ResourcefulnessPosted: March 30, 2014
It’s been 5 long years for many of us – globally. There have been casualties and certainly there must have been some who have prospered by that. I keep expecting for the global economic situation and the more local situation of the economy in the United States to improve. Depending on who’s forecast you wish to believe, things are going to get better soon (but we’ve been hearing that consistently for a long time, as if willing it could make it so) or we’re in for more of yet the same, a long and bumpy ride is expected to be still ahead for all of us.
Last night, I read a gloomy perspective in the most recent Time magazine issue (April 7, 2014) by Rana Foroohar titled “Globalization in Reverse” (What the … slowdown means …). Foroohar notes that there is no longer the “easy-money” environment to spur economic growth. That wages might show some increase is doubtful. A more volatile and less predictable time ahead is forecast. China is in the midst of an economic crisis. Japan’s “Abenomics” is faltering. Europe is not expected to come out of their own debt crisis for another 5 years. The US Trade Deficit is shrinking because consumer spending here remains sluggish.
Personally, I don’t know if the pessimistic vision or the optimistic vision will eventually play out. I don’t feel the least bit of certainty about that. Within the Plastics industry there is great hope in the shale energy deposits. Certainly, there have been issues with establishing production in other countries, as business continues to seek advantage in lower cost labor and less stringently applied environmental laws. Personally, fracking deeply concerns me. The Keystone pipeline worries me. The plastics industry has been bloodied in China, just as the oil industry has invested its resources in the Middle East or Mexico, only to later have their investment “nationalized”. Just as businessmen rushed into Russia as the old Soviet Union began to seek a new economic and governmental model for their nation. Business does not always understand the culture or the politics in the countries they seek to exploit. Many have had a rude awakening.
So, some manufacturing businesses are returning to the United States and China faces a reckoning as their one child policy becomes a lack of labor excess in the near future. Our business has always been 100% American. Americans use the containers or tires or other materials that are later recycled to become the feedstocks we use for the “new” materials our business creates. We are an axle on the wheel of financial flows. All that comes in is circulated out, though some is used for our family’s necessary support, most of what comes in goes back out to support other small businesses that we have aligned ourselves with.
We have long been grateful that not only are we able to support our family but that we can feel good about what we do to bring financial resources into, through and back out of our lives. We know that we are contributing to the greater good, by doing what we do – keeping waste from being prematurely disposed of into landfills, when it continues to have a usefulness that should not be wasted. We know that environmental ethics are not the “value” that our product’s desire-ablility should be based upon. We have long sought to consistently improve the quality of our product, so that the product is a good quality investment on its material attributes.
We live our vision for a world that increasingly works for everyone inhabiting it in life-affirming and beneficial ways. While it is true that we are not all born equal, nor do our lives reflect an equality of opportunities and comfort, and our deaths are not all of the same cause – it is possible for this planet to be more supportive of all who live upon it than it has been throughout its history. You may say that we are “dreamers” but we’re not the only ones. Someday, it may be our dreams that have lead the way, to a better way for all who live.
~ Information Resources
“Globalization in Reverse” (What the global trade slowdown means for growth in the U.S. – and abroad) by Rana Foroohar, published in Time Magazine (April 7, 2014 issue) – http://time.com/39880/globalization-in-reverse/
Blog author ~ Deborah Hart Yemm is co-founder of
Yemm & Hart, a green materials producer