There’s the politically correct headline, but since so many think “Merry Christmas” is some sort of mental assault, this writer would point out that Happy Holidays is a sort of mental assault on Christians.  A cynic might say it’s just an assault on a majority, which incidentally practices forgiveness, so it’s really easy to get away with.

So forgive me if applicable, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Christian or not, your transgressions are forgiven, for all those with faith anyway.

That’s the true challenge, though.  Faith gets worldly challenges, a battering continuous over the whole year from Christmas to Christmas.  Perhaps Buddhism, which isn’t a religion, has a lot to offer. A peaceful mind, freed from the worldly dissatisfactions has a use of great merit.

For much of the world the past year has not been filled with great milestones achieved, or employment filled, incomes increasing, markets expanding, innovations gaining ground.  2010 felt a lot like treading water, with way too many people grasping to stay out of poverty.  Economists and the media dodge the point, but having even a few percent of a market, meaning the disposable income of a nation, reduced or displaced is going to have a major impact on every business – profit might be there for now, but where will the growth come from if the pie is smaller or poorer?

The point this writer is describing is that a bit like the ‘marginal’ barrel of oil supply, those fewer barrels not sold, which drives a higher price is analogous to the working population in reverse.  As the unemployment rate increases, the wealth of a nation deceases and the economic opportunities are diminished and postponed.  Its bad news, and the news has been bad now for more than two years.

This condition, admittedly massively simplified is affecting the energy and fuel markets particularly in the area between research and commercialization.  The development zone is lacking funds both from business and government.  Two recessive years is adding up.  Business has, rationally, slipped to hoarding cash and government has focused attention on restoring or adding to disposable cash flow in the population.  Both miss the main driver of economic growth – developing new products and industry.  When it should be the top priority it isn’t.  Two years have slipped away.

What made this writer an expert?  He’s not.  But 5 days a week the Internet is scanned and the information digested to choose the post of the day.  If you’re one of’s long timers, you too might have noticed that the post topic range has tightened up this past year.  Basic research fills the posts, little development to be seen.

That said, battery investment has started to get more products to market, the incredible news maker, the Chevy Volt is getting to consumers, so a bit of development is getting out. Solar panels are cheaper and installation costs are coming down.  There is good news, its just not much very news like information.

Some are noticing a lot of effort going into keeping technology gains harnessed or stopped. All that free cash and executive energy in slow times does tend to focus on oncoming competition.  Boards members are people too, and look the other way or encourage progress-resisting strategies.  Many think its not the time or mindset to plan for new risks, new business or new markets.

But these holidays might prompt a few leaders and forward thinking types to shake off the shackles of fear.  The best time to invest is when pricing for the future is low – like right now so more sales and better margins can be made when the market is robust and supports high prices.

One thought that comes to mind is: some of those MBA programs leave a lot to be desired. . . .

Sounds like a dismal point in time: But it isn’t.

The reservoir of basic science has grown; there is a rich trove of knowledge to build with now.  One could say the armory is packed with raw materials – and its true.

It’s going to take some courage, adjustment, and willpower to get the economy moving into growth again.

When balanced in mind this Christmas doesn’t seem so grim. Many people are in distress, and helping to relieve that is the human, the natural way to celebrate one’s success.  If Christmas is anything outside of the commercial effort, charity towards all is a healthy thing for the practitioner.

Yet the future, months and years out is the most valuable focus of true charity.  Teaching, investing, and risking, are all means to make the world a better place.  We do it for our children.

Centuries ago people hunted and gathered in the wild environment of the time.  Today the tools are more complex and sophisticated, the environment a construction of humanity, of markets and government – but hunters and gatherers we remain.  Now there are two tasks – both the hunting and gathering but also the construction of markets and government.  Recessions are nothing more than hunting and gathering getting ahead of the construction and development of markets and government – a never-ending task. We must all attend to the construction of markets and government with an eye for the future for everyone.

This view is your Christmas gift from this writer:  A challenge to make it pay for yourself, your children and everyone else – if you can.


1 Comment so far

  1. World Spinner on December 24, 2010 10:09 AM

    A Happy Holidays Challenge | New Energy and Fuel…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

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