Following on from the article above about the need to review taxes the Economist this week has taken the line that for business to agree to get on side with certain issues makes the matter of “siding with the left”.
This is an interesting interpretation. What’s seen by the Economist as “left” in America includes those who are objecting to the Republicans trying to make it more difficult to vote, especially black voters? What’s “left” about this? Why are environmental issues “left”? I would have thought that they reflect decent people wanting to make this an inclusive and supportive community and planet.
The “I’m left, you’re right” always bugged me when I was in politics. This Economist article just buys into this traditional analysis. Often when an issue comes before decision makers the solution involves a mixture of what would traditionally be seen as a combination of left, and right, solutions. I have always felt that both the public sector could learn much from the private sector and vice versa.
Unfortunately, we too often crowd our thinking into 3-year cycles rather than the long view. That’s wrong. Both sectors need each other. The public sector must always take the long view. This sector must decide what public investments in both people and systems will provide the base for a progressive and inclusive society. This must always be at the front of a politician’s brain.
The private sector, however, must focus on innovation and production. New ideas and new products, both physical and services.
The challenge for society is to encourage the public sector to constantly innovate and be genuinely open to addressing the tough, long developing matters which prevent society and individuals flourishing. The challenge for the private sector is to operate within the framework of a decent society.
Both sectors need each other. There will always be tension between them and that is healthy. However, with the emergence of large ratty issues which threaten all sorts of assumptions of the past, like Global Warming and pandemics, we are moving into a new place in the world. That’s why we need to think beyond the old ways and work together to develop new ways. We should not get distracted about whether somebody’s analysis is “left” or “right”.
We’ve had a version of thinking over the past 3-4 decades which has led to poverty which was not thought possible in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It’s not just poverty of people without housing, or jobs. It’s poverty of spirit. Mean spirited thinking, only focused on self. That’s why I love the speech which Mohammed Ali made which had two words in it. Here it is in an art form in Harlem:
Here’s the Economist article: https://www.economist.com/news/2021/04/07/corporate-america-weighs-in-on-georgias-voting-rights-law