The economic downturn is a function of two key drivers; unethical behaviour in capital markets and a tectonic shift in the base of employment from industrial to knowledge based jobs. The lack of regulation on financial markets lead the economy into the recession, however, it will be job creation that leads us out. Government policy levers need to recognize that regulating financial markets will help to prevent future unethical behaviour but these measures are in no way a cure for the current economic malaise.
The key to economic recovery is in dealing with the tectonic shift in employment base and not preventing future recessions. Industrial era policy will not work in the era of knowledge based jobs. Financing physical infrastructure such as roads and buildings may have paved the way for economic recovery in the Great Depression, however, the same policy and paradigm will not spur recovery today. What will facilitate economic recovery is a knowledge based policy paradigm. IMHO one of the greatest challenges and opportunities in North America today is re-skilling the industrial work force to become more entrepreneurial. If industrial jobs are not coming back and traditional industries are crumbling before our eyes then we need to spur innovative thinking and creativity to forge new industries. We need to find, facilitate and encourage the knowledge era equivalents of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.
That transformation is cause for much reflection ... more coming soon.
- Ian Graham