When The Economy Speaks … Reversing National Unemployment Statistics

6 Things For A National Leader To Do

https://medium.com/series/when-the-economy-speaks-cdb62e49ad36

Peter looks down at his high school examination results transcript for the first time. It is not a pretty picture. He had been praying hard the results that would peer back at him would be different but he also knew deep down that it may not. He had been dreading this moment. It has arrived.

Still, he had wished for otherwise. He is a bright student. But it had not been an easy past few years. He had just lost his older sibling to a debilitating illness. They had been very close to each other. He is also dauntingly aware his parents are not close to each other and fears they may find other partners and break-up. What would that mean as a family? Where would he seek his counsel? Will he be intruding? That bothers him.

Turning his eyes back at the results, he knows he can do much better than what he sees. The reality is dawning at him. He is facing it squarely. These results are not going to help him get into his dream course at the university of his choice. It hurts him. What should he do now?

Suddenly he is remembering that he has to announce these results to his family. He has been known to be the one with a sound head on his shoulders. But now. With this. What would they think of him? Maybe they would not ask. He consoles himself.

But they did. He chose to keep quiet. Perhaps they will understand. He hopes. But meanwhile, he needs to come up with a strategy. Fast. So that his peers do not leave him behind.

He thinks.

He needs to get grades. Good grades. Fast. What subjects will help him do so? French. Perhaps. Grades that would help him put his foot through the door of a tertiary institution. What can he do so that he can catch up with his peers in the shortest possible time? He has the coming summer months to do so.

What jobs are out there that he should prepare for? He really did like the sounds of the field of nautical engineering. He had really enjoyed seeing and fiddling in the cockpit of a cruise ship during one of his summer vacations. It had made him feel happy and come alive. And he loves his Maths and Physics. But he has been told that manufacturing here is not a big deal in terms of jobs. What should he do? How should he decide?

Are his days of plain-sailing through life over? Will he face the same dilemmas when he out there in the big wide world looking for a job? With only four jobs available for every ten working age population, what will become of his chances with not so great grades? Supply of labour is now outstripping the demand for labour. Will jobs become too slim for his picking?

He will need to figure this out. He needs time. But does he have the time?

We all know a story like this.

One way or another.

And so. Here is the situation. You are now charged as the Head of this State. What would you do to turn around the situation?

Run, you say? Oh, you did not say that. Good! Invite more investors, locals as well as foreigners, to invest in the country?

Your predecessors have done that. Poured trillions for decades over with the help of past heads of states and a cabinet of citizen representatives. Yet, widespread unemployment today, has grown to now prevail at 60%! How did that happen?

You say perhaps “they” have not done enough. That you will do more than them. That is possible. For how long would you do more of the same? What went wrong? What else could we do?

Some measures are drastic and feels more like a bitter pill to swallow. But I hope it will make the tough actions we would need to take instead become easier to bear with. So here goes.

1. “EXPORT” UNEMPLOYMENT

Don’t have an agricultural and manufacturing bases? It has been too hard to build them? Well, no worries. Export unemployment at the same rate that we have been importing manufactured goods and the raw materials that were produced so that the unemployed follow the money you have spent buying them from outside the county (or the region).

2 “MATCH” BIRTHS TODAY TO JOB CREATION TOMORROW

If you know we will make more jobs tomorrow, go forth and multiply. But if you know, that we will not, … well, you get the drift.

A runaway population just means runaway unemployment figures that becomes hard to manage.

Supply of labour does not come from our education “system”. It is as the result of rates of births, not today, not just last year but from twenty years back. This is the time it takes for a young person to mature and readies himself for the job market.

Of course, it becomes tricky matching what happens in the bedroom today to the decisions we make in the boardroom twenty years on. The only consolation we can make is, the one who “creates” the child is the same one who plans today to “create” those jobs tomorrow. Well, no, I was not talking about God.

It is you and I. We needed to believe that we can create companies that can create those jobs for our children tomorrow. Companies are more than about hustling for clients to make money for us today or a shell to be used and discarded when we got what we need today. They are meant to create a legacy that makes jobs tomorrow. So, do you believe you can do that?

3 NATIONAL & COMMUNITY DIALOGUES AS FAMILIES Q: what allows industries to grow?

The decisions we make as nations and as families are strongly intertwined.

The decisions to be skilled for the agriculture and manufacturing sector bases are happening within families and households But the data used to inform the decision is based on what they would hear and say is happening “out there”.

If we think the population is not skilled to do manufacturing and in turn as families we think the country is not doing enough to create jobs in manufacturing then there right there, we have a lose-lose situation as a nation.

So make the intentions and the reasons clear and talk through the concerns surrounding the issue and figure a way to share the information as a nation. If countries around the world today can do grocery shopping online, this is not as big a step as we believe it to be.

