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Eureka: Free, tribal and militarized economy
by Jay Gutman
2018-07-15 08:58:34
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Notes on the economy of free, tribal and militarized societies, in no particular order.

Starting and running a small business

In free societies: starting a small business is easy; all you need is a little bit of paperwork. You also need start-up funds to rent or buy property and the goods you will be selling. When running the business, you make sure everything's in order and the cash is flowing in. You treat customers kindly but with distance, they are not your friends but you still want them to come back.

milit003_400In tribal societies: starting a small business is complicated and you need to bribe or insist at your town hall to start the business. In some cases no one will tell you specifically what paperwork you need and staff at the town hall will keep telling you to go somewhere else where you will be told to go somewhere else and so on. Once you start the business, halleluiah! But some people mismanage their small business, either because clients want a loan or because their business is in a remote location, or because their product is not in demand.

In militarized societies: You will get the paperwork done, but the minute you start your business, dozens of people will start the exact same business in the neighbourhood. If you start a butcher's shop, ten other people will start butcher's shops. If you start a baker's shop, ten other people will start a baker's shop. If you start a hair salon, ten other people will start a hair salon. So you have to compete with very low prices, very high quality and record speed, which means you sell at a loss. 

Starting and running a medium sized business

In free societies: you start off being a small business, clients come in, cash flows in, and you gradually become a medium sized business. You hire one person at a time, and you try to control growth to a level of management that you can handle. That is you don't want to grow too fast, and some people even refuse to become medium sized businesses and prefer the remain small sized businesses, despite having the cash and clients that would allow them to become a medium sized business.

In tribal societies: you usually start off as a medium sized business and shrink to a small sized business. You are obsessed with hiring staff, are too busy gossiping about staff to run your business. Clients? You just can't keep staff out of your mind, can you.

In militarized societies: you usually start off as a medium sized business and would give your life for it to remain medium sized. You rank your soldiers, but soon enough you realize your soldiers are not telling you the truth and are handing in fantasized reports. You only look at the numbers and don't care about customer satisfaction. One day debt outgrows equity, and you realize all those clients you were getting and all those good sales reports were lies. No one was coming in, people were just pretending to work and be busy.

Starting and running a large business

In free societies: you started off as a small company, grew to be a medium sized company, and then there's usually this one product that you make that just sticks out, or this business model that just sticks out, and you grow to become a large company. You patent your products and business model, get millions from people who want to use the same product and business model, and your product just keeps selling. Now you can think about buying other promising companies and merging them with yours.

In tribal societies: you are the brother of a revered general or the president's cousin. You are given a huge parcel of land and a huge sum of money to start a big business. You go to Europe, study everything there is to study, come back and start the business. You hire staff, you have no competitors and you make sure it stays that way.

In militarized societies: the government gives you lots of free money to buy any small and medium-sized business you want to buy. You buy small businesses, medium businesses, and land, and become a conglomerate that sells just about everything. You are a general but have to respect other generals. Then another general decides to do the same thing, and a handful of generals decide to do the same thing. Soon enough, there are fifty huge companies that sell just about everything competing against each other. You put all your family members in key positions, and your conglomerate is run like an army. Family members are the generals, and only the most loyal, disciplined and dedicated members will come even close to your family. Your family members marry the family members of other conglomerates, you own everything, including banks and insurance companies. When you need money, you don't go to shareholders, you start a new bank and collect people's money that you invest in the company, that way you don't owe anyone dividends. 

Economics at the local level

Free societies: people who want to start businesses start businesses, and people who want to work for businesses or the government do so. If they can't find a job in town, or can't find a job that satisfies them, they move to another town.

Tribal societies: people are often stuck at home doing nothing. They are not allowed to start a business, businesses and the government tend not to pay workers or only pay workers a pittance. If they can, they move to a larger city, or move abroad.

Militarized societies: people start businesses only when they are sure the business idea will work. They see a chicken restaurant or a sushi restaurant or a bar, they know it works, so they might start that kind of business. They have to be disciplined and obedient at work, otherwise lose their job and lose their business. Because there are too many businesses of the same nature and that sell the same products competing, a lot of businesses fold.

