If the world was like The Walking Dead then it would be a world where nearly everyone alive speaks English, nearly everyone is white, and male. The biggest failure of the show is to have the audience rooting for a society that preaches tired principles of violence, lack of community, selfishness, capitalism, patriarchy, and shoot-first mentality.
While Canada is so good and efficient at squeezing every available drop of profit out of our opportunities, we seem to have missed the most important lesson they teach in the School of Capitalism: strategic planning. And suddenly, after so many fat cow years, our customers' tastes started to change -- and, in record fast time, we started look and behave like the world's least sophisticated capitalists. We may have been the envy of the world but we were actually amateurs all through the fat cow years and now we're starting to pay for it.
Another sordid example of banksterism -- money laundering -- surfaced this week accompanied, not surprisingly, by a blistering global poll that shows faith in capitalism is shrinking. The HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation), the largest financial institution in Europe, revealed "major internal-control problems" and plans to apologize for its lapses next week to members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee into terrorist and trafficking money laundering.
Ask anyone with a shred of a conscience, and they'll tell you that they want a cleaner and more equitable world. With the rise of social media, consumers are becoming increasingly more intelligent and aware of the implications of their purchases. We are shopping not only for value, but with values. That's a major culture shift.
The cynics in the not-for-profit space would argue that profit and "good" cannot possibly be synonymous. But has the obsession with "giving back" made any difference at all? The successful businesses of the future will be the ones that figure out how to maximize profit as they maximize their positive impact on the world.
Why does our economic system place a higher value on disposable and often unnecessary goods than on the things like clean air and productive soil? Sure, there's some contradiction in protesters carrying iPhones while railing against the consumer system. But this is not just about making personal sacrifices
"Indignados" (the indignants) occupy city squares in Spain on a permanent basis, and now the Wall Street protests have taken root and will only grow in size and intensity. These protests, while poorly organized and rag-tag, will become the migraine of politics, not fatal but nagging and potentially dangerous.