Economic Multipliers (3)

Do you know what these are?

I'm STILL not going to tell you BUT ...

These determine whether we CREATE wealth in systems.

You may have already taken the time to look up what economic multipliers are. The topic itself is quite complex and there is a lot of disagreement even among the most learned of individuals in the field of economics as to their values (in terms of numbers).

But few economists spend much time talking directly about NEGATIVE economic multipliers. If you could imagine that positive ones create wealth, you should say to yourself that negative ones destroy wealth.

Some activities in society will ALWAYS have negative economic multipliers and they are unavoidable (and in many ways determine how humane we are as people) but I like to focus on things that are AVOIDABLE so as you read this, think of the ways that negative events in your community can be AVOIDED.


I just published my first two mini e-Books (very short). They might not get read (millions of people in the world publish things) but I hope they do. Since I don't believe that if you're reading this at my community development web site, you should have to buy the books to get the 'gist' of this conversation, I'm going to give you their 'booky' titles along with a summary of how their content ties into negative economic multipliers:

  • Connecting the Dots Creates an Ugly Picture

Both of these mini e-Books talk about what it takes to get things right in society the first time around. The first: Smart Children

, focuses on making sure kids who lack what I call 'speed reading' skills connect to content, learn critical thinking skills and learn how to focus and listen well. The content is the education. The critical thinking skills and the ability to focus and listen well are the life.

I already covered the process (for both kids AND adults) in my piece on Educating Kids and if you or anyone you know struggled with reading or learning a (needed) second language, that's a great place to start.

The second mini e-Book: Solitary Confinement

covers the problems associated with educating kids and adults who didn't get educated the first time around who are showing up in our social networks for the wrong reasons (the public service systems which are many times paid for by taxes which are almost always strapped for cash: judicial, penal, social services, medical, etc.).

The whole gist of this mini e-Book is that not only do we need to use audio/text-based education with these individuals but we need to 'force' them to watch television. I emphasize television programs which will give them the critical thinking skills required to function in society (like Supernanny). And, I tack on some commentary about really, really bright kids who like to work (but don't like school) who need to have their educational experience restructured.

Now, in the context of negative economic multipliers:

  • If the ONLY reason a child fails to graduate is because they had difficulty reading when they were young and somehow decided that they couldn't achieve: that's AVOIDABLE.

  • If the ONLY reason a person ends up addicted to drugs is because they went to a party where a lot of kids encouraged them to start taking drugs: that's AVOIDABLE.

  • If the ONLY reason a child ends up permanently disabled for life is because their parents didn't tell them to call if the driver of their vehicle (who managed to get in an accident) was drunk: that's AVOIDABLE.

  • If the ONLY reason a child ends up with Type II diabetes is because their parents didn't take the time to make sure they had proper diet and exercise: that's AVOIDABLE.

  • If the ONLY reason a person ends up in jail is because they start fights with other people because they don't have the critical thinking skills and social skills to stay out of fights: that's AVOIDABLE.

I do not believe it is possible to avoid every negative event. But I do believe it is VERY PROFITABLE for societies to focus on what is AVOIDABLE. People who pay taxes should NEVER have to pay for things that are AVOIDABLE.

And, if people do have to pay taxes for something that was AVOIDABLE, they are paying for something which has a negative economic multiplier.


P.S. Since this article was originally written (2010), I also have published a mini, mini eBook entitled Kids Teaching Kids

, based on a paper written in the 1990's. If we want the kids who become adults to be able to effectively teach their own children with empathy, patience, understanding and knowledge, we should know that that can never occur if they themselves do not see themselves as teachers (because they are because they were taught to be).