Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Old Problem

Young organizations with younger people tend to be more innovative, quicker to change and adapt, and more prone to quick failure. Old organizations with older people tend to be more stable, slower to change and adapt, and more prone to slow failure. This is true of political organizations, business organizations, and church organizations. Young organizations have problems assessing the risk associated with specific actions or policies. Risk ignorance sometimes results in great success and sometimes results in great failure. Old organizations have problems taking an action involving any risk. Risk knowledge sometimes results in avoiding mistakes, but often results in missing opportunities.

The United States has always enjoyed an advantage over Europe because we have been a younger country with a higher percentage of younger people and a greater willingness to take calculated risks. However, as more and more baby boomers in America reach retirement and start to prefer stability to innovation, the American advantage over Europe will start to erode. Also, as more and more of India’s, Brazil’s, and China’s younger population start to realize opportunity and achieve success without migrating to America, the United States will cease to be the country of innovation and leadership.

The best hope for the United States would be for our government to allow more legal immigration. America has vast amounts of unused land, resources, infrastructure, and laws, that would allow the process to be transparent to the daily lives of most Americans, but beneficial to the long term prospects of both the immigrants and current Americans. Imagine all of the opportunities if we were to build new schools, hospitals, businesses, churches, parks, sport and activity centers, and communities all with wireless internet access.

There is a big problem though. Our government, our political parties, many of our people, and a lot of our ideas have become old and risk averse. At a time when we need new people, new ideas, and new organizations, the old people in old organizations with old ideas want to slow down and stop immigration.

Wouldn’t it be better for America if new jobs were done by new Americans in America than by Chinese in China? Wouldn’t it be better for democracy and freedom if new businesses were created in America by new Americans than by Socialists in China? Wouldn’t it be better for the Gospel if new Churches were formed in America by new Americans than by Chinese who face imprisonment for conducting a Church service? Wouldn’t it be better for America if a new political party with new ideas gained a little traction?

As much as I like President Bush, and as much as I think the only realistic hope for positive progress in America is with the Republican Party, I sure wish there was another alternative that wasn’t so old.

No comments: