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Arthur Viente

President, JLA Home - Design & Contract

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Overall business growth is limited; instead, growth is limited to categories that shift based on demand.

We keep discussing growing our economy, yet no one considers the fact that perhaps our economy has aged and limited in growth. There may be growth in a specific category based on new demand, or from fall out of competition; but the actual level of growth is extremely limited. For example, in my industry (retail/wholesale), companies plan for growth, yet the only way this is achieved is through the loss at another company. Demand is often manufactured and not sustainable; so companies force growth at the expense of someone else. We don't need another clothing store, so the only opportunity for growth comes in variation of the presentation.

It would be far wiser for companies to explore their relative markets and plan for sustainable sales; fine the natural demand first, and build a model that can flex to changes in demand. It's not natural for sales to continue to grow, just as a person has a limit in height. Think of it this way, if you're taking steroids to grow (which is similar to how businesses grow), at some point the body can't take it anymore and collapses or dies - the same is true for business. If you build a model that allows for sales to fluctuate up OR down, and still provide a service to both the consumer and employee; that's a better and more sustainable business, adding real value.

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  • Feb 14 2013: Interesting comment, Grace; and although I agree with part of it, I would challenge the idea that money is the primary problem. Money is a reality we can't escape, so I tend to look at it a little differently, yet not far from what you're stating. I think if we can accept money as a necessity in society, we just need to alter our view as it relates to business and stop building plans that focus on ROI or a profit goal. Instead, a business should evaluate the value it adds in providing either goods or services (or both), along with jobs and stability in a community. The challenge involves a major shift in our current business environment; one where top level management does not view their role as more critical than those that work for them, and compensation is adjusted accordingly. Somewhere along the way, business lost it's moral compass and many executives feel they are truly worth the salaries they earn. In reality, the person at the end of the assembly line offers as much, if not more value than the CEO, as the business would not function without the people that make it run on a day to day basis. And a good leader, a good CEO, builds a business where he/she is no longer needed on a daily basis, and the business almost runs itself. As long as a business is striving for a high return for it's owners or investors, it will never really provide it's full value to society. So, in this regard, I agree with you; but think it has more to do with the motivation and distribution of money, and not money itself. Thanks for sharing your comments.
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    Feb 14 2013: Our common fiscal paradigm is centered around the notion that your ability to "have" includes your actively denying others the right to have as much. You expressed it in how businesses are run, but it applies to how people run their own lives as well. This idea was intentionally built into the fiscal system that we call "economics".

    The way to sustain a business is to get money out of the way. Capitalism - or any form of social glue that involves money - is a crime against humanity.
  • Feb 14 2013: Remember thermodynamics and physics in general What do we have with which to play? Doesn't that change and at times it's been for the worse.