Coping: Solving the Right Problem, Paradigm Shopping

We’ve had some fun on the Peoplenomics side of the house, kicking around the pluses – and minuses – of Going Rural.

Some subscribers (like Mark) make some legit arguments against it on points like airports.  Besides, Big Cities is where the money is.

But, my point is a lot of those shiny deal points are all there by accident.  This being the case, shouldn’t we be looking at changing our paradigms to fit our objectives, rather than hanging on to the wrong paradigms ’til death do us part?

(Continues below)


Sitting out among the trees Wednesday, what comes to me is that there is a huge flaw in the American democratic Republic (for which it stands, yada, yada):  While we elect people, that in no way assures us that anything will change.

Peter Drucker was the guru of this kind of problem in the 1980’s with his series of books that focused on something called “Management by Objectives.”

Drucker – who passed away in 2005 – left behind a rich legacy that continued to produce great books on the art of business.  I call it “art” in that while there are plenty of formulistic tools to help run a company better (revenue per employee metrics, for example), there is also a lot of “heart and hands” in it.

Along comes The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization (J-B Leader to Leader Institute/PF Drucker Foundation) ($8-bucks on Kindle) and the “two-by-four to the head” is improving your business by Asking the Right Questions.

Now back to the flaw in America:  We do not DO this in a structured, apolitical, manage for the best-outcomes way.  INSTEAD we “elect” people who we (usually in error) believe will tend to the Will of the People.  Sadly, as I’ve written for years:  Accountability of Public Officials ends the day they are elected and lasts until about 3-months prior to their next run for office.

That’s why the “Going Rural?” article on Peoplenomics this week.

Honestly, I love rural.  Elaine and I talk about it almost every day.  “Who wants to live in a city with all those [fill in the blank, based on the day’s news flow] people?”

The five questions that lead to effective management (to paraphrase the book) go like this:

“What is Our Mission?”

Right off the bat, America is in trouble.  We used to want to be the moral high-ground for the world.  “Give us your tired, your poor, yada, yada.”  But, not – in any of the Founding documents I’ve read – has that included Give us your drug gangs, your unaccompanied children, your un-vetted refugees who can’t make peace in their own homelands and so forth.

To be sure, there are some who believe that the American framework does extend beyond our border, but anyone with a nickel’s worth of sense would conclude no, if Other Countries are serious about being “America-like” they are welcome to translate our Constitution into whatever their local tongue is and run with it.

They don’t.

The hell of it is that the liberal Open Borders supporters are actually giving despots a way out.  “If you like America so much, go there!

We don’t need more people right now.  We’ve got nearly 330-million of ’em as it is.  Absorbing another Central America countries drug war children isn’t going to fix America.

What needs fixing?

That’s not the right second question.  Instead, counsels his approach, go next to asking “Who is our Customer?

Again, immigration is a grand topic to sharpen our mental acuity with.  Radical Islamists are distinctly not our customer.  They want to see our business model go away and be replaced.  Definitely not our customer.

Same is true with children without parents.  They deserve a few bucks to relief agencies, no doubt.  But they are not the customer.

Neither are drug gangs, the United Nations, the G20 Finance Ministers, or any of the other pushy, grabby, and rude who show up in headlines every day.  They are not the customer.

THE CUSTOMER is those of us who are here legally and are law-abiding, and with any luck, making some contribution – however small – to the advancement of America.  Making something to sell (or better, export) and maybe helping our fellow countrypersons along the way.

Yeah.  That’s the Customer.  Next question?

“What Does the Customer Value?”

Again, we’re not talking open borders, refugees, or any of those hot-button issues that the emotional crooks-in-office play for personal gain.

I’d offer that what at least one customer wants is a short list of deliverables that any good government should be glad to deliver.

  • Full employment and a predictable economy.
  • Money that holds its value.
  • A country where the “government’s cut” doesn’t go up, year-after-year and is capped at portion of income levels where things were in 1970.  Which was the last time one family member could support four others.
  • A country where a change of government reflecting the Will of the People is not obstructed.
  • A peaceful country, maintaining peace through its integrity more than its arsenal, through its excellence in all things, not domination and subjugation of foreign peoples and resources.
  • A country that leads the world in technoly, human development, and space.
  • A country that values quality of life and actively manages cities and regions to better (and more-evenly) utilize the vast American land resources we hold.
  • A country of genuine equality. No white discrimination against blacks, and visa versa.  No reparations, except from living slave owners which might include the S&P 500 companies.  No white shaming, black shaming, fat shaming, no racism nor attacks by anyone.
  • A country where civil discourse is revered.  No shouting down a speaker over a disagreement.  Don’t interrupt.  Or, do so at risk of jail.  Free speech means you can go outside and talk all you want.  Not in an assembly of people you happen to dislike.  That’s not “free speech” – that’s revolutionary (usually violent) instigation and incitement.
  • No gender and sexual orientation marketing in schools.  No public money for sex modifications, and such.  Humans got by for how many millennia without  it?  So, not now, either.
  • A country with a single voice.  We all do English except as an elective at the college level.  ESL for two years only, so as to make it a transition, not a bureaucratic institution.
  • Last:  A country that will help when necessary, but which will demand the best for its people.  It’s a crime, for example, how institutions of higher education have jacked up the cost of colleague for institutional gain and not student benefit.  There’s no reason why a minimal government degree of some sort shouldn’t be had for $5,000 TOPS.  The NSA server farm at Provo, Utah could be delivering education, not surveillance, for example.

