Change is here | BusinessMirror


EVERYTHING is different today. Of course, everything was different yesterday from the day before and from the day before that. However, never in living memory has “politics” and its older brother “economics” been so intense. As I have said before, there are no longer discussions. There is only screaming and yelling in order to drown out opposing opinion

Certainly, it is difficult to have any sympathy for the political class that has created the current situation. But being an elected—and sometimes appointed—government official is impossible in 2017. Every move they make is subject to “analysis” and then fierce commentary. British prime minister Theresa May is facing severe criticism for not immediately going to the site of the recent deadly Grenfell Tower fire as did Prime Minister want-to-be Jeremy Corbin. And there is no need to mention the conversations when President Duterte “disappeared” for a few days.

It is easy to dismiss all this as simply the result of instant global communications by the Internet. It is much more than that. The world is going through a transition stage from “what we know” to “who knows what?” If a commentary simply tries to look at the facts—information supported by numbers—even then the explanation is discounted as biased or labeled as “fake news”. The Medieval witch hunters were amateurs in comparison to what you can see today. And, sadly, then as now, it all comes back to viewpoints and the vested interests in those views. Previously the term “vested interest” meant financial. Now that term encompasses something much nearer religious cult beliefs.

My previous columns about the likelihood of the United States falling into a recession soon— supported with what I think are disturbing economic trends—is met with “Trump Hater!” Actually the only thing I care about with Trump is that he keeps my “Fabulously huge, Double-Secret CIA Pension” check arriving on time. Otherwise—Not. My. Problem.

Any transition, such as water from liquid to gas (steam), creates massive changes both internally to the water and to the surrounding environment. This occurs both politically and economically. Look at the shift in foreign policy more toward China that is occurring in all of Southeast Asia. Inc. just bought Whole Foods Market Inc. The closest silly comparison I can make to the Philippines in terms of impact is if SM suddenly started buying hundreds of palengkes. It is a major shift in the US retail grocery business.

Whole Foods is a high-priced personal service market with exclusive and specialty items that follow “self-created quality standards for being natural”. Amazon sells things like a “Nicolas Cage Pillowcase” and a 55-gallon drum of “personal lubricant”. Whole Foods wants to “go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy, delight, and nourish our customers”. Amazon wants to deliver products by drone. This merger is a good example of the global political and economic trends of “what was” to “what comes next?”

Amazon-Whole Foods is going to fundamentally change the US retail grocery market as both companies did when they started business before. These two were part of a transition when they began decades ago. Now, that first phase takes another turn. The more things change, the more they actually stay the same.

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