Economic Multipliers (25)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Good judgment in problem solving is a HUGE economic multiplier for communities (and nations).


I caught an article in one of the newspapers regarding a woman who stole a shovel to shovel out her car (caught on a security camera) and her neighbor’s response: He snowblowed in her car.

Early in February 2011, this story was featured on YouTube (because the owner of the shovel chronicled his ‘revenge’ with a video) and then the story was picked up by multiple media outlets.

I read numerous comments online which ‘supported’ the ‘revenge. I did not find (but they may have been somewhere in someone’s post or media coverage) the words:

This is the WRONG way to solve a problem: The man who took the revenge needs some lessons in what it means to be a GOOD CITIZEN of the United States of America. He does NOT represent the best of this nation.

When I see television or newspaper coverage of events like this and someone does not say:

This is the WRONG way to solve a problem: There are much better alternatives (many people just don’t know WHAT would be a good thing to do because no one ever taught them that there are good alternatives) and these are some of them …,


I think: When did we become a nation of people who would spend precious time trying to ‘get revenge’ and ‘create even more problems?'

Stealing a shovel is clearly theft but we must always look at whether our OWN actions create an even greater problem. Ultimately what we should want our actions to do is to CREATE good neighbors.

The young man featured in the video has a young daughter. What if this woman (whose car he snowblowed in) is the person he needs to call in an emergency related to his child some day?

It’s possible to come up with MANY variations on the theme related to what would have CREATED a good NEIGHBOR: He could have let her know that he knew she had his shovel and he wanted his shovel and two new shovels back: The first shovel he could have given to her (because clearly she needed a shovel); The second shovel he could have kept as a replacement or donated it (or his old one) to some resourceful neighborhood kid who could use some extra dollars in their pocket.

Think of the economic value of this solution:

  • he gets his shovel back,

  • she stays out of trouble,

  • she gets a shovel that she’ll have for future use, and

  • he gets an extra shovel to use to perhaps help someone else create some economic value.

If the woman lied about the theft, he could have indicated that he had the theft on tape and was going to contact the police if she couldn’t think of a good solution.

Keep in mind that this man could have been spending time with his young daughter (or wife) versus ‘celebrating’ his ‘clever revenge’ – AND he wasted a half hour of his time and the gas for the snowblower. (Was there anyone in the neighborhood who could have used some real work done? – I’ll bet he would have gotten some neighborhood points for that.) Plus, imagine all the time he spent prepping the video he posted on YouTube.

If he’s an adult, who taught him how to behave like that? (I’d hope it wasn’t his parents).

Now, I’m going to give this young man and his ‘supportive’ friends (Remember, anyone who supports and/or encourages YOU to take actions that would get YOU in trouble is NOT your ‘friend’) the benefit of the doubt. I am going to say: They are young: No one ever taught them anything better because I know that:

  • WANTING people to get in trouble or WANTING to make life harder for others are forms of trouble themselves.

  • WANTING to ‘nip problems in the bud’ builds communities and nations.

Good judgment … good neighbors … You’d be hardpressed to find any greater wealth in a community than in the value of good neighbors.


– Remember –

'The easiest problems you’ll ever solve are the ones that were never created in the first place.’