4 CONSTRUCT REGIONAL MATRIX-ED GOODS VALUE CHAINS MAP

Get your backyard in order. Know what you want and go for it.

Figure what the latticed structure of chains of raw material supplies that are driven by what customers need as a region looks like and develop a vibrant agricultural and manufacturing bases:
– Do not be led by products that you have but rather focus on what customers want when building the matrix. Construct a map.
– Identify how one good feeds into another cost-effectively for end-customer needs within the local, regional and the global markets
– Know what is available. And what is not.
– Forget the who has what at this point. That is for a later stage when the map is completed.
– Focus on identifying critical processes on the chains, those if unavailable would stall the development of the production and the chains.
– Do not wait for another region to develop their maps and approach the country or the region to conduct the manufacturing for them. You will lose the clout you would need in managing the process and gaining value.

When the mapping is complete, you now have a working document to get your act together and move forward as a nation and the region.

5 ALIGN AND BUILD HUMAN RESOURCES

Align and, where needed, develop human resource skills dedicated to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors with a particular emphasis on acquiring both core across the nation and advanced skills in English, Mathematics and Science, particularly with Physics and Chemistry, that makes them resilient & inclusive in the two sectors.

6 BUILD UP THE PYRAMID OF THE ECONOMY

Concerted setup of corporations in the sub-sectors of: the agriculture (crop or plant / raw material production) and manufacturing that fits in with the regional industry value chain matrix map and schedule.

Economies that rely heavily on extraction industries will have large pockets of unemployment that continue to persist in the nation. These industries gross high returns but they do so by employing fewer people and more machines to keep costs of operations under control and growth of the industry. This way the GDP would certainly look good (but not the food on our tables, which is the real GDP).

Machines do not create jobs for the unemployment rates.

Plant and animal based primary production and manufacturing economic sectors when well-developed have greater potential for creating and absorbing significant employment. Extraction based industries are typically technology driven and has lower capacity for employment of human resources.

As the nation shifts its focus to production, particularly in plants, it will learn to mitigate climate effects country-by-country that would allow the region to produce consistently throughout the year to keep the manufacturing sector humming.

Invite regional and global industry leaders global industry leaders or; incentivise and groom local captains of industry (by long-term overseas stints) to lead, chart and build the sub-sectors bottoms-up including from within households and education sectors.

Regional Article 9: Systemic Development of Industries in a Nation. What would that look like?

Is there such a thing as systemic development of industries?  We can tell what systematic is.  Yes?

But what about systemic development of industries?

Let us take a context.

Let us say we wish to see the industry of dairy production grow within the country.

What needs to happen that would enable the sustained development of this industry.  Now

Milk and cooky

Milk and cooky (Photo credit: Salim Virji)

notice two things:

The first, notice I did not say a dairy company but rather I referred to the industry.  This means it has effects on the nation .  That means more dairy companies are  likely to succeed better as a result the industry is growing.  When we take care of ‘the whole’, ‘the whole’ takes care of the parts.

The second, when we say it is successful, in this work, we would need to define it.  We would expect to see the following happen:

  1. Levels of production rises consistently over time (it rises persistently and resists or buffers itself against significant downfalls) given populations are rising
  2. As such levels of revenue rises  consistently over time
  3. Levels of costs per unit production declines  consistently over time

Yes?  Is that how you see it too?  These are what I meant by the systemic development of dairy production in the county.

Growth of the Dairy Industry (for the Country)

Therefore, what needs to happen for all the above to happen for dairy production?

Well …..

Holstein dairy cows from http://www.ars.usda.g...

Image via Wikipedia

Dairy or milk comes from cow.  So, to see dairy production grow in the country, while anything else may or may not happen, we cannot expect it to grow without first also seeing the growth of the number of dairy cows produced within the country.

On the other hand, should we see a decline of the number of these cows (because we sell the cows so that we may pay school fees), then we can also expect to see a decline in the level of dairy milk produced in the country.

What do you notice by these discussions?  Is this line of thinking the same as systematic thinking?

Did you say, no?  Well, you are right!

So here’s the next question, what would make sure the systemic development of the dairy cow industry grows within the county?

Growth of the Dairy Cow Industry

You know the drill now!

What do cows (anywhere) need?

Fodder?  Meaning, that the level of fodder produced needs to grow so that we are able to produce more dairy cows.  Usually we do it the other way around!  We say well, there is not enough (supply, given demand for) fodder.  The market says that the demand is growing and then, it (the market) tries to scramble to ‘close the gap’.

