I tend to keep an eye on the news. It reminds of the work of John Naisbitt and his famous book, “Megatrends”. His book made a host of predictions that turned out to be really helpful to organizations. He was and remains one of my heroes of “looking for patterns”.
My car lease ran out at the end of March and I found myself in the position of having to replace my car. Buying a new car was something I did not want to do. Leasing another car seemed risky. In the end, I bought a used car. It works great and the service at the dealership was excellent. Yet, as I went through the entire experience a few patterns emerged for me about our changing economy.
Point #1 – Having a job is important!
This is not a new point. Yet, as I wandered through the dealership, I was reminded by the one simply fact. No job, no car. In fact, no job can translate into no home, no food, no… well you know. No nothing! Meaningful employment is important.
Point #2 – Benefits are critical!
As we grow older, we need those drug benefit plans to ensure we can pay for the drugs and health services we need. Without them, the cost of health can become a battle between food, shelter and health. I firmly believe benefits are going to the next real challenge for families and working people. Without benefits, we place people and families at grave risk.
Point #3 – A Pension Plan is a Must
I was surprised to read about the overall reaction of people to pay out packages for executives. As I shared with a friend, no one talks when Executives are hired, they only seem to react when they hear they are leaving with a “golden parachute”. I think the critical point is people need to know they will have enough money when they stop work to keep living. Or else, people work until they can’t work any more. People need a plan they can have confidence in as they approach the question of wether they want to continue to work or stop working. A pension is not a gift, its a very important part of life. We all need one.
Moving Forward in the Fog
The tough economic times remind me of driving in the fog. You can usually see a small distance in front of you, coupled with driving carefully, you can remain safe. If you proceed with caution while driving, you will arrive. As we move through these times, people need to know their is something meaningful for them to do every day. Like driving with caution, people need to keep working in order feel progress, safety and to know they are making a difference. Benefits, like seat belts, keep people safe when driving in the soup of life. And above all, pensions provide the comfort to know when it’s acceptable to stop and let someone else drive.
The recession will continue. It’s far from over. However, collectively, we can make through this fog.
And we will be better for the experience.
After all, that’s what I remember when I’m driving down the road.