The true engine of the economy

I teach humanistic business management for the lay person. This combines practical skills with a specific philosophic approach. The philosophy is important.

Humanism is about taking responsibility for solving the problems we have and doing so in a way that is respectful of other people and of the environment since we are dependent on our environment for life.  This sounds wonderful but it has some very tangible effects on how we go about the business of business.

The first is to understand that people drive the economy.  Economic activity is about people, creating and distributing things. Every single thing that is created is created, presumably, to solve a problem someone has. If someone doesn’t have a problem that needs solving, they don’t need to purchase the goods or services of another person.

Individuals needing problems to be solved DRIVES economic activity!  Business owners building things don’t drive the economy. They are responding to it. They are trying to capitalize on the needs that people have. Which is fine. But the basis of their businesses is the needs of the consumers.  If consumers don’t need what you are selling, you don’t have a business.

This reality should have profound policy implications for how we run our companies and how government either supports or hinders economic activity.  Let’s start by talking about businesses.

Any business who forgets that they exist to serve the needs of their customers will find themselves sidelined.  Taking a humanistic approach to business helps you to recognize the centrality of the humans who are your customers, your employees, and the humans who are effected by your supply chain. All of them matter as individuals because they are the individuals who drive the economy. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

When we talk about customer rights, understand you are talking about human rights. Fail to respect human rights and you fail as a business because you are failing at the central purpose of business which is to solve human problems, not create them.

As for government, let me put it this way, if a politician isn’t concerned about human rights or civil rights or the needs of all humans, including and especially for the poor and disenfranchised humans, then their policy proposals are as anti-business as they are anti-human.  Individuals drive the economy. Take care of individuals and the economy thrives. Harm and suppress individuals and economies shrink and collapse.  The choice is ours – but it’s pretty clear that Humanism is the only rational way forward.

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