Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Starting over

A number of my readers and those who have stumbled into this blog might think it it not worthwile to read "Signs of the Times" that are more than two years old.

However, keep in mind that they are signs and may or may not have actualized in a larger playing field. My Signs Comentaries are always at the cutting edge, many years may pass before they are mainstream. You can still learn from them.

In the past the signs I commented upon were connected to "Signs of the Times" . This blog represents a new start that will not be linked to the webpage. You will see it here first!

Now on to business... It is clear to many that a number of business have been started that offer a service or product that benefits the world and still makes money. Bombodill Publishing is one of those companies. By focusing on young authors, giving them an early start in publishing and helping to sell their books Bombadil Publishing also makes a profit. Imagine the joy of seeing your own work in print at the age of sixteen or twenty!

Benifit corporations aren't the typical business model where a large corporation donates to culture or sports as a form of good will and advertizing, while still earning for shareholders. The new model is a company commited to particular values and balances it's societal obligations with stockholder obligations.

New laws are being enacted to recognize and validate alternative in the U.S., not on the federal level, but at the state and city levels. Maryland was the first state to pass, so called, Benefit legislation which adds a new class of corporation to the list. Other states passing similar laws are California, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. Already passed benifit corporation laws are also in New Jersey and Virginia.

Other approach is to tweak the for profits model to allow for-profit corporations to pursue more than just shareholder wealth. They are being called called "flexible purpose corporations".

Many people are beginning to realize that the market economic model is outdated whether it is new liberal or traditional market economic. Even though most of us have to function within a system that is failing only a few of us are willing to admit that an economy built on growth has its limits.

The question is then the future. If the current system is breaking down, what will take its place? Chances are great that there will only be a sudden collapse of the current economic system when viewed in retrospect. Those of us living through the changes may not realize what is happening, but blame their own bad luck for their financial crisis. However, this change to the corporate structure while still dependent upon growth, address the only motivation that was legally demand, that is: to serve stockholders. Social and environmental well being is now being thrown into that mix.

Can this be a middle way? Will our current, growth dependent, financial structure evolve into something else, or will a new way of supporting a growing population on a limited planet just pop into being? Is this just the beginning of the evolution process or are we a part of a larger process that began with hunting and gathering and then slid into to barter and then profit making structures and now to contributing to global and social survival?
See Yes! Powerful ideas, Practical Actions” Spring and Summer 2011

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