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Re: A Global Intelligence Briefing for CEOs

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  • prometheus_973
    Interesting post Mish! I can see why ECKists choose to live in a pretend world of imagination with total trust in a make-believe Mahanta and why it s apropos
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 30, 2007
      Interesting post Mish! I can see why ECKists choose to
      live in a pretend world of imagination with total trust
      in a make-believe Mahanta and why it's apropos to have
      the ECK Spiritual New Year in the same month as Halloween!

      I was in a toy store recently and saw an interesting ad
      for a Halloween costume that reminded me of the B.S.
      PR Eckankar writes in their brochures. It was:
      "Let's Pretend - A World of Adventure Awaits -
      Make-Believe for Everyday Play."

      Prometheus

      mish wrote:
      >
      >
      > This is long but worth the read to the end! You might
      > want to print it off:
      >
      > Subject: A GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING FOR CEOs;
      >
      > This is a paper presented by Herb Meyer at the World Economic
      > Forum in Davos, Switzerland that was attended by most of the
      > CEOs from all the major international corporations -- a very
      > good summary of today's key trends and a perspective one
      > seldom sees. Meyer served during the Reagan administration
      > as special assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and
      > Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council.  In these
      > positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence
      > Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and
      > his national security advisers. Meyer is widely credited with being
      > the first senior U.S. Government official to forecast the Soviet
      > Union's collapse, for which he later was awarded the U.S. National
      > Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the intelligence
      > community's highest honor. Formerly an associate editor of
      > FORTUNE, he is also the author of several books.
      >
      > WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?   A GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE
      > BRIEFING FOR CEOs; by HERBERT MEYER; FOUR MAJOR
      > TRANSFORMATIONS;
      >
      > Currently, there are four major transformations that are shaping
      > political, economic and world events. These transformations have
      > profound implications for American business leaders and owners,
      > our culture and on our way of life.
      >
      > 1. The War in Iraq; 
      >
      > There are three major monotheistic religions in the world: Christianity,
      > Judaism and Islam. In the 16th century, Judaism and Christianity
      > reconciled with the modern world. The rabbis, priests and scholars
      > found a way to settle up and pave the way forward. Religion remained
      > at the center of life, church and state became separate. Rule of law,
      > idea of economic liberty, individual rights, and human Rights - all these
      > are defining point of modern Western civilization. These concepts
      > started with the Greeks but didn't take off until the 15th;and 16th
      > century when Judaism and Christianity found a way to reconcile with
      > the modern world.  When that happened, it unleashed the scientific
      > revolution and the greatest outpouring of art, literature and music the
      > world has ever known.
      >
      > Islam, which developed in the 7th century, counts millions of Moslems
      > around the world who are normal people. However, there is a radical
      > streak within Islam. When the radicals are in charge, Islam attacks
      > Western civilization. Islam first attacked Western civilization in the
      > 7th century, and later in the 16th and 17th centuries. By 1683, the
      > Moslems (Turks from the Ottoman Empire) were literally at the gates
      > of Vienna. It was in Vienna that the climatic battle between Islam and
      > Western civilization took place. The West won and went forward. Islam
      > lost and went backward. Interestingly, the date of that battle was
      > September 11. Since then, Islam has not found a way to reconcile with
      > the modern world.
      >
      > Today, terrorism is the third attack on Western civilization by radical
      > Islam. To deal with terrorism, the U.S. is doing two things. First, units
      > of our armed forces are in 30 countries around the world hunting down
      > terrorist groups and dealing with them. This gets very little publicity.
      > Second we are taking military action in Afghanistan and Iraq.
      >
      > The media covers these actions relentlessly. People can argue about
      > whether the war in Iraq is right or wrong. However, the underlying
      > strategy behind the war is to use our military to remove the radicals
      > from power and give the moderates a chance. Our hope is that, over
      > time, the moderates will find a way to bring Islam forward into the
      > 21st century. That's what our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is
      > all about. 
