Bottoms up!

social entrepreneurs

Tl;DR (too long; didn’t read): Introduce the importance of inclusive growth at more fundamental levels instead of hoping for a trickle down affect to occur.

A recent article on the world economic forum coming from the social entrepreneurs delegation about how leaders should tackle problems of equality and drive inclusive growth was published. Directions and strategies to accomplish such goals include only three:

  • Make inclusive growth an explicit part of your agenda
  • Infuse your executive teams with a “can do” attitude
  • Contribute your core expertise and assets

This is a direction in the right step but to me it seems all lacking.

The social entrepreneurs delegation is directing this at leaders most of them CEOs. While targeting the private sector is effective, should it really be for those at the top? The CEOs that attended the conference in Davos were those who were willing to take steps in the right direction but they are far and few. While other absent companies may be working towards the same goals, I believe that such efforts which are directed to the ones at the top may be effective but progress will most likely be minuscule in the grand scale of things. Too many economic participants may fail to see the benefits of inclusive growth which is more sustainable than other forms of economic growth. If we are to boost the general standard of living it is more favourable for more equality though such should not be forced by government intervention otherwise it could lead to unnatural and unstable circumstances should a government decide to change it’s policy. In other words, inclusive growth should be driven by private individuals as it is more likely that such actions will spread quicker than if it were by government intervention simply due to the fact that more people will realise the benefits than if it were imposed.

Besides my laissez-faire rant, how can we go about achieving this. As I said this article is targeting those in leadership positions who have been in the game for a large amount of time. But will their attitudes and efforts trickle down fast enough? I do not think so.

The best solution in my opinion is to introduce these concepts into the education of economics. If they were to be included in the syllabi of schools and universities then surely these ideas would be more prevalent within society therefore more efforts to achieve inclusive growth are likely to be undertake. For such a concept that is being pushed by the social entrepreneurs delegation instead of targeting the CEOs, they should focus on schools and universities that teach economics at a higher level as well as raising awareness through publicly friendly  lingo where such theories and strategies will be more accessible. Only then would inclusive growth would be pushed at a faster rate. That is not to say that the previous efforts are in vain but what the latter would act as a catalyst to ensure that there will be more efforts for inclusive growth.

Disclaimer: I am no expert in economics or advertising, these are ideas which I thought of while sitting on the toilet.

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How far will Hong Kong go?

Recent decisions by Beijing to “vet” political candidates for the 2017 chief executive elections have sparked protests throughout Hong Kong. These pro-democracy protests have dominated political and economic headlines over the past week.  Beijing’s decision is alarming as Hong Kong is accustomed to freedom. The reasons for this oddity are explained in this video:

So as many speculate, China has been slowly planning or the 2040’s confrontation (explained above) and one way to ease the looming transition is to slowly gain influence over affairs in Hong Kong. One plan is to eventually make Shanghai the economic capital of China, slowly overcoming Hong Kong. But at what cost? Is the outcome worth it?

 

The main question for  people concerned is, will Hong Kong’s protests dent its economy? There certainly has been evidence of that as it is estimated that Hong Kong protests may cost retailers HK$2bn. Moreover, there has been a growing lack of confidence with foreign investors and current stockholders. This has decreased the strength of the HK$ which is a further economic burden.

All of this is due to the Chinese government trying to secure its grip over its liberal island. Whatever the outcome, it would be a shame to see one of the most successful free market economies fall due to increased censorship and less economic freedoms.