Economics at the regional level

Free societies: regions tend to encourage workers and businesses to find out about other towns in the region. There is a free flow of traffic and people between regions, and people within regions do business together regardless of the town they are located in.

Tribal societies: regions don't encourage workers or businesses to seek opportunities in other towns in the region. Of you walk in a town outside your hometown, people know you are an outsider and stare at you. People only do business within their town.

Militarized societies: towns within a region are ranked by order of importance. Only big businesses can do business outside their town.

Economics at the national level

Free societies: people and businesses are encouraged to move around the country and seek opportunities in different parts of the country. Small, medium-sized and large businesses are encouraged to do business nationwide, and workers are encouraged to seek opportunities nationwide.

Tribal societies: only big businesses do business nationwide, and even big businesses carefully choose what towns they will do business in. Workers are not encouraged to move from town to town.

Militarized societies: Big businesses are present in every region and in almost every town. Small businesses are confined to their town. Workers are encouraged to work for towns that have a reputation for high-ranking workers.

Households and economics

Free societies: Married couples openly discuss money and money management. Children are encouraged to do some soul searching and find meaning in life and what career path they want to follow.

Tribal societies: men manage the budget although women control the budget. That is men decide big purchases and small purchases, but women put a cap on those purchases. Children are not encouraged to talk about their dreams and what they want to be in life. Because little soul searching is done, they all want to be singers, actors, artists, youtubers, models, sports stars or doctors or maybe pilots, and get all their inspiration from television and the media.

Militarized societies: men and women are so busy working that they tend to tell their parents to manage their budget for them, or maybe their husband or wife or even child. They don't have time to go to the bank, go shopping or take care of the household. Children are taught that they should be high-ranking, should go to a high-ranking university and aim for a high-ranking company, and should get the best grades in their class.

Businesses and economics

Free societies: businesses compete by tend to compete fairly. That is they try their best to offer the best product available, and don't aim for market monopoly or for being ranked top in the business. As long as good profits are being made, that's what's important.

Tribal societies: businesses just try to survive in good harmony with other people. They don't aim for quality or for big sales, but for just enough to get a good reputation and save face.

Militarized societies: Businesses aim to be number one that is to have the highest profit numbers and the best reputation. Quality is important, but being number one is more important. So they won't always be honest when doing business, as long as the cash flows in.

The financial markets and economics

Free societies: businesses go to the financial market, say honestly why they need money, have press relations teams that help them give the best possible image and explain their mission, collect money, work hard to ensure profits, and distribute dividends.

Tribal societies: The financial market is only for foreign companies. Only the crazy domestic companies go there, and most people have no idea what a financial market does. Loans are rare.

Militarized societies: The financial market is like a big theatre. Most conglomerates have several divisions and sub-divisions that they list on the stock market, some small and medium-sized companies have nothing to do with conglomerates but fool people by adopting similar names to make it sound like they belong to conglomerates. Conglomerates tend to undervalue dividends, and only give peanuts of what they could really give. CEOs keep most of the money, and there is a different report for the CEO and for the stock market. Conglomerates are experts at fixing the books. 

The government and economics

Free societies: when it becomes hard to make profits or to find jobs in most parts of the country, or when the only real jobs available are waiters at restaurants and baristas at coffee shops, people start talking about a recession, and the government tries to find ways to stop the recession. When big business collapses, the government has serious chats with experts on how to save the economy.

Tribal societies: As long as the oligarchy is doing well financially, there is no recession to discuss. If the oligarchy is losing money, the oligarchy runs away to Europe or North America and the country becomes a failed state.

Militarized societies: The government tries hard to publish positive reports about the economy. When big business collapses, you sweep that under the carpet. Only when the foreign media starts talking about recessions in your country do you ask for help, and asking for help is considered a humiliation and is as if a general were demoted to petty officer.