      >
      > The lesson of 9/11 is that we live in a world where a small number
      > of people can kill a large number of people very quickly. They can use
      > airplanes, bombs, anthrax, chemical weapons or dirty bombs. Even
      > with a first-rate intelligence service (which the U.S. does not have), you
      > can't stop every attack. That means our tolerance for political horseplay
      > has dropped to zero. No longer will we play games with terrorists or
      > weapons of mass destructions.
      >
      > Most of the instability and horseplay is coming from the Middle East.
      > That's why we have thought that if we could knock out the radicals and
      > give the moderates a chance to hold power, they might find a way to
      > reconcile Islam with the modern world. So when looking at Afghanistan
      > or Iraq, it's important to look for any signs that they are modernizing.
      >
      > For example; women being brought into the work force and colleges in
      > Afghanistan is good. The Iraqis stumbling toward a constitution is good.
      >
      > People can argue about what the U.S. is doing and how we're doing it,
      > but anything that suggests Islam is finding its way forward is good.  
      >
      > 2. The Emergence of China 
      >
      > In the last 20 years, China has moved 250 million people from the farms
      > and villages into the cities. Their plan is to move another 300 million in
      > the next 20 years. When you put that many people into the cities, you
      > have to find work for them.  That's why China is addicted to manufacturing;
      > they have to put all the relocated people to work.
      >
      > When we decide to manufacture something in the U.S., it's based on
      > market needs and the opportunity to make a profit. In China, they make
      > the decision because they want the jobs, which is a very different calculation.
      >
      > While China is addicted to manufacturing, Americans are addicted to low
      > prices. As a result, a unique kind of economic codependency has developed
      > between the two countries. If we ever stop buying from China, they will
      > explode politically. If China stops selling to us, our economy will take a huge
      > hit because prices will jump. We are subsidizing their economic development;
      > they are subsidizing our economic growth.  Because of their huge growth in
      > manufacturing, China is hungry for raw materials, which drives prices up
      > worldwide. China is also thirsty for oil, which is one reason oil is now at
      > $60 a barrel. By 2020, China will produce more cars than the U.S.  China is
      > also buying its way into the oil infrastructure around the world. They are
      > doing it in the open market and paying fair market prices, but millions of
      > barrels of oil that would have gone to the U.S. are now going to China.
      > China's quest to assure it has the oil it needs to fuel its economy is a major
      > factor in world politics and economics.  
      >
      > We have our Navy fleets protecting the sea lines, specifically the ability to
      > get the tankers through.  It won't be long before the Chinese have an
      > aircraft carrier sitting in the Persian Gulf as well. The question is, will their
      > aircraft carrier be pointing in the same direction as ours or against us?
      >
      > 3. Shifting Demographics of Western Civilization
      >
      > Most countries in the Western world have stopped breeding. For a
      > civilization obsessed with sex, this is remarkable. Maintaining a steady
      > population requires a birth rate of 2.1 In Western Europe, the birth rate
      > currently stands at 1.5, or 30 percent below replacement.
      >
      > In 30 years there will be 70 to 80 million fewer Europeans than there
      > are today. The current birth rate in Germany is 1.3. Italy and Spain are
      > even lower at 1.2. At that rate, the working age population declines by
      > 30 percent in 20 years, which has a huge impact on the economy.  When
      > you don't have young workers to replace the older ones, you have to
      > import them.
      >
      > The European countries are currently importing Moslems. Today, the
      > Moslems comprise 10 percent of France and Germany, and the
      > percentage is rising rapidly because they have higher birthrates.
      > However, the Moslem populations are not being integrated into the
      > cultures of their host countries, which is a political catastrophe. One
      > reason Germany and France don't support the Iraq war is they fear their
      > Moslem populations will explode on them. By 2020, more than half of
      > all births in the Netherlands will be non-European.
      >
      > The huge design flaw in the postmodern secular state is that you need
      > a traditional religious society birth rate to sustain it. The Europeans
      > simply don't wish to have children, so they are dying.  In Japan, the
      > birthrate is 1.3. As a result, Japan will lose up to 60 million people over
      > the next 30 years. Because Japan has a very different society than Europe,
      > they refuse to import workers. Instead, they are just shutting down. Japan
      > has already closed 2,000 schools, and is closing them down at the rate
      > of 300 per year. Japan is also aging very rapidly. By 2020, one out of
      > every five Japanese will be at least 70 years old. Nobody has any idea
      > about how to run an economy with those demographics.
