Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dinner Tutorial

Friends invited us to dinner at the Montecito Cafe last night. As we were eating, I asked my friend about his take on the economy. "Do you really want to know?" he asked. "Yeah" I said, "What do you really think?" He pushed his chair back and began. He's been in business for 50 years and has seen all sorts of market fluctuations. "This one is different" he said. "It used to be that recessions were restricted to one country or one area of the country. This time it's everywhere. It's global." Then he said "Secondly, I don't think our government is working. The two party system has not been able to get the job done. Instead they keep retrenching into us and them." He then illustrated his concern by examining the state of California and how he told his sales people to hold off working with the state because they are so tardy in paying on their contracts. "Lastly" he said "I have never seen the level of greed in this country as in the last years. Nobody is worth $100 million dollars!" He then talked about a culture without ethical standards, where cheating is ok if you don't get caught and a refusal to take responsibility for one's actions. We then had a long talk about what it means to take personal responsibility, from buying homes and things a consumer know he/she can't afford to giving loans to people who will never be able to pay and then selling these bad loans to others who sell them to others till they end up in China.
What's a solution? Personal responsibility and ethical transparency. "I'm glad I have an outside board of directors looking over my shoulder to make sure my decisions are good for the long run" he said. It reminded me of Jesus' encounter with the Roman Centurion who identified himself as "a man under authority." The evening was one of those serendipitous blessings of having a wise man's undivided attention.


At 5:43 AM , Blogger Rick said...

Is there still a restuarant on coast village road called the Olive Mill Bistro? That was the place Alicia and I first had a date.

At 5:46 AM , Blogger Rick said...

(I realize I was way off topic when I read to the end of the post...but your mention of the cafe where you ate got me started down a tangent...)


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