Housing, and transportation

Free societies; individuals or couples look around for houses or go to a real estate agent to get the best possible deal for a house. The house has to be well located, needs transportation access, needs schools nearby, maybe a little bit of restaurants and nightlife, good facilities, needs to be crime-safe, not too noisy and clean. You want all that for a good price. You also want good transportation, as little traffic as possible, good flow of traffic and not too much pollution, maybe good public transportation systems.

Tribal societies: You either live in your hometown and build you own house, or apply to government programs to get a plot of land or public housing. You don't choose the location, neighbourhood, facilities, crime-safety and everything else.

Militarized societies: You live in the neighbourhood where a lot of high-ranking officials live and proudly claim that you live in such and such neighbourhood. You would pay a fortune to live in a good neighbourhood, even when there's no real difference between a cheap neighbourhood and an expensive neighbourhood. You would live in a posh neighbourhood even if it means a two hour commute to your job.

Economic law

Free societies: business crime is a serious crime. You don't steal, don't extort, don't bribe, don't lie in your financial reports, don't lie to get more money. You try your best to tell the truth.

Tribal societies: stealing is not that bad and you do it if you have to. You bribe if you have to, and you lie if you have to so people pay a higher price. You don't have set prices for your services, and you charge different people based on the price you would think they would not be offended with. That is you charge older men higher prices and older women lower prices, younger women higher prices and younger men lower prices.

Militarized societies: if you are high-ranking, there is no business law that applies to you. You could force the entire population to buy your product if you could. It's common in militarized societies to ban any phone but smart phones and to give consumers no other option than a smart phone. You can also force competitors out of business.

Human resources policy

Free societies: you don't have clear standards for hiring and hire whatever resume looks best or whatever person looks best qualified for the job. You hire based on intuitions and feelings. You allow workers a lot of liberties at work, and as long as they're getting the job done you're satisfied. You allow workers individual liberties, and if they have suggestions they can come to you with suggestions.

Tribal societies: you discriminate on steroids when you hire. No women, no men, no men younger than 35, no men with less than 20 years experience. In some cases you try to hire retired people because they have more experience. You don't trust your workers and keep making sure they are doing a good job. You are jealous of those who have qualifications that you don't have because that makes their clan look better than yours, do you don't hire those as well. People keep quitting and coming back and that's fine by your standards.

Militarized societies: you need ranks to get more ranks. If a company is high-ranking, they hire from high-ranking universities. To get a job you need to be from a high-ranking family, a high-ranking university and to live in a high-ranking district. Otherwise you're stuck with low-ranking companies.

Branding, marketing and planning policy

Free societies: the older the logo, the better. You carefully study logos and logos actually mean something. You think networking is as important as social media, and are not shy about going to promotional events or organizing promotional events in the streets. You get together with other companies to organize trade fairs, and there's no bad way of advertising. Every connection is important, and whatever you do you try not to burn bridges.

Tribal societies: if you can, you do away with the logo, or come up with one with no meaning. A lot of times your business will not have a name. There are no promotional events for you to go to, people would think you are crazy if you advertised in the streets, and marketing just isn't in your dimension of thought. If someone offends you, you burn bridges.

Militarized societies: your logo is your pride and people wear it everywhere. Your employees must put the logo on every page of reports and in some cases wear the uniform with the company logo. You advertise everywhere but don't explain what product you are advertising, you are only advertising the logo. After all your company sells everything. You have a marketing army, including dancers, singers, pop songs to promote your product, famous actors who work exclusively for you, even movies or soap operas about your brand or sponsored by your brand. The more people see your logo the better, and it doesn't really matter if they know what it is that you are selling.

Financial policy

Free societies: honest financial reports are very important and good financial management is very important. You count every penny twice. You constantly think about ways to increase your income.

Tribal societies: financial reports are a little messy and lot of the finances come in the form of cash. You hire your brother or cousin to take care of finances, and triple check that he's not stealing anything. You try to hide your financial situation from everyone, and talking about money is the taboo of taboos.

