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Old 01-27-2008, 05:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Davos Question

Economic Forum Moves to YouTube
By MATT MOORE 2 days ago

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) The idea was simple: Job training centers should be as ubiquitous as gas stations, a man called freesouljah said in a video on YouTube's Davos Question channel.

Seeing "gas stations on almost every corner," the Las Vegas resident decided to suggest that World Economic Forum participants see children as the world's "greatest natural resource." Nations should invest in kids and shift their focus away from commodities, he said in the video.

Indeed, replied U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

"The most important thing we can do in 2008, and every other year, is to make sure we invest in our children; really we invest in all human beings," she said in a video response she recorded at the forum. "When people are educated and they have skills and abilities this world becomes a much better place."

Off the main room in the sprawling Congress Center is a bank of computers, each with a Web cam, where forum participants are adding to a "global dialogue" that World Economic Forum spokesman Matthias Leufkens said launched in December.

The conversation began with a simple question:

"What key action do you think countries, companies or individuals should take to make the world a better place in 2008?"

Interest has been strong, with more than 1 million hits registered on the YouTube site and hundreds of video replies. And as forum attendees CEOs, academics or even astronauts walk by, they are stopping to record quick messages or reply to questions left on the Web site.

Besides Spellings, they include Henry Kissinger and Rajendra Pachauri, the chief U.N. climate scientist who is chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Plus at least one attendee who is no stranger to multimedia or video.

"Hello! My name is Bono. I'm a rock star ... sort of!" the U2 singer said. "In 2008, if we're able to get anywhere on the fight against extreme poverty or the climate crisis, we have to prove that we can keep the promises that we've already made."

Ed Sanders, who oversees international product marketing for YouTube in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, called the set-up a "tremendous means to get interaction going and to give people a voice."

"It's something we want to do long term."

Spellings said she replied because it was a quick way to communicate with those asked the questions.

"That's their world and that's how you can communicate with them," she told The Associated Press. "It's through a medium like YouTube and blogs and those sorts of things."

On the Net:
Davos Question: http://youtube.com/user/thedavosquestion
Bono: http://youtube.com/watch?vMTTqP4r6bgI
The conversation began with a simple question:

"What key action do you think countries, companies or individuals should take to make the world a better place in 2008?"

When I first read this question, I thought instantly of "Be kind to each other." I figured that was a good step, but as I read more I realized that this question was centered on economics and money, not just about simple philsophies. I mean how can another company be kind to it's competitor?

So below is my answer to the Davos question. What's yours?

Adjust our priorities. We spend money on things instead of people, when we invest in people it's only a small circle of people. The whole Britney Economy or Britney Industrial Complex just baffles my mind, $110M made on trading on the back of some individual? We have athletes making 9 figure salaries. Reward those that create and invent wealth accordingly. CEOs and workers should somehow be compensated in ways that make sense in their contribution to the company and the community at large.

We spend trillions on warring but billions on education. I have always understood just how military technology trickles down to the everyman and it makes our lives better in some fashion. But we still don't have better teachers, better education. I know that spending more on it isn't necessarily the answer, but how can you retain talent if you don't compensate talent? If you have to continue to keep unacceptable teachers on the payroll and cannot reward competent teachers better.

We spend money on things without having the actual money. Credit and deficit spending is not just a government standby but our regular day to day joes took out their HELOCs and lived lavish lifestyles on borrowed money. Day to day janes are not saving for their retirement but instead interested buying the latest clothing.

The proposed US economic stimulus package proposed $600/person - $1200/couple is akin to giving more drugs to the drug addict in hopes that overall they will be better.
I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Economics and money? How about this... every time you are about to spend money, think about the effects beyond just your instant gratification at that particular moment. What value will you derive in a week, a month, a year? What value will others derive from it? This is not to say that you shouldn't spend your own money on yourself, but think about whether spending 10 grand on a new 72" television (to replace your perfectly adequate 42" one) will make a difference to your life in a year or a month once you're used to it. Could the 10 grand be better spent, possibly on others?
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: on the back, bitch
Our economic priorities are so screwed up I don't ever see things changing.
We pay people to entertain us millions and people to educate us and protect us comparatively nothing. New mothers are sent out with their new babies with virtually no support outside their own small circles. College is no longer a luxury or a lofty goal, it's a necessity, yet most middleclass families go into hock or worse trying to get that education for their kids. It has become a competition-no longer is getting even a 4.0 in high school enough-now if you can achieve a 4.25, you might get into a good college or get a pittance scholarship or two.
As a kid, I wanted to be a teacher. After working as a teacher's assistant a few years back, I was glad I didn't pursue that. The beauracracy, the paperwork, the constant badgering by the board of education.....the teachers I worked with barely had time to teach so the one on ones, the grading, etc. fell on us aides. Then when it was decided that being an assistant would only be another teacher or someone with aide "certification", the money spent increased, but the betterment of education didn't.
As parents, we tell our kids they can be anything they want, even President. I've seen little to nothing to back us up there. And what I saw coming from the kids I taught was, "If Mrs. X doesn't care about me, why should I?" This is, of course, not the case across the board, but it is too frequent to ignore.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
Location: Chicago
This is such an excellent topic for discussion. Since I am of the belief that since countries and corporations are comprised of individuals, then the answer must pertain the actions taken by individuals. I'll give this some more thought and post a more coherent response later.
"I can normally tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am" - Cormac McCarthy, All The Pretty Horses
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
JumpinJesus is right. The answer pertains to the actions taken by the individual.

Cynthetiq, I understand your points exactly. However, I feel, that "Money" will become irrelevant to how we will deal with scarcity. Honestly, I do. There is much we can do now while it lasts, but then I would propose a bit more communist economics. I'm not a communist, I just feel we are seeing the dawning of the end of world economies and markets. We'll be seeking new solutions out of new ends.

We are leaving the Age of Power, whereas the rule "King rules and serfs obey" is abolished. Realistically, all individuals are actually more focused on the ethical behavior of civilization, and asking what is ethical from not a religious or political point of view, but literally a humanitarian.

Thus, we are entering the Age of Ethics, in which ethical philosophy, values, and standards are the laws of the land. You can observe this in the conflicts between traditionalists loyal to old institutions (conservative government, religion, patriarch, and so forth) and the massive movement for non-partisan and unselfish ethics (Environmentalism, Civil Rights, Global Unity, General Welfare [the ideology NOT the political frontier]).

And as the world economies are in a downfall with the US dollar leading the way, government leaders battling each other in war or at the brink....There is NOTHING a nation can do other than to give in to the new Age of Ethics and surrender to what I call the Ethical Movement.

Leaders who are greedy and non-benevolent, must be removed from their seats in government or their thrones atop parliaments. Belief-of-faith systems that speak of hate and discrimination prominently must be left and replaced with more open-minded spiritual studies, and new value systems of equality and community must exist.

The world separately and together must prepare ourselves to work together without discriminating prejudice, to survive the disparities and tragedies that await our world as the destruction of our old established civilizations come.
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davos, question

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