      >
      > Europe and Japan, which comprise two of the world's major economic
      > engines, aren't merely in recession; they're shutting down. This will have
      > a huge impact on the world economy, and it is already beginning to
      > happen. Why are the birthrates so low? There is a direct correlation
      > between abandonment of traditional religious society and a drop in birth
      > rate, and Christianity in Europe is becoming irrelevant.
      >
      > The second reason is economic. When the birth rate drops below
      > replacement, the population ages. With fewer working people to
      > support more retired people, it puts a crushing tax burden on the
      > smaller group of working age people. As a result, young people delay
      > marriage and having a family. Once this trend starts, the downward
      > spiral only gets worse. These countries have abandoned all the
      > traditions they formerly held in regard to having families and
      > raising children.
      >
      > The U.S. birth rate is 2.0, just below replacement. We have an increase
      > in population because of immigration. When broken down by ethnicity,
      > the Anglo birth rate is 1.6 (same as France) while the Hispanic birth
      > rate is 2.7. In the U.S., the baby boomers are starting to retire in
      > massive numbers. This will push the elder dependency ratio from 19
      > to 38 over the next 10 to 15 years. This is not as bad as Europe, but still
      > represents the same kind of trend. 
      >
      > Western civilization seems to have forgotten what every primitive
      > society understands-you need kids to have a healthy society. Children
      > are huge consumers. Then they grow up to become taxpayers. That's
      > how a society works, but the postmodern secular state seems to have
      > forgotten that. If U.S. birth rates of the past 20 to 30 years had been the
      > same as post-World War II, there would be no Social Security or
      > Medicare problems. 
      >
      > The world's most effective birth control device is money. As society
      > creates a middle class and women move into the workforce, birth rates
      > drop. Having large families is incompatible with middle class living. The
      > quickest way to drop the birth rate is through rapid economic development. 
      >
      > After World War II, the U.S. instituted a $600 tax credit per child. The idea
      > was to enable mom and dad to have four children without being troubled
      > by taxes. This led to a baby boom of 22 million kids, which was a huge
      > consumer market. That turned into a huge tax base. However, to match
      > that incentive in today's dollars would cost $12,000 per child.
      >
      > China and India do not have declining populations. However, in both
      > countries, there is a preference for boys over girls, and we now have the
      > technology to know which is which before they are born. In China and India,
      > many families are aborting the girls. As a result, in each of these countries
      > there are 70 million boys growing up who will never find wives. When left
      > alone, nature produces 103 boys for every 100 girls. In some provinces,
      > however, the ratio is 128 boys to every 100 girls.
      >
      > The birth rate in Russia is so low that by 2050 their population will be
      > smaller than that of Yemen. Russia has one-sixth of the earth's land surface
      > and much of its oil. You can't control that much area with such a small
      > population.  Immediately to the south, you have China with 70 million
      > unmarried men who are a real potential nightmare;\ scenario for Russia. 
      >
      > 4. Restructuring of American Business;
      >
      > The fourth major transformation involves a fundamental restructuring
      > of American business. Today's business environment is very complex and
      > competitive. To succeed, you have to be the best, which means having the
      > highest quality and lowest cost. Whatever your price point, you must have
      > the best quality and lowest price. To be the best, you have to concentrate
      > on one thing. You can't be all things to all people and be the best. 
      >
      > A generation ago, IBM used to make every part of their computer. Now Intel
      > makes the chips, Microsoft makes the software, and someone else makes
      > the modems, hard drives, monitors, etc. IBM even out-sources their call
      > center. Because IBM has all these companies supplying goods and services
      > cheaper and better than they could do it themselves, they can make a
      > better computer at a lower cost. This is called a fracturing of business.