OK, We is the Customer and the Customer has a shopping list (which we can quibble over endlessly in the comment section following).

What Are Our Results?”

Oh, God.  We could start with money (the root of all business) and note the US dollar buys 4-cents worth of goods before the Federal Reserve came along.  Yep.  Steak dinner in 1913 was $1.00.  Today?  $25, except at the Ruth’s Chris in Tulsa, dinner was north of $100 per person.  In 1913, that would be $4-dollars…

We have spoiled children, a brain cancer epidemic in the wings because people cook their brains with phones.  We have a debt and deficit that seems unstoppable.  And we have an elected government doing battle daily with the  Obama Shadow (coup) government and Deep State.

When it comes to deliverables?  Our highways and infrastructure are a mess and pension funds are likely to steal home equity in states like Illinois to pay off the pension funds in return for delivering *(democrat) votes on demand.

Yee gads.

Drucker’s final question?

“What is our Plan?”

Other than elect Trump and pray?

We don’t have one.

Which is why I modestly propose we have a National Day of Mourning for the Old America and focus on the direct, measurable, achievable small steps we can all get behind to remake America in our new image.

As luck would have it, we don’t need a new holiday.  We already have it.

The Fourth of July is in 41-days.

We won’t be ready.

Write when you get rich,

author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

21 thoughts on “Coping: Solving the Right Problem, Paradigm Shopping”

  1. George, About people using infrastructure like airports against your thoughts on a resurgence of rural America. Maybe “rural” is a little too vague, but there are lots of places lower density places with plenty of infrastructure to contain serious “resurgence.”

    For example, I live in Central Arkansas, about 20 min from the capital of Little Rock. Town of 30k. We are 15 min from a nice airport that services all major US hubs. Within 1 hour of that airport are vast amounts of undeveloped land and inexpensive housing. A REALLY nice home can be bought for 200K.

    Add to that a university and several community colleges, good hwys and minimal traffic — its a wonder more companies don’t relocate.

    Also, I travel around the “heartlands” a fair bit, and there are lots of areas like this in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, etc. All waiting for resurgence.

    So I think you are onto something George. Perhaps your idea is waiting on a black swan to kick it off? Maybe a return to $4 gas? Maybe a West coast earthquake? Maybe just a few more taxes, which the Left coast types love to pile up.

    • Gene…I don’t disagree with yours or George’s assessment as it relates to people our age…but quality of life has an entirely different meaning to today’s millennials. I point out the millennials because it is their intellectual superiority and knowledge that is fueling the growth in America right now. Many of you are laughing at me right now because your experiences with your own local millennials may not be the same as mine. The millennials in my area are making $180,000 right out of college. The older millennials are buying $2 million dollar homes like you would buy a buy a pair of shoes.

      Just ratified on one yesterday…a young couple with a 18 month old, made an offer that was $220,000 over the list price. Sold well over $2 million. George can check my Facebook profile to verify.

      Since this is a topic of the day on Urban Survival and Peoplenomics, I asked them yesterday what caused them to move to the Bay Area. Their definition of quality of life has to do with job opportunity first and foremost. They can’t make this type of money any where else in the world. Both are near the top of their class Ivy League grads. They had job offers everywhere, but wanted a world class city with great weather, beautiful mountains, oceans, and vibrant nightlife, restaurants, concerts, theater etc. The husbands exact words were…”this is an engineers Zen City!”

      They also told me…what sets the Bay Area apart is that it is designed in a way that 30 minutes away in any direction, you can be in the middle of hundreds of acres in a huge Redwood Tree Grove that makes you feel you are a thousand miles from nowhere. That was important too. Everyone needs an escape hatch from the daily grind. Ours is a 30 minute drive away.

      They have been talking about resurgences in Missouri/Kansas etc. for 30 years. I got tired of waiting and left. But your definition of progress is different than mine. Mine is over 30 million sq ft of office space under construction….rising home prices…a local GDP with exponential growth…and more jobs than people. Even then…all I hear from everyone outside of the Bay Area, living in the heartland…Is that it sucks that houses cost so much here. It’s all relative. The average household salary of my clients is North of $600,000 a year…and that doesn’t include stock options and RSU’s.

