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Date: 2024-02-26 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00018546

Aquaponikus / The Alliance Partnership
Notes / Communications

Part a rant ... and part perhaps some useful background to help forward movement

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
Part a rant ... and part perhaps some useful background to help forward movement Peter Burgess Mon, Mar 23, 4:12 PM (3 days ago) to Dexter, Jerome, Dave

Dexter

This is something of a follow up to our conversation this morning … rather long, but hopefully a bit useful.

A few days ago you sent the link to this video. ( https://youtu.be/niwNTI9Nqd8 ) I took the time to watch the video. I agree with much of what Naomi Klein talks about ... in fact I met her when she was active around the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activism post the 2008 banking crisis. I have also been a fairly aggressive critic of Milton Friedman and his version of best practice capitalism going back a very long time.

Most people have a difficult time understanding my perspective on capitalism ... but it should help if you know that I learned much of my economic theory via Professor Joan Robinson and her acolytes who were all students of John Maynard Keynes. One of the important takeaways about Keynes that he did not embrace the idea that one solution solves all problems, but that what was needed in the 1930s was one thing and what was going to be needed post 1945 and the end of WWII was going to be something quite different. As one of the principal architects of the Bretton Woods world and post WWII prosperity. I will argue that he got a lot right. I also like the idea that solutions should be relevant to the problems that have to be faced.

I voted for capitalism, free markets, aggressive enterprise, etc. when I migrated from the UK to North America in the 1960s. From 1940 to 1970 the socio-economic system was working pretty well in North America and most working people were doing very well in North America compared to the same job functions in Europe. However, from 1980 to the present most working people in North America (especially the USA) have flatlined while most working people in the UK and Europe have seen substantial improvements in their quality of life (including their household wealth).

This bothers me. Why is the USA losing ground relative to other parts of the world? What can and should be done to reverse all of this? Why is the US economy so profitable in terms of return on investment yet so fragile in all sorts of critical ways?

Back in 1980 about 50% of Americans earned less than the average wage, with 50% earning more than the average wage. In recent years as much as 80% of Americans are earning less than the average wage and only 20% earning more than the average wage. This is the inequality crisis that has been getting worse and worse for decades with nobody with their hands on the levels of power doing anything much about it. Why not? What should be done about this?

Early in my career I learned about using accountancy ... cost accounting, management accounting ... to help companies operate more productively with the primary goal of becoming more profitable. I was learning to be what was then referred to as a 'company doctor'. When I was training with Coopers & Lybrand (C&L) in London I was articled to Brian Maynard who was the Principal of the C&L consultancy practice. I spent a couple of decades helping companies improve their profit performance both as an adviser and as part of various management teams.

Later for several decades I worked as an independent consultant for the World Bank, the UN and others doing a variety of assignments at the community level, at the sector level and at the national level. Mostly the management systems were still in the stone age … while the detail book-keeping was usually done very well by junior staff the whole of the supervisory and management structure was dangerously dysfunctional and enabled poor decisions and gross corruption. Attempting to address this did not make me popular and in the end served to kill this phase of my career. Now still independent and post career I am now able to focus on trying to do things that seem to me to be a priority … and of course this has been the development of TrueValueMetrics (TVM). I have used the ideas of TVM for several decades, but organizing them into a system and product for others to use is still a 'work-in- progress). It is going to get done … God Willing! For the record, more than 25 years ago I was using a FoxPro Database System called the BDSDA (the Burgess Database System for Development Analysis) which combined some of the UN's Development Cooperation Analysis System (DCAS) and my own thinking about how best to do development analysis (including Project Monitoring and Evaluation).

So back to what is priority now …

A few days ago (I think Friday 200320) I messaged you in connection with a document that Jerry had sent me ... gfflbo.pdf (Garden Fresh Farms Leveraged Buyout) that he had prepared some time back. I thought it was useful and could be part of the foundation for some of the presentation that I was getting ready to prepare for (1) Ron Richard (Peltier Group); (2) the Dubai (AlBacteer) contact and (3) your connection into Amsterdam/London. Specifically

I wrote:
'... let us talk about how we can rework this into what you want for London / Amsterdam and what I want for Ron / Dubai'
For me ... getting this presentation done is a priority, and I really don't want to be distracted too much from this work. I am very much aware that getting this presentation to be effective is not going to be easy and I must admit that have found myself with a serious case of 'writer's block' in recent days. In spite of this I remain determined to get this done.

This is long … but hopefully it might be useful

PeterB
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