      > When one company can make a better product by relying on others to
      > perform functions the business used to do itself, it creates a complex
      > pyramid of companies that serve and support each other.  This fracturing
      > of American business is now in its second generation. The companies who
      > supply IBM are now doing the same thing; out-sourcing many of their core
      > services and production process. As a result, they can make cheaper, better
      > products. Over time, this pyramid continues to get bigger and bigger. Just
      > when you think it can't fracture again, it does. Even very small businesses
      > can have a large pyramid of corporate entities that perform many of its
      > important functions. One aspect of this trend is that companies end up with
      > fewer employees and more independent contractors.  This trend has also
      > created two new words in business, integrator and complementor. At the
      > top of the pyramid, IBM is the integrator. As you go down the pyramid,
      > Microsoft, Intel and the other companies that support IBM are the
      > complementors. However, each of the complementors is itself an integrator
      > for the complementary underneath it.  This has several implications, the
      > first of which is that we are now getting false readings on the economy.;
      >
      > People who used to be employees are now independent contractors
      > launching their own businesses. There are many people working whose
      > work is not listed as a job. As a result, the economy is perking along better
      > than the numbers are telling us.;
      >
      > Outsourcing also confused the numbers. Suppose a company like General
      > Motors decides to outsource all its employee cafeteria functions to Marriott
      > (which it did). It lays off hundreds of cafeteria workers, who then get hired
      > right back by Marriott.  The only thing that has changed is that these
      > people work for Marriott rather than GM. Yet, the media headlines will
      > scream that America has lost more manufacturing jobs. All that really
      > happened is that these workers are now reclassified as service workers. So
      > the old way of counting jobs contributes to false economic readings. As yet,
      > we haven't figured out how to make the numbers catch up with the
      > changing realities of the business world.
      >
      > Another implication of this massive restructuring is that because companies
      > are getting rid of units and people that used to work for them, the entity is
      > smaller. As the companies get smaller and more efficient, revenues are
      > going down but profits are going up. As a result, the old notion that
      > revenues are up and we're doing great isn't always the case anymore.
      > Companies are getting smaller but are becoming more efficient and
      > profitable in the process.
      >
      > IMPLICATIONS OF THE FOUR TRANSFORMATIONS;
      >
      > 1. The War in Iraq
      >
      > In some ways, the war is going very well. Afghanistan and Iraq have the
      > beginnings of a modern government, which is a huge step forward.
      >
      > The Saudis are starting to talk about some good things, while Egypt
      > and Lebanon are beginning to move in a good direction.  A series of
      > revolutions have taken place in countries like Ukraine and Georgia.
      >
      > There will be more of these revolutions for an interesting reason. In
      > every revolution, there comes a point where the dictator turns to the
      > general and says, Fire into the crowd.  If the general fires into the crowd,
      > it stops the revolution. If the general says No, the revolution continues.
      > Increasingly, the generals are saying No because their kids are in the
      > crowd.;
      >
      > Thanks to TV and the Internet, the average 18-year old outside the U.S.
      > is very savvy about what is going on in the world, especially in terms of
      > popular culture. There is a huge global consciousness, and young people
      > around the world want to be a part of it. It is increasingly apparent to
      > them that the miserable government where they live is the only thing
      > standing in their way. More and more, it is the well-educated kids, the
      > children of the generals and the elite, who are leading the revolutions.
      >
      > At the same time, not all is well with the war. The level of violence in Iraq
      > is much worse and doesn't appear to be improving. It's possible that
      > we're asking too much of Islam all at one time. We're trying to jolt them
      > from the 7th century to the 21st century all at once, which may be further
      > than they can go. They might make it and they might not. Nobody knows
      > for sure. The point is, we don't know how the war will turn out. Anyone
      > who says they know is just guessing.; 
      >
      > The real place to watch is Iran. If they actually obtain nuclear weapons
      > it will be a terrible situation. There are two ways to deal with it. The
      > first is a military strike, which will be very difficult. The Iranians have
      > dispersed their nuclear development facilities and put them underground.
      > The U.S. has nuclear weapons that can go under the earth and take out
      > those facilities, but we don't want to do that.
      >
      > The other way is to separate the radical mullahs from the government,
      > which is the most likely course of action.  Seventy percent of the Iranian
      > population is under 30. They are Moslem but not Arab. They are mostly
      > pro-Western. Many experts think the U.S. should have dealt with Iran
      > before going to war with Iraq. The problem isn't so much the weapons;
      > it's the people who control them. If Iran has a moderate government, the
      > weapons become less of a concern.
