Is the Intellectual Property system (patents, copyrights, etc). The world has moved from an era of individual inventors (see Thomas Hughes: American Genesis) to one which creates by cooperation across cultures, across national boundaries and across coporate boundaries. Robert Scoble interviews IBM’s IP attorney — and he emphasizes this point.
If we don’t adjust how we innovate and how we license those innovations, our economy will follow that of England’s post-industrial slide from world domination to a former economic power.
The mortgage industry is besieged with the realization that the originators of sub-prime loans, who cashed out early and are somewhere warm counting their profits, have left them holding a bag of paper that can not be maintained by the loan holders. In other words, now that the true cost of those mortgages must be paid, the loan holders find themselves unable to pay.
Government, fed and state, has a similar program for funding the initial capital and infrastructure costs of projects, like this one funded by the FBI to facilitate inter-agency communications. More times than you would care to count, the local government recipients fail to budget for maintenance and operating costs to keep the new project functioning.
So, is this any way to run a business?
AJC has a guest op/ed discussing how much it costs to perform the Christian ministerial duties of visiting prisoners. Between the collect calls, ATM fees, and other charges (which, ironically, are imposed by private sector contractors who resist reveiling the profit margins and whose owners have gone to prison defending their take!) incurred by the person performing one’s duty, one can incur hundreds of dollars a year if one visited once a week. Here is a worthy project for Christian political activist groups – 1) Remove barriers to visiting those in prison and 2) motivate their grassroots members to visit. If the stats are true, reporting that prisoners receiving visitors have lower rates of recidivism, then this is truly one faith-