us more competitive. We need to share our competitive tips with our friends on Facebook, we must make them trend on Twitter, and we must search for them on Google. The American Dream must be “to become competitive.”

Like I said above, I will share more of my ideas about the hows and whys of this idea in future posts. For now let me conclude by saying that this new vision of competition is based on a society that is courteous, cooperative, and generous. I do not condone old, morally-bankrupt versions of competitiveness that resulted in vain and obnoxious “me-first” types of behaviors. Those expressions were not truly competitive. True competitors possess a deep appreciation of teamwork, sportsmanship, and personal discipline. This should sound like what you learned in high school. It should also sound like fun.