State of the world fireside chat

Just when it seems our economy may be avoiding a double dip recession, European and Asian markets go and wet themselves and the whole system starts to shake.

The job market here in Tacoma could be better and unemployment rates nationwide are high. I don’t think unemployment rates have anything to do with Obama policy, but many people believe they do. Our nation is in an odd situation. The 90’s were fueled by the technological revolution and then suddenly the fruits of this revolution created a yellow brick road to widespread outsourcing of labor and importing of goods. I’m not talking about Walmart buying from China and selling to you.. I’m talking about you now having access to bottom dollar doohickeys straight from Chinese sellers online. Ebay, Amazon and individual websites across the innersphere are chock-full of deals that grossly undercut even Walmart prices. This is often irresistible to the consumer.

And so the story goes. People hollering, demanding politicians make new jobs out of thin air and political hocus-pocus.

IMHO, Politics and tax manipulation will not be key elements for creating the majority of jobs for the future. I don’t care if you are on the left or the right of me; I’m walking the line of reality not principle – application, not ideology. The lost jobs in old, cash cow industries of the late 20th Century are never coming back. If you are on the sidelines waiting for your industry to “pick back up” you are probably going to need to consider a different angle.

The only thing that will save our economy, and the global 1st/2nd world economy for that matter, is innovation. Invention. Without it we are in big trouble. What is the next realm of life-changing innovation? I am stumped. The world is stumped. I do, however, doubt that fancy technology will be the ticket.

Most of the world seems to believe new technology drives all significant current and future innovation.

Consider this: I can already get my current GPS coordinates from a satellite and send them to you with a picture of my smiling face, order a pizza, play multiple games of scrabble and chess with friends from the real world, converse with Alec Baldwin on twitter, buy music, sell used pants and publish information accessible within seconds to anyone in the entire world… from a handheld device in my bathtub.

Advances in technology are becoming expected and/or ho-hum. Might the next, truly BIG THING not involve cutting edge technology at all?

Bring on the world

Tacoma restaurants continue to improve and impress. I could have 3 squares per day at Tacoma restaurants I’ve never been to for at least a month straight right now. 5 years ago I had been to just about every relevant restaurant in town. Of course, that was before they started multiplying like rabbits on ecstasy. Whether you are looking for upscale latin, gourmet sushi, or authentic Thai food, the decision is no longer an easy one; there are now several options for each of these within Tacoma proper.

Where am I going with this?

Seattle continues its reign as Tacoma’s big cousin to the north, but little cousin is growing up fast. I was born here and have lived the majority of my adult life here as well. I don’t need stats, charts, articles or anybody else to tell me what is going on. Every day, everywhere, I see growth. The rising job markets, swirling restaurant scene, skyrocketing (still affordable) real estate, college campuses, and ever-desirable geographical location make Tacoma a no-brainer for many living in the Puget Sound region.

As Seattle continues to grow, the byproducts are more business and more people operating within a shrinking, finite supply of actual space. This effectively moves Tacoma closer and closer to Seattle. Will we be ready for it? Can we truly be the destination for multinational corporate headquarters and an unlimited supply of cutting edge employment opportunity like we were promised 10 years ago?

I hope so.

What do you think?