Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Open Revolution #7 – The Rise of the 'Information Age' and the Death of Existing 'Nation States'

We are all passing through a turbulent time in history. We are in the midst of the transition from the 'Industrial Age' to the 'Information Age' and are experiencing major changes and disruptions similar to those experienced when our country transitioned from the 'Agricultural Age' to the 'Industrial Age'.  Many businesses and skills that used to be valued are disappearing. 

If that wasn't tough enough, we are also experiencing an even more traumatic and volatile shift similar to when the world began the transition from the old Feudal System of government to the modern day  Nation States characterized by constitutions and representative governments.  That change was spurred along by changes in new technologies and communication systems, e.g. steam engines and the printing press.

Today we find existing forms of government and Nation States beginning to give way to new forms as computers, the Internet, social media, and other disruptive technologies spread around the world and take hold. What does this all mean to us? What is going to happen? What will be replacing our existing system of government and way of life? I don't think any of us know for sure but we need to all participate in an 'open' discussion about the future we want.

An article in the January 30, 2012, issue of Time magazine entitled "Command and Control" described one scenario that is playing out that "We the People" may not want to accept. The article states that, "The rise of big stateless corporations, which now rival many countries in terms of economics and political clout, poses special new challenges to governments." Will our Nation State system give way to a new global Corporate State system?  Is this what citizens want? Do people have the power to challenge this trend? Are we too late?

Again, to quote the same Time magazine article, "Corporations have morphed from legal entities designed to ensure that an enterprise could survive the death of its owners to institutions possessing more rights than people." How did this come about? Have we already lost the power to take control of our future? Will elected government officials bought and paid for by corporations determine our future for us? I hope not.

I don't have the answers, but I am trying to ask the right questions. I believe our future lies along a better and more 'open' path. I believe in a more 'open' system determined and beholden to the people – to all of us. We now have the technology to start a more 'open' dialogue on the Internet and across social media sites. This is all part of what I call the global 'Open Revolution' that is well underway as witnessed by the Arab Spring, Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and other activities and events taking place in the U.S. and across the world.

To conclude, I started this series of 'Open Revolution' blogs thinking I was simply talking about Open Source Software, Open Access, Open Data, Open Standards, Open Architecture, and Open Software Development Communities. As you can see, my logical train of thought has now lead me to start talking about  Open Government and a more momentous Open Movement that will 'rock our world'. 

More thoughts to follow as I continue to observe and think about the unfolding 'Open Revolution.  Please feel free to jump in and respond to this blog with your constructive comments.

Monday, March 5, 2012

'Trickle Up' vs. 'Trickle Down' Economics

Editorial:  This is just a short blog I felt I had to write and put out there. I voted for President Reagan years ago because he was the best leader at the time to get the U.S. back on track. I'm an Independent voter and generally try to pick the candidates with long range vision that will be the best leaders for America.


President Reagan proved to be the leader we needed at that time in history, but one of the few ideas he pushed that I always had a problem with was his 'Trickle Down' economic approach which heavily favors the wealthy. It made little sense back then and still bothers me today. I prefer the 'Trickle Up' approach which places emphasis on building up the middle class. 


Let's all take a closer look at these two different approaches and let me know what you think. It's especially important as we go into the 2012 elections to think about this. Personally, I tend to favor the 'Trickle Up' approach versus the 'Trickle Down' approach.


'Trickle Up' Theory - If you legislate to make the working class of citizens prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up and through every other class that rests on it. 

'Trickle Down' Theory - Tax breaks or other economic benefits provided by government to businesses and the wealthy will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole.

As you think about the American Dream and the Future of America, which approach make more sense to you? 

* June 15, 2015 -  We now know the 'Trickle Down' theory of economics is dead wrong according to latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) findings http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/15/news/economy/trickle-down-theory-wrong-imf/index.html