When demand drives supply, that’s a sign of non-systemic development of the nation.   But in a systemic relationship it is the supply that leads demand.  Notice it does not drive it.  It facilitates.  It just makes it easier.  It respects the order in which causality happen.

English: Distributing TMR (Total Mixed Ration)...

Image via Wikipedia

So, therefore before we expect to see the number of dairy cows grow in the country, we should first expect  to see the number of companies that produce fodder grow within the country.  This needs to happen before anything else does, almost to a fault.

When that industry grows (production levels rise at lower units costs), the amount of fodder available in the country also grows.  Therefore, as a result, it will not become difficult for the cows to “eat and go forth and multiply“.  And when it does, the dairy production levels in the country would naturally increase. This happens even without needing the government to take actions to intervene.  This will also add up to lower costs in running the government.

What’s the next question?

Did you say, what would it take for the fodder industry to grow over time?  You are right!  Now we can see, you’ve got the drill.

Growth of the Fodder Industry

Where does fodder come from?

You are right.  Crops!  Fodder is often the by-product or the remnants of crops once humans have used it for their consumption.

English: Fodder crop

Image via Wikipedia

So what are we saying here?  For dairy production to grow within the county, we need to first see the growth of crops produced in the country, grow as an industry.  When that does not happen, and should it instead decline, then the fodder industry declines, which in turn leads to dairy cow production declining which in turn reduces dairy production or makes it difficult to take off for the country.

So what causes crop production to grow in the country?

Which one of the following, in your view, when it is available makes it easier for crop production to grow?  Which of the following would we need to see available?:

  • Land
  • Water
  • Seeds
  • Fertilizer or
  • Is would it be the willingness of people to grow crops for cattle?

Growth of the Crop Industry

However should crop production be the primary domain of the female gender in the country, that is, she decides when, how much and what crops to grow, it is possible she may not be willing to grow crops for cattle.  This is because her primary focus and need is to grow crops to put food on her table, for her children!  Not for the world!  And certainly not for the cattle.

So, therefore which gender do you think should become involved in crop production, so that dairy production would grow in the country?

Should it be led by the mind of man or the mind of a woman who should lead this effort?   Does it differ or not at all?

The mind of the man is typically designed to ‘feed the world’.  There are exceptions, but always look at the rule.  The mind of the woman is there to help nurture (of feed) her child (not the child of another woman!)  Do not fight that or we risk not having mothers for our children.

Who therefore do you think cannot absolve himself from crop production for the county?

Rice production in China

Image via Wikipedia

When the man becomes involved in crop production, we would now be able to feed milk to our children (including the children of the women who did not wish to grow crops for the cattle).  Also, men, unlike women, will inherently (even if it is just sheer strength in their muscles) to till, sow for multiple seasons and harvest larger expanses of land.  This situation is there in the likes of China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, South America for generations, where production of crops is the domain of the male gender.  This has also has a positive impact on the water cycle .   This means that as more amounts of the land is fertile for crops, such lands in turn encourages more frequent levels of rainfall for the country.

Is the amount of land, water, seeds, fertilizer available therefore consequential in the story.  It really is not.   It becomes consequential when I focus on  my company.  But not from a systemic development of industries and the nation.

So if I focused on changing things that are happening in my company, would that be enough to turn things around for the nation?  The parts separately cannot take care of “the whole”.

Hmm …. what would we have to do differently today so that we as men, women and children can see these together as a nation?

Regional Article 1: The Vegetation We Choose to Plant Can Cause Droughts. Are we our own worst enemies?

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The Ministry of Agriculture is noticing the following situation (Case 1, Case 2, Case 3).

We pray for the rains to come.  And they do, eventually.  Often when we are at our most desperate.  Sometimes they do not.  It is possible someone out there is praying for rains not to come.  There are inconveniences the weather brings with it.  The floods, waters enter homes, the mud, the humidity, the sheer wetness, the leaking roofs, laundrys do not dry up, the house feels musty, lost businesses on the street, and so on. Of course, those who plant crops want to see rains.

What if it drizzled everyday?  What would we say?

The nature of water cycles is such that the less we rains we receive over time, the less the rains that come back to us with time and space.

We learned in school about the water cycle.  What we did not realize is, these cycles have a tendency to grow either positively or negatively with each iteration.  They do not remain the same over time.   This point was not made clear to us in our science and geography classrooms.

History and the reality today:

For the past forty years, the country finds it is not easy to meet its food production targets much less shake off its dependency on importing food from our neighbors.  This is particularly so in areas where raw materials produced in the country (e.g. milk, vegetables, grains, potatoes) for the processing of foods (e.g. for tomato sauce, cheese, pesto) continues to face production shortages.