      >
      > We don't know if we will win the war in Iraq. We could lose or win.
      > What we're looking for is any indicator that Islam is moving into the
      > 21st century and stabilizing.
      >
      > 2. China 
      >
      > It may be that pushing 500 million people from farms and villages
      > into cities is too much too soon. Although it gets almost no publicity,
      > China is experiencing hundreds of demonstrations around the country,
      > which is unprecedented.  These are not students in Tiananmen Square.
      > These are average citizens who are angry with the government for
      > building chemical plants and polluting the water they drink and the air
      > they breathe.
      >
      > The Chinese are a smart and industrious people. They may be able to
      > pull it off and become a very successful economic and military superpower.
      > If so, we will have to learn to live with it. If they want to share the
      > responsibility of keeping the world's oil lanes open that's a good thing.
      > They currently have eight new nuclear electric power generators under
      > way and 45 on the books to build. Soon, they will leave the U.S. way
      > behind in their ability to generate nuclear power.; 
      >
      > What can go wrong with China? For one, you can't move 550 million
      > people into the cities without major problems. Two, China really wants
      > Taiwan not so much for economic reasons, they just want it. The Chinese
      > know that their system of communism can't survive much longer in the
      > 21st century. The last thing they want to do before they morph into some
      > sort of more capitalistic government is to take over Taiwan.
      >
      > We may wake up one morning and find they have launched an attack on
      > Taiwan. If so, it will be a mess, both economically and militarily. The U.S.
      > has committed to the military defense of Taiwan. If China attacks Taiwan,
      > will we really go to war against them? If the Chinese generals believe the
      > answer is no, they may attack. If we don't defend Taiwan, every treaty the
      > U.S. has will be worthless. Hopefully, China won't do anything stupid.
      >
      > 3. Demographics
      >
      > Europe and Japan are dying because their populations are aging
      > and shrinking. These trends can be reversed if the young people start
      > breeding. However, the birth rates in these areas are so low it will take
      > two generations to turn things around.  No economic model exists that
      > permits 50 years to turn things around. Some countries are beginning
      > to offer incentives for people to have bigger families. For example, Italy
      > is offering tax breaks for having children. However it's a lifestyle issue
      > versus a tiny amount of money. Europeans aren't willing to give up their
      > comfortable lifestyles in order to have more children.
      >
      > In general, everyone in Europe just wants it to last a while longer
      > Europeans have a real talent for living. They don't want to work very
      > hard. The average European worker gets 400 more hours of vacation time
      > per year than Americans. They don't want to work and they don't want to
      > make any of the changes needed to revive their economies.
      >
      > The summer after 9/11, France lost 15,000 people in a heat wave. In
      > August, the country basically shuts down when everyone goes on
      > vacation.That year, a severe heat wave struck and 15,000 elderly people
      > living in nursing homes and hospitals died. Their children didn't even leave
      > the beaches to come back and take care of the bodies. Institutions had to
      > scramble to find enough refrigeration units to hold the bodies until people
      > came to claim them.  This loss of life was five times bigger than 9/11 in
      > America, yet it didn't trigger any change in French society.
      >
      > When birth rates are so low, it creates a tremendous tax burden on the
      > young. Under those circumstances, keeping mom and dad alive is not an
      > attractive option. That's why euthanasia is becoming so popular in most
      > European countries. The only country that doesn't permit (and even
      > encourage) euthanasia is Germany, because of all the baggage from
      > World War II.
      >
      > The European economy is beginning to fracture. Countries like Italy are
      > starting to talk about pulling out of the European Union because it is killing
      > them. When things get bad economically in Europe, they tend to get very
      > nasty politically. The canary in the mine is anti-Semitism. When it goes up,
      > it means trouble is coming. Current levels of anti-Semitism are higher than
      > ever.
