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The planning economy vs. the working economy The planning economy vs. the working economy
by Joseph Gatt
2020-12-16 10:45:38
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I'm a member of a great website called “goodreads.com.” It's a great website to keep track of your readings, of what you've read, and to retrieve the titles of books that you read that you would otherwise not remember.

There are basically three types of profiles on Goodreads.com:

-The guys like me, who read without really planning. We read, every day, and focus on one book at a time. One book at a time leads to hundreds of books over a lifetime, but we don't really focus on quantity. We focus on accumulating knowledge.

-The planners: these guys never really seem to read but seem to keep adding books to their “want to read” list. The list of books they plan to read keeps getting longer and longer, but the books they actually read is close to nothing.

econ001_400-Let's call them (pardon the bluntness) the “show-offs”. This is the third category. They don't actually read, but they try to impress me, or anyone who visits their page, with lists of books that they never actually read. They list books with catchy titles to communicate something to someone. Would be a lot easier if they sent an email or called the person they intended to impress.

The economy works exactly the same way.

You have:

-The “workers.” These guys get up in the morning, show up to work, try to get some work done. They might have a plan in mind for the future, but they focus on getting work done for the day.

These folks should be the backbone of any economy. In today's age, sorry to say, they are not. The “workers” are trapped between the “planners” and the “show-offs.” Been there, done that, I tried to get work done at many companies, and always ended up getting fired either by a boss who was more concerned with grandiose plans than getting work done, or by some show-off boss who thought my skills were casting him or her in the shadows.

-The “planners.” This is the big, big problem with today's economy. Banks, governments, institutions don't encourage people to WORK. They encourage people to PLAN.

So you have banks, the government, financial institutions, think tanks, and big business, hiring tons of people to dream up big plans, or encouraging small businesses to dream up big plans. In the process, they tend to forget that those big plans should involve getting up in the morning and actually getting the work production process marching.

-The “show-offs.” Governments, banks, big business, financial institutions and think tanks don't seem to be able to weed out these guys and girls.

The show-offs start businesses so they can impress some guy or some girl. Or so they can impress the government or some big business.

The show-offs print out fancy business cards and brag about owning a business or having some fancy job day-in and day-out. Except that they spend most, if not all of their time showing off about their product, business or job (on social media and at parties) and rarely get any work done.

How would I redesign the economy?

I'd give the priority to those who want to work. And I'd make life difficult for those who plan big dreams or those who show off without ever getting work done.


Work is difficult to define. But those who are working are usually quiet people who show up to work (in small or large businesses) and keep focusing on “production.”

These people exist. Workers are the farmers who wake up every morning tilling the ground and milking the cows. Workers are the shepherds who raise the sheep and sell them at maturity. Workers are the factory workers who, in exchange for modest paychecks, work at their stations every day. Workers are the office workers who complete balance sheets, make sure the staff is paid on time, go out to purchase supplies, or travel around the city trying to sell clients a product. Workers are those who own businesses and who carefully monitor production and sales, and who make sure they are actually producing and selling. Workers are those who display the products on the shelves or those who hold the cash register. Workers are those who give you haircuts or sell you bread or fix your computer or machine or fix your plumbing or electricity.

The current economy favors “planners” and “dreamers” and “show-offs.” The media goes crazy selling stories about guys like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk and make it sound like those guys made a fortune overnight.

Banks want you to dream big (so you can borrow tons of money). Big business keeps dreaming about getting bigger, and tends to be so focused on planning and dreaming big that they disconnect from their customer base.

And the government in Sri Lanka, in Surinam, in Algeria, in Japan or in Canada or in Belgium keeps telling young folks to dream big and plan “start-ups.”

And then you have all those kids, who never really worked a day in their lives, trying to impress some guy or girl (or several guys or girls) by dreaming really, really big, and portraying themselves as the new business magnate or tycoon.

How do you build an economy that favors the workers? When you dish out loans, you make sure that the guys asking for the loans actually have the motivation it takes to show up for work. And to get the production rolling.

And, when you dish out loans, you make sure that you don't loan so much money that the potential income level is never going to match the repayment of the loans.

So, when you invest in projects, or loan money, you should carefully consider the following:

-Does this guy (or do these guys) know what it takes to get work done every day?

-Do these guys have a plan that is a natural succession of what they were doing before. What do I mean by this? If you owned a grocery store for 10 years and now want to open a supermarket, that's the natural succession of a job that involves work that is second nature to you. But if you worked three years as a waiter, and that you now dream about starting some digital information company, I wouldn't loan you money. Until you get some work done in the digital information sector, that is.

-Finally, are these guys interested in serving customers, or are these guys trying to impress their mother-in-law or the CEO of some competing company? I'd only loan them money if they are interested in producing products that reaches satisfied customers, and that they focus on doing that every day for a lifetime.

That's kind of how the economy should work.

Could say more on this. Stay tuned!

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