The Great Brain Turnoff--
Is The U.S. Economy Suffering From Boredom?

Declining Creativity Skills Have Weakened The United States'
Ability to Produce Exciting New Products and Services.


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For many decades, the U.S. economy rode the crest of a huge econoic wave of new-found productivity that started after the end of World War II. This was an era marked by unprecedented growth in consumer demand fueled by new products and services that led their respective sectors both in the terms of innovation and sheer output of product. The American automoblie industry is a good example. In the both the consumer and heavy industry, the U.S. was always at the forefront in terms of creating new products and in total sales. The U.S. was simply the world economic leader.

However, recently we've seen a decline in U.S. dominance of global economic markets for many reasons. The number of U.S. companies in the global top 2000 in the world, continues to fall. There are many reasons for this slowdown, but one of the main reasons of this decline has to be that many companies are run in an autocratic way that completely destroys the creativity of their employees. As a result, their products and services have simply become boring. I don't any other way to put.

American companies have become so risk-averse and paralyzed by fear of being "out of the mold" that they can no longer create any excitement in their consumers. The overall mentality that pervades many of our private economic institutions and public educational entities is one that discourages creativity, individuality, and risk-taking. It's a culture of conformity and narrow-mindedness that threatens to undermine our whole way of life.

The United States has never been a country that could rest on it's laurels for any length of time. It isn't old enough to have a long-standing historical or cultural traditions like those of European or Asian states. And after decades of economic success built on innovation, creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship, with some exceptions, we now exist in an economy dominated more by value consciousness, i.e. low prices, than by breakthroughs or novelty. Fear of the unknown rather than a drive for innovation has become the dominate culture of our economy.

This situation is partly the result of our emphasis in our education system of left-brain over right brain thinking. While the left-brain handles logical, linear, symbolic thing, the right-brain is responsible for intuitive and holistic thinking including spatial awareness, empathy, and design. And for a variety of reasons we are much more conscious of left-brain over right-brain thinking.

Now the conscious mind likes continuity and risk-minimization. Good old logical, linear thinking. While this type of thinking is very useful in some situations in others they are not. During the times of continued economic growth, it isn't necessary to take risks with your resources. However, during times of economic slowdown, it's necessary to invent new ways of doing things that are better or more efficient than what you were doing before. And after some point, you can't get there with left-brained linear thinking. You have to go to a higher level thinking that involves both the left and right brains.

A few exceptions to this general trend include the American music and movie industries which are predominantly right-brain activities. On the other hand, left-brained activities like accounting, legal services, software, and technical support which can be easily automated continue to be outsourced to other countries with cheaper labor pools. What this means is that job security in many previously stable sectors of the U.S. economy have become a thing of the past.

Right-brain, creative, design-oriented thinking is no longer a luxury. It's something our society desparately needs more of if our economy is to fully recover its momentum. The culture of boredom that underpins so much of economy needs to be replaced by a culture of creativity. It's the only thing that will help to create new products and services that the rest of the world think are worth their time to buy.

This can only happen if our educationl institutions embark on a radical new program to fully tap into the brain's full potential which includes all the creative skills of the right-brain including design, intution, empathy, and holistic thinking. Applying these skills in the economic arena would go a long way to stimulate new thinking and development of new technologies.


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