      It depends what your end game is…but for those that are the most out of their education and expect the most out of life…they tend to gravitate towards the bigger cities. There will be some disenfranchised who didn’t Make it here and the media will jump on it and say people are leaving the Bay Area in droves…they aren’t…It’s an intellectual natural selection process. The people that are leaving just couldn’t make it work…but like a football team…there is always someone else ready to take over their position.

      • Damn fine contributions, Mark. Thank you for sharing. Keeps us all grounded in…er…CASH!

      • Respectfully, this POV is starkly elitist, because you claim the people who are leaving are disenfranchised, or couldn’t make it. And that living in a big city allows you to get the most out of life. While I recognize the self-congratulation, none of those things apply to me or the many regular (non-Ivy league, non-$2million house – buyer OR seller) folks fleeing the bay area, california, and other megacities/coastal enclaves.
        Describing those Ivy League superbrains who command astronomical salaries, you bring to light the mechanism that turned the bay area into a case study for income inequality and echo chamber politics over the last generation or so. You can say this is a natural outcome of ‘free markets’, or ‘the meritocracy’, but it isn’t. It’s a story of regulatory capture and capital concentration, and out of control costs of regulation and constant loss of liberty. There used to be a ton of upward mobility for the regular residents of the bay, now…not so much. This isn’t sour grapes, or embittered ex-pat, it’s a dirge for the once Golden state, serving the few at the cost to many.

        Speaking of millennials, I too have experience of home buying with this class of people, and can tell you there has never been a more self-indulged, most likely to not work well with others, take their ball and go home group. Supremely frustrating when they seem to want others to do everything for them, constantly demand more, always want to pay less for any services rendered, aren’t afraid to claim their expertise when actually they’re Googling rebuttals to local expert advice. As a customer class, they are less than ideal, no matter how much money is falling out of their ass. I think we’ll see this gap continue to grow.

        I realize the irony of posting this observation on George’s ‘everything is a business model’, ‘write when you get rich’ blog. I’m not railing against capitalism or megacities. If rural resurgence is to take place, it’s helpful to inoculate against the bright lights beckoning and promising glorious things. You can’t tell yet, but those lights are illuminating the feed lots behind the sausage factories…

        Without condoning the platform, message, or messenger, this article has some relevant points:

      • Mark: Millenials are neither intellectually superior, nor are they especially knowledgeable. What they ARE is impatient and adaptive. Humans build boxes — mental and emotional boxes in which to contain their thinking. The older we get, the more boxes and the smaller (less adaptive or “outside the box”) our thinking… Unless some person or entity steps in and preempts the box-building. Bleeding-edge tech does this. It doesn’t stop the box-building, but it points it in specific directions, for a period of time.

        As for “knowledgeable,” not buying it. Millenials rarely display common sense. They can’t, because that is something which is, for the most part, learned through experience. They are very good at constructing a search on Google or Bing, but generally not as good as their elders at recognizing the viability or bias of the results.

        All that said, I can’t argue with your theme that the Bay Area is a tech Mecca, and I can’t dispute the money flow. I’m happy for you, that you enjoy your life there. For me though, I personally hate spending money just to exist, and I detest spending money for energy. Being my own employer, and past the age where I have to kowtow to someone else’s demands, I can pretty much live anywhere. I choose to live away from the noise and bustle, and pollution that’s both physical and mental…

    • Wow.. I am still trying to wrap my head around the kids making and average of 180,000.00 a year..
      I know people that make in that range.. but they are few and far between in comparison to the average laborer.. the average laborer here makes between twenty four to sixty thousand a year. With cash like that and an area that can support it.. I guess I would reconsider suburbia to..but then would I want the headaches of that lifestyle.. Not on your life.. I will stay just the way I am..

      • I guess it makes sense though.. if the average cost of an average home is a quarter million and the payments are over 25000 a year.. to be loan eligible you would have to be making at least a hundred grand a year.
        I guess I never butt in and ask what anyone makes. Anyone that knows me knows I think the whole federal reserve system is just a ponzi scheme and a number on a piece of paper is just that.. the few I have known that make in the six digit range well one was downsized at a large hospital and over an adult beverage while the kids played in the pool he told me that he was insulted because the only offer he got was a half million.. I said I wish they would beat the hell out of me LOL LOL.. when I was working in Healthcare you could tell by the garments they wore that weren’t noticeable. its the illusion that part isn’t in the illusion..some of the wealthiest or famous clients I have had were just family like everyone else I took care of..what number they had on a piece of paper didn’t mean anything to me.. although.. I did get one of the greatest recipe’s for Alfredo sauce on a sheet of paper from a very well known a list actor that liked to cook now that piece of paper means something to me.. Love that sauce…. after he left his family sent me his favorite picture of him because they thought he would like me to have it to remember him with..

