West Wing Wednesday Night #11

What I propose we tackle this time are the pendulum swings – what is new, that is actually really old but just coming back? Let’s talk old ideas that are new again, flip flops of opinion and actions, 180 turns that are justified or not… and since we will gather the week of Valentine’s – please bring along new ideas, concepts, books or websites that you have recently fallen in love with.

Also another topic, courtesy of Lori Bamber, is around the possibilities for a new type of 21st century economy – what would it mean to have a no-growth economy? Has the pendulum swung from Freidman to Keynes … and may it swing as far Galbraith?
Here are some of the questions on that issue:
What are the elements of a healthy economy?
What do we know – so far – about the economic contributors to human wellbeing and a sustainable environment?
Are the ways we measure GDP and related measures – such as inflation – out of date? If so, what should replace them?
And most importantly – why do economic questions, which are also at the heart of our politics – remain so polarizing? Is it possible to find common ground?

Buyology is a new concept I am playing with – the consumerism principles applied to every field, from personal health records to attitudes and identity… I was just at a conference where they introduced the construct of the “cloud” ecosystem where boundaries are less relevant than today – how will that compute with the re-emergence of protectionism? And if individual thriftiness causes recessions to worsen, will the thriftiness of the U.S. also chill the global environment?

Locally – Mayor Robertson’s 100 days are almost up – how are our municipal affairs? Where is Vancouver headed as the Olympic preparations reach a new frenzy, now that we are a year away from the big event? How is that impacting us and are we any more excited?
And of course, we’ll have to spend a minute or two on politics – in BC and in Canada, there is plenty to entertain us.

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