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The “New Idea” Club… Are you in? What bugs me the most about our society is that nearly everyone wants to use Backra Massa’s 18th and 19th century plantation ideas to advance a 21st century economy. The biggest deficit, however, is not a dearth of ideas, but the political and economic will to implement them, not to mention the most powerful “special interest” in the world - the cynicism of shallow five-year term political and economic thinkers. Three game changing ideas: 1. Change the lending paradigm. Lending money to a small unproven company (where jobs are created) is essentially an irrational act. Besides, banks do not make enough money above their cost of capital to lend to startups and small businesses. Solution: Allow banks to participate in the equity ownership of small-to-medium-sized companies they lend to. This would also enhance the efficiency of capital in our society and encourage banks to provide managerial advice and support to grow the business they have a stake in. 2. Another sink hole in our society is the damage done by the “financial salesman”. A big part of the reason for our recent economic debacle, not so much as a result of the so-called “world recession, but it’s that everyone in our financial system had a huge incentive to recommend one thing…. BUY, BUY, BUY! Everyone made more money by telling the consumer to borrow, buy a bigger house or the latest SUV, take risk in the stock market, and to take money out on a credit card. No one in our society had the brain, or was given an incentive to suggest the consumer: “NO, don’t spend your money, save your money for a rainy day!” Solution: Give tax payers an equivalent of US$2,000 year tax credit to go to an objective financial planner once or twice a year or before they make a huge purchase. The financial planner objective is to be a check and balance on the “financial salesman”. The financial planner cannot earn a fee or a commission off of any product. We can’t allow the efficiency of capital allocation to be controlled by the marketing power and hype of the “financial salesman”. It is said that only 10% of our population get quality financial advice, and therefore, we can’t grow as an economy when we throw precious capital down a sink hole. 3. Promote on-line education BIG TIME. The cost of a conventional higher education (college) can cost US$20,000 to US$50,000 a year. Education is about teaching and sharing important knowledge. We need to invest in human capital not ivy draped buildings. Why can’t UWI or Utech teach a MBA class online or put it on YouTube and make it available to all of us. Why does a good education have to be a scarce commodity, and only available to the elite? In the era of the internet someone needs to break this door down big time. It all starts with someone saying let’s consider giving some “new ideas” a try... Are you with me? If these ideas make sense to you, say “YES” to this post and spread the word via the internet and social and professional networks (eMail, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, MySpace, etc.). If we get a million or so “Yes’s” then we can make our “new idea” voice be heard and implemented. We all deserve a brighter future!!! Sorry international folks this is a JAMAICAN only initiative!