      • Son and Joe..I think your both onto something..what is quality of life.. a big house or expensive car.. being able to travel.. I think I have a wonderful quality of life in some ways and in some average and in some areas below average. Loving family, great wife , the best grandchildren any man could ever ask for.
        In the end it all is donated to some medical facility or left to have kids fight over it. You can’t take it with you.
        As for a’s coming.. the cause will be the greed of the one percent. Outsourcing our manufacturing.
        Our country has run away fuel industry my opinion is when the spending bill was passed it basically tossed the average millionaire under the proverbial bus. A little bit at a time as it’s implemented and the quest for me.. where in the past you had the innovators that realized that by building up the people that work for them they not only strengthen their local economy but their company as well.
        Time will tell in the end. I love living in a low stressed environment.

  2. It boils down to ‘YOU and I’ and there are not enough of US. There are them others. ;-(

    • IMHO.. the puppeteers have jumped over the proverbial cliff.. and like the old saying goes.. if they jumped over a cliff would you jump to.. well.. YEAH.. but we are tied to them with the blank pieces of paper and the paper with numbers written on it that they tell us are good for services and goods.
      With the majority of manufacturing done outside the USA the majority of the money made being held in banks outside the usa for tax evasion reasons.. we have literally jumped the cliff.. the puppeteers did with their own greed being the motivator. there is never enough more if that is what you want..and that huge chocolate easter bunny was hollow. the Moment that the IMF or the Oil companies decide to use a currency backed by something other than an empty promise that will be the undooing of our country. we no longer look at our own infrastructure or our own economy but that of someone someplace else. if we could only get products with gold backed securities we all would be scrambling for gold backed securities.

      History is proof enough for me that the moment that the script is pulled the paper is nothing more than paper. and china and russia have been working on getting their currency (backed by gold ) into the playing..If the puppet masters were smart.. or had played the game honestly then they wouldn’t be in this pickle.. instead of using the power they wield for greed personal gain if they had used it the way their ancestors had for building the country supporting the local economy or our country keep our infrastructure strong our manufacturers busy they wouldn’t be facing this future threat.
      If you look back though you can see right when it started to.. around the death of their ancestor that started the ponzi scheme that the whole world bought hook line and sinker..

  3. George
    I didn’t read Marks Comment, but would like him to contemplate the amount of money in Bentonville Arkansas.
    Big Al (now in KY0

  4. Wait… so a draft-dodging, tax cheat who comes to America and sets up a business where sex trafficking women is a part of the profit model AND a woman who came to America on a visa and then decided to just ….stay; meanwhile marrying somebody who could support her, and having an anchor baby, are okay because they are Donald Trump’s grandfather and mother?

    Not to mention Melania, who somehow was admitted on an “Einstein Visa”(LOL!), usually reserved for people with outstanding accomplishments (no, not those kind)in science, medicine, etc. And no, knowing how to speak several languages passably doesn’t count. She grew up in Europe, that’s not uncommon.

    Hypocrites all.

  5. Snoqualmie,
    That is a great observation and I agree with you. In one equality here is betting out if control…a bit. The thing about people with money is that they have money to spend and with all of the services surrounding tech, There is money to be made for those that don’t have a Stanford or MIT education too. A friend of mine started up a food service that caters to the mid size tech companies that do t have on campus cafeterias and food. About 95% of companies here provide free breakfast, lunch and snacks for ALL of their employees. The FAANGS have their own restaurants on campus..The rest have to order it it that’s where his company steps in and helps. He just had his series B and valuation is at nearly a 3/4 of a billion. He is in 10 cities now. Uber and Lyft drivers, personal trainers, landscapers, mechanics, etc are making well into the 6 figures. If you can sell you can make well into the mid 6 figures.

    The point is…you are right about the attitudes of the millennials…but who cares if you can make money off of their success. There is so much more on this subject we haven’t touched on like how you can make and save tons of money living in a big city too. Another time…

    • The second sentence should have read”income inequality is a bit out of control here” auto correct sucks.

    • Ask any waitress or waiter..
      people with money are more demanding and tip less. My experience was I delivered pizzas. They asked what neighborhood I wanted. Show me the money trail.. took the wealthiest areas..after two weeks I told the boss at morning meeting. I was going to have to quit. He asked why. I can’t afford to put gas in the tank. No tips. That’s when the rest of the drivers and boss started to laugh. They had a pool to see how long it would be for me to smarten up. Then said that’s why we bribe the drivers to deliver to those neighborhoods. Today they just add the gratuity on the bill.
      You don’t acquire money and spend. The ones that spend the most are the average family man the average laborer. Reagan had the right idea with trickle down economics.. the problem with it was that it didn’t trickle down. Once that was realized efforts to stimulate the economy came in the form of tax rebates and the expansion of the EIC tax credit that was originally an idea that had come up earlier.

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