Blogging On The Edge of Crisis

INTERESTING TIMES, STRANGE TIMES

A swirl of events happening in my life.

Well, I’m sitting here in my underwear at the kitchen table, just wanting to do one quick blog post before I take off to my job as a Labour Market Specialist / Settlement Counsellor for immigrants.

This morning I walked over to the McDonald’s near my condo and bought a pure orange juice.  

Some big changes are about to occur with me and the world:

1. Picked up a Province newspaper and on page A21 there was a little article saying:

 Europe needs drastic change, economists say

The euro has broken down as a workable system and faces collapse with “incalculable economic losses and human suffering” unless there is a drastic change of course, according to a group of leading economists.

Europe is “sleepwalking towards disaster,” say the 17 experts, who warned that “the situation in the debtor countries has deteriorated dramatically.”

“The sense of a never-ending crisis, with one domino falling after another, must be reversed. The last domino, Spain, is days away from a liquidity crisis,” said the economists. They include two members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts and leading euro specialists at the Lon-don of School of Economics, all euro supporters.

“This dramatic situation is the result of a euro-zone system which, as currently constructed, is thoroughly broken. The cause is a systemic failure. It is the responsibility of all European nations that were parties to its flawed design, construction, and implementation to contribute to a solution. Absent this collective response, the euro will disintegrate,” they added in a co-signed report for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

SLEEPWALKING TOWARD DISASTER

The next article was about the Batman killings in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people died and 58 were injured by James Holmes, a 24 year old dropout from a PhD program in Neuroscience.  The article showed a gun in a shop showcase with an Obama Strike Out sticker above it, and the following description:

An anti-Obama sticker is seen at a gun store in Parker, Colo., Tuesday. The killings may spark a fresh round of soul-searching on America's relationship with guns but few predict any real change in the law.

An anti-Obama sticker is seen at a gun store in Parker, Colo., Tuesday [July 24/12].  The killings may spark a fresh round of soul-searching on America’s relationship with guns but few predict any real change in the law – REUTERS

The American economy, by the way, is on the verge of collapse.  See my article on this topic here.  Along with the US military and everything else.  

The London-based Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo has recently written books about the fatal mistakes the Western countries have made over the last 50 years:

How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead – 2011

and a recent book called Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (June 2012).

The latest news on Moyo is here at a Guardian article:

Dambisa Moyo: ‘The world will be drawn into a war for resources’

The controversial writer and economist on why she believes the economic rise of China, combined with the west’s complacency, leaves us facing a future of terrifying global instability

I have also been reading a book called Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (Norton, 2006) by American cultural historian and social critic Morris Berman.  He discusses the warning signs of America’s inevitable collapse.

GOOD TIMING?

Wow.  I’m an Employment & Settlement Counsellor for immigrants, as I said before.  This job is fun, rewarding, but low-paying.  Social services is definitely NOT the way to go if you’d like to build a stable economic foundation for your family.

So I have been looking into a new career in Finance.  A friend former colleague of mine got me into this industry a few months ago.  But I found that his company has an extremely poor reputation where I live, and it focuses on recruiting 100 people just to find the 2 Superstar Sales people who will make you all your money.  What about the other 98?  Spit out and thrown into the trash?  So after being kicked out of our group for questioning the system, my wife and I have been doing a lot of soul searching as to which company to join.  One Canadian company with a great reputation wants to recruit me.  It looks like a good prospect. 

But today in the shower, I was thinking: “Hmmm….what if I went independent?  Could I do it?  I mean practically speaking?”  After all, with my radical stances on social and political issues, a large company may end up kicking me out anyways after a year or two.  Why not kick myself out early and become independent?  Then I can keep my present job and work towards building up a client base.  Hmmmm….

The other issue is the present economy.  If it crashes even worse than 2008, who’s going to invest?  Who’s going to buy an insurance policy?  Who’s going to take out a mortgage?  The first company reps were laughing and saying, “Great.  If there’s a crash, we’ll make EVEN MORE money!”  Oh really?

So I have been struggling with this.  Later at night, after some research into Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and a 1 hour call to a friend in that particular Canadian company I like, I felt more assured.  I decided also to do a few information interviews with people involved in SRI.

I believe we can do a lot of good in finance, both for clients, society and the environment, if we put ethics before profit.  I know it doesn’t make sense in this Capitalist Matrix, but it’s the only way to go if you don’t want to be a dipweed in the eyes of Yah and humans in the long run.

DALE CARNEGIE POINTS THE WAY: THE 111 DAY CHALLENGE TO “CARNEGISE” MY LIFE

So I made a deal with myself:

Hey, buddy, you’se gonna Carnegise your life for 111 days.  No more criticising or complaining.  No more arguments.  Be truthful, but be kind.

Here’s what Dale says:

Part One

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Part Two

Six ways to make people like you

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Part Three

Win people to your way of thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.

Part Four

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish this:

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

 

Can you do that?  Well, at least we can do our best.

CARNEGISE, ENERGISE, DON’T COMPROMISE . . . 

Nuff said . . . 

Dimitri

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About sleepless in turtle island

Hi, I´m Dimitri. I have lived in Turtle Island for awhile now, so my cultural understanding is slowly improving. Also, I can see things in this place that boggle my mind. Thus this blog...
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