Militarized societies: you fix financial reports because not doing so could get your entire team demoted. If it's a bad financial report you make it look good, if it's a good financial report you make it look even better. After all, if you get promoted, you will move to another team and by the time they find the mistake, you will hopefully be retired.

International sales, import and export and the economy

Free societies: you only export if someone actually calls you or comes see you and gives detailed reasons why he thinks it's a good idea to sell your product abroad and a detailed plan on how that can be done. You only import if there's a detailed plan on how that can be done, and if you have all the details of the product being imported. International sales is not your top priority, you want to start with domestic sales, and if there's a demand abroad, you provide your product.

Tribal societies: you only export raw materials that are in demand in foreign countries and there are constant disputes with your government on who should own the raw materials, so you try to find a consensus on that. You import almost everything, from food to cars to cement to tar to metals to fashion products to clothes to accessories to everything else. Your raw materials don't cover all the import expenses, and if someone tries to come up with local production of a product that is imported, you smother them.

Militarized societies: you encourage all companies to export, and companies who export are higher ranked. The more people see your logo, the better. You import nothing, unless you have to. Companies are ranked in terms of international sales, and international sales count in their prestige and make them rank higher.

Local negotiations

Free societies: you negotiate with everyone, small or big, blond or black, rich or poor, young or old, man or woman. You try to tell the truth when negotiating, while hoping your partner is also telling the truth. You go deeply into details, but try to use a little big of persuasive psychological tactics.

Tribal societies: you only negotiate with a member of a clan or a person who's a friend of the member of the clan. You spend so much time chatting you forget to negotiate. Negotiations are very slow with you, and need days, in some cases weeks, before there is any progress.

Militarized societies: you exclusively negotiate with people of equal rank. Not just equal rank within the company, but an equally ranked company. If it's a small company you send a sergeant or an officer. If it's a medium-sized company maybe you'll send a lieutenant. If it's a large sized company you'll send the CEO, or the person of equal rank. Negotiations are based on pre-discussed agreements, you try to use the lower-ranking people and get them to negotiate first, and when there's a settlement that you like, you meet the CEO to finalize the agreement.

International negotiations

Free societies: you negotiate with every country, tell the truth, and hope they also tell the truth. If they are being hurtful or dishonest you break the negotiations. If you think you can't trust the guy, you tell him straight to his face you're sorry but think you can't trust him because he's being wishy washy.

Tribal societies: you only negotiate with a foreigner if he's introduced to you by a member of your clan. You try to give him the best impression, chat him up, learn about his country, his culture, his customs, his family, his friends, his hobbies, his food tastes, and then at least a few months later you agree to start doing business with him. If it's not him then you break the business deal immediately. You don't do business with people who can't retain their employees.

Militarized societies: you rank countries and foreign companies. You try to find ways to find out what rank the company has in the country. If it's a rich company from a rich country, you bring the press and send the CEO to meet the CEO. If it's a CEO from a big company from a middle income country you send a lieutenant. If it's a CEO from a small company or a big company from a low-income country, you send a sergeant accompanied by an officer or two, or maybe a petty officer. 

Economic philosophy

Free societies: business or income is what gives people a purpose in life. It's a calling, something you do because you like it or love it. When you stop wanting to get up in the morning and go make cash, you quit your job or fold your business. Fun is important in business, you don't want what you do to be boring. It also has to be useful and make other people happy. If other people are not happy you won't be happy.

Tribal societies: business or income is about protecting the clan and family and giving the family bread. It's very important for other people to understand that I'm trying to feed my children and that I have nothing without my business. I don't mind that some clans are more powerful than others, as long as they're allowing me to do business. I'm fatalistic about my children not being allowed to do business. It's their destiny, not the government's fault.

Militarized societies: business is about rank and you must never be demoted to lower ranks. Loss of business is a sign of lack of discipline and diligence. If you quit your business, you are deserting your mission. If you close your business, you are absent without a leave. If you talk back to a higher ranked business, you could lose your business.

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