Kudos to Mr. Pickens for throwing down an idea! We need new ideas and the discussion they instigate is good and is our democratic way. But I think the greater problem than the election process is the accountability process on the back end. If the federal government was a corporation and we were its shareholders, the CEO (President) and board (Congress) are driving our company towards bankruptcy and we have no way to stop it. The best idea I ever heard was Warren Buffett’s idea: “I can end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there’s a deficit of more than 3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for reelection.” You may argue that an idea this radical can never be implemented (the same feasibility of passing a flat tax), but until we have a real financial check-and-balance that does not depend upon politicians, a new election process will not bring us any improved accountability. “Trust” and “accountability” are what we must restore and the irony is that the way our current political system is designed, the overwhelming objective evidence shows that professional politicians cannot get the job done. So how does it get done?
Businesses face adversity from time to time which directly impacts profitability, such as:
From man-made environmental and safety situations that precipitate regulations requiring costly compliance measures; e.g., the fuel efficiency and general safety regulations imposed on the automobile industry
The water and wastewater treatment regulations imposed on manufacturers by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Acts of God and natural global conditions such as drought which is currently affecting much of the agricultural land in production across the world
Each era in our history has had its challenges. The automobile industry has been able to respond to the adversity imposed by fuel standard regulations and over time, improve the quality of the cars and their competitive advantage. Manufacturers have been able to respond to the adversity imposed by water and air-quality regulations from EPA to build new corporate cultures that embrace green and sustainable practices requiring innovation along the way while building goodwill, brand, and competitiveness in the market.
Today, drought is one of the most serious and pervasive adverse challenges facing farming and farm communities worldwide. Instead of waiting for it to finally rain, the farm industry must pursue innovation in several key areas:
Storage of water
Recycling of wastewater back to subsurface ground and storage
Efficient use of water to grow next-generation crops requiring less water
Research is ongoing in all of these areas and when successfully applied, innovation will sprout wherever drought is an issue.
History teaches us that adversity at first may seem like a direct attack to profitability and the sustainability of our businesses, and this typically instigates a stubborn defensive reaction in the beginning. But history also shows us that when companies face adversity head on, people rise to the occasion and solve some very difficult problems and those solutions benefit everyone.