      >
      > Germany won't launch another war, but Europe will likely get shabbier,
      > more dangerous and less pleasant to live in.  Japan has a birth rate of 1.3
      > and has no intention of bringing in immigrants. By;2020, one out of every
      > five Japanese will be 70 years old. Property values in Japan have dropped
      > every year for the past 14 years. The country is simply shutting down.  In
      > the U.S. we also have an aging population. Boomers are starting to retire at
      > a massive rate. These retirements will have several major impacts:
      >
      > Possible massive sell off of large four-bedroom houses and a movement
      > to condos, an enormous drain on the treasury. Boomers vote, and they
      > want their benefits, even if it means putting a crushing tax burden on
      > their kids to get them.
      >
      > Social Security will be a huge problem. As this generation ages, it will
      > start to drain the system. We are the only country in the world where there
      > are no age limits on medical procedures; an enormous drain on the health
      > care system. This will also increase the tax burden on the young, which will
      > cause them to delay marriage and having families, which will drive down
      > the birth rate even further. 
      >
      > Although scary, these demographics also present enormous opportunities
      > for products and services tailored to aging populations.
      >
      > There will be tremendous demand for caring for older people, especially
      > those who don't need nursing homes but need some level of care. Some
      > people will have a business where they take care of three or four people
      > in their homes.  The demand for that type of service and for products to
      > physically care for aging people will be huge.
      >
      > Make sure the demographics of your business are attuned to where the
      > action is. For example, you don't want to be a baby food company in Europe
      > or Japan. Demographics are much underrated as an indicator of where the
      > opportunities are.  Businesses need customers. Go where the customers are.
      >
      > 4. Restructuring of American Business
      > The restructuring of American business means we are coming to the end
      > of the age of the employer and employee. With all this fracturing of
      > businesses into different and smaller units, employers can't guarantee
      > jobs anymore because they don't know what their companies will look
      > like next year. Everyone is on their way to becoming an independent
      > contractor. The new workforce contract will be: Show up at the my office
      > five days a week and do what I want you to do, but you handle your own
      > insurance, benefits, health care and everything else.  Husbands and
      > wives are becoming economic units. They take different jobs and work
      > different shifts depending on where they are in their careers and families.
      > They make tradeoffs to put together a compensation package to take
      > care of the family.
      >
      > This used to happen only with highly educated professionals with high
      > incomes. Now it is happening at the level of the factory floor worker.
      > Couples at all levels are designing their compensation packages based
      > on their individual needs. The only way this can work is if everything is
      > portable and flexible, which requires a huge shift in the American
      > economy.
      >
      > The U.S. is in the process of building the world's first 21st century
      > model economy. The only other countries doing this are U.K. and Australia.
      > The model is fast, flexible, highly productive and unstable in that it is
      > always fracturing and re-fracturing. This will increase the economic gap
      > between the U.S. and everybody else, especially Europe and Japan.
      >
      > At the same time, the military gap is increasing. Other than China, we are
      > the only country that is continuing to put money into their military. Plus,
      > we are the only military getting on-the-ground military experience
      > through our war in Iraq. We know which high-tech weapons are working
      > and which ones aren't. There is almost no one who can take us on
      > economically or militarily.
      >
      > There has never been a superpower in this position before.  On the one
      > hand, this makes the U.S. a magnet for bright and ambitious people. It
      > also makes us a target. We are becoming one of the last holdouts of the
      > traditional Judeo-Christian culture. There is no better place in the world
      > to be in business and raise children. The U.S. is by far the best place to
      > have an idea, form a business and put it into the marketplace. We take it
      > for granted, but it isn't as available in other countries of the world. 
      > Ultimately, it's an issue of culture. The only people who can hurt us are
      > ourselves, by losing our culture. If we give up our Judeo-Christian culture,
      > we become just like the Europeans.
      >
      > The culture war is the whole ballgame. If we lose it, there isn't another
      > America to pull us out.
    • etznab@aol.com
      Mish, Thanks for posting the Global Intelligence Briefing for CEOs. I found it very educational. Is there a link to the article? Etznab
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 4, 2007
        Mish,

           Thanks for posting the Global Intelligence Briefing for CEOs.
        I found it very educational.

           Is there a link to the article?

        Etznab



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