Tag Archive for 'Middle East'

Wars and rumors of wars

“The problem with humanity is the humans.” That’s a maxim I coined a while back, and you don’t have to look hard to see the evidence, as humans “fight” over differences in ideology, egos and interests.

Over two millennia ago, in chapter 24, verse 6, Matthew reports that Jesus said, “… there will always be wars and rumors of wars.” Indeed, even here in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, wars are still being waged with weapons of destruction. But thankfully, one redeeming trend for humans is that most of the wars that are “Breaking News!” these days are increasingly being fought with words.

Even though there has been physical contact in the very recent conflicts in the Middle East over self-determination, the most effective weapons-of-choice have been words. In the U.S., there are ongoing wars between states over water rights, fought by politicians with legal word-daggers drawn. And for a couple of years now, from Greece to Wisconsin, wars-of-words are being fought over what to do about financial promises made with 20th century political expectations, now in conflict with 21st century fiscal realities.

We wanted to know what you think about this last kerfuffle, so last week, in the Newsletter and on our website, we asked this question: “In order to balance their budgets, some governors and legislators propose adjustments in employment terms and benefits of state employees to bring them more in line with the private sector. State employees, their unions and some legislators are protesting. Who do you agree with?”

Those who said they “agree with the protesters, this is just union busting,” represented 18% of our respondents. Those who think “state employee pay and benefits should be more in line with the private sector,” were in the extreme majority at 82%.

Wisconsin has become ground-zero for these intrastate conflicts. Indeed, what happens there in the war between the new governor and government employee unions will likely become the tipping point for how the conflict of centuries mentioned above will play out across America, including in Washington.

In times like these, the words of that great opossum philosopher, Pogo, continue to ring true: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Recently on The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked about the issues in Wisconsin  as well as the current unrest in the Middle East with my friend and Brain Trust member, Rich Galen, publisher of Mullings.com and talking head of the Republican persuasion. Click on the links below to listen to our conversations, and leave your thoughts on what should be the outcome of either issue.

State budgets realities vs public employee unions
What’s the political and economical future of the Middle East?

The Middle East revolutions and you

The potential for revolution in the Middle East has been brewing for many years. One of the reasons includes differences in ideology between those who want a more secularism and those who want more fundamental theological influences. But the main motivation for popular unrest and revolt is lack of opportunity for the younger generations. Regardless of which country you consider, this last reason cuts across all borders and forms of government.

So the die is cast and the revolts, which began in Tunisia, have now cascaded to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Iran. Some of my experts say this could become a global issue. The question seems to be not whether the revolts will continue or be successful, but rather will the result be positive or negative.

Last week, before the outbreaks in Bahrain and Yemen, we asked our radio and Internet audience what they thought would be the outcome of the Egyptian revolt. Here’s what we learned:

About four out of ten respondents were optimistic and said they thought a new democratic government will be created to represent all Egyptians. But more than half took the other side of the issue and voiced their concern that Islamist influences would prevail, causing Egypt to become more like an Iranian theocracy. I’m happy to report that a tiny percentage of our respondents reported that they “just don’t care.”

My friends, what is happening in the Middle East right now should concern everyone. From the price of oil, to control of major shipping lanes, to potential problems in Europe, to the war on global terrorism, what happens in the Middle East in the next six to 12 months will directly or indirectly influence our lives and businesses.

Once again, we continue to live the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

I have been covering the evolving events in the Middle East on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. To listen to these conversations, please click on any of the links below and leave your thoughts.

To participate in the current poll question, visit SmallBusinessAdvocate.com and vote.

Potential paradigm shifts from the Eqyptian revolution, featuring futurist, Joel Barker

Will the Middle East unrest cascade around the world? featuring trends expert, Gerald Celente

Could Egypt’s unrest impact the global economic recovery? featuring David Adler, high-net-worth writer for Financial Planning magazine

Could the Egypt revolution have been predicted? featuring Gene Griessman, author of The Words Lincoln Lived By and The Achievement Factor

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