Current Strategy:

Each year, the government assists the population gear up to produce so that farmers may place food on their tables (food security which included having enough food for guests at funerals and weddings when the village descended on the events) as well as cash money from the sales of their produce in their pockets.  Despite these efforts, we are not able to produce enough to meet the national consumption needs.  Consumption (the hands that eat) has been and continues to exceed the level of the country’s ability to produce (the hands that produce).  This story resonates for production of most raw materials across the country.

Seeing Complexity:

In my effort to understand the behaviour of agricultural production in the country, we examined historical annualized data that would allow us to see the behavior of production patterns of crops across the country.  To do so, the Ministry, collected a twelve-year data of typical variety of  crops produced  within the country.

When the data came through, we noticed a rather unusual behavior over time of the graphs.  This was something most people had not noticed previously.

There was a tendency for one type of crop to show a distinct increase in production levels over the years.  The graph showed the crop resisted droughts better and was increasingly successful over time at doing so.  Over time the peaks peaked higher.

This suggested that today compared to ten or thirty years ago, the levels of the crop produced had risen, sometimes by as much as six to ten folds high even if that included farmers finding alternative lands to produce the corps.  This meant the crop had found new lands and hands even as old lands and hands had become barren; often at commercial levels and driven and supported by research efforts to use seeds that had even higher levels of resistance to droughts.

Conversely, we noticed another type of crop  produced in the country showed a steady decline.  It required more water for its survival.  It was becoming less successful over time.  The troughs in the pattern digged deeper troughs each time.

So which one in your view was rising and which one was declining?

The one that was rising was sorghum and the one that was declining was maize.

I was concurrently observing data on rainfall levels recorded for the past fifty years for the country.  In general, rainfall levels declined steadily across many parts of the country, particularly in the western, central, northern and southern parts of the country.  Where the pattern showed a distinct difference was in the extreme eastern parts of the country.

Do the results surprise you?  We say in this work, statistics may lie.  But trends do not know how to lie.

Which archetype do you think created the pattern that we saw above:  http://www.lopn.net/System_Archetypes.html?

Understanding Complexity: What is causing it?

As these trends were unfolding, the Ministry was also resorting to choosing variants of maize that were hardier and more resistant to survive bouts of lower rainfall.  This would mean, the seeds were able to grow into plants in the likes of sorghum, wheat, oats, barley and hybrid versions of maize without requiring a lot of water for its survival and at a shorter maturing period.

Are these patterns and outcomes a coincident?  Is there a reason behind the behaviour of these graphs?

Think cactus.  Cactus is the ultimate form of a drought-resistant plant.  Yet, when we crack open a cactus what do you see?  Water.  Right?  The nature of water is to flow rather than stagnate.

The more there are deserts, the more there are cacti.  This is what strikes us when we first drive past a desert.  Seeing cactus survive in a desert is a part of the story.  They are sometimes held up as stories of our triumphs against odds.  The reverse is also true.  The more the cacti survive (just like when we as humans believe that we can beat the odds and overcome the challenges of desert living and that gives us a sense of achievement in) the deserts, the more the deserts are likely to also grow further.

Eventually the cacti (and us) may not survive the desert.   At first the deserts would look like they are semi-arid.  Over time, they become a true desert.  And then ravines and canyons.  How did that change happen?

So what could happen next should we continue to increase sorghum production?

What’s leading that thinking?

Think the word ‘food security’.  Is the thought based on a sense of belief in oneself (as a farmer) and the land or is a thought or belief based on our fears of failure and survival of the self?  Can a farmer who fears his hands may not grow enough food for all, be able to grow them in abundance?  Or is he likely to produce just enough for himself?

What should the nation do?

Which nations in the world share a similar story to this?   Where are they located?  What percentage of the world do they make up across the globe?  In what ways, do you think they may have an impact on the behavior of the weather over time?  So are our efforts at agriculture production really thwarted by global warming or is it the making of our own actions in our own backyards?

 


Do these patterns occur by accident or could they be systemic?  Given they have remained persistent for the past thirty years over wide spans of land, they assume a systemic nature!

Question:

  1. What do these patterns mean? What is causing such patterns to behave the way they do? The peaks to peak higher and the troughs to dig deeper?
  2. What are the implications should these patterns continue the way they do ten, twenty, thirty years into the future?
  3. What would need to happen to reverse the situation?  The choice depends on you!

Course Work:

  1. If we could use the above to understand the story of poverty, what would we see?
  2. How would one draw that systemic archetype?
  3. What continues to happen or build for the long-term should the archetype not be healed and continued to persist?
  4. What would need to happen to reverse the situation?

More notes here: http://www.lopn.net/ST_Casestudy_Growing_A_Nation3_Loop2_EnvironmentSystem.html

Leave your reactions and comments here.  Will be greatly appreciated.