Saving the worldand the environment .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} In the words of a successful survivor of many economic downturns, "you can’t spend what you don’t have." The U.S. as well as the larger economies of the world should take this to heart. The U.S. government’s bailouts of industry and individual homeowners may come at a price it can’t ultimately afford.

This is especially true if the U.S. must continue fighting two costly wars as well as fulfilling its many international obligations like fighting AIDS, funding global democracy, saber rattling cold war style with Russia, and providing economic incentives for states like North Korea to abandon its plans for the development of nuclear weaponry. All important endeavors to be sure, but expensive. The world must cease throwing good money after bad. By that I mean dumping more funds into programs and policies that have yet to yield positive results.

The energy sector is the focal point for nearly everything that has occurred geopolitically over the past 25 years. The condition of the economies of both the developing nations as well as the fully developed states rises and falls with the price of a barrel of oil. In times of cheap oil, the emerging economies should be taking off. Instead they appear to be languishing because the wealthy nations are not investing with them to improve critical infrastructure and education, the two most crucial components of economic and social advancement. Instead of erecting more new buildings than can ever be occupied in a decade, the developers of Dubai (for the most part wealthy oil-producing families) should have been casting their investment funds further afield and assisting the appropriate populations of Africa and Asia. Only by bringing these economically challenged people into the 21st century global economy can the reign of hopelessness that leads to terrorism be eradicated.

Innovative reuse
Likewise, North America and the EU might consider supporting more environmentally friendly industries in these developing countries, rather than throwing money at functionally obsolete "non-green" industries in their own countries that are saddled with incomprehensible debt loads and unrealistically expensive union labor contracts. Maybe the developed countries that have recently experienced economic downturns and idled factories should spend more time on innovative new technological adaptive reuse, than merely trying to resuscitate an industry that has outlived is usefulness. Such economic support can take the form of tax incentives and low cost financing. This would also provide an opportunity for retraining members of the labor force to provide them with New Age skills for productivity in today’s workplace.

Turkey enjoys the unique position of having the majority of its population under the age of 35, thus already somewhat sophisticated by constant exposure to technology. The high quality of Turkish education also gives Turks a significant advantage over other emerging economies in the region. Like the outsourced tech support centers of Hyderabad, India, the educated young workforce of Turkey is a home grown resource that should be cultivated by the mature economies of the world. Gary S. Lachman © 2009