We are facing an old dilemma in a new package – Inflation. Inflation at a level we have never seen. Costs of materials and the cost of distribution are skyrocketing, and it is leaving business owners in a pickle. An entrepreneur I know said to me, “The cost of the nuts I use in my product have gone up 40%. I don’t think I can raise my prices 40%. I don’t know what to do.” His dilemma is that his costs go up and the competition is high, and he needs to have a profit margin that will allow him to stay in business and pay his bills and himself. Even Lyft had to figure out how to keep their drivers on the road as gas prices have soared.
Inflation is now a sorting tool
Inflation is the next level sorting process. Those who figure it out and those who don’t. Those who have the resources to pay the new cost of goods and services and those who don’t. I don’t have the answer, but I think we must open our minds. 50 years ago, no one thought anyone would pay $200 for a pair of sneakers or $5.00 for a gallon of gas or $200,000 or more for a house that wasn’t a mansion.
One of my favorite things to read in the Shaker Magazine is the page where they show houses in the neighborhood that have sold. On this list there are three numbers: the new sales price, the price the seller paid for the house, and the original price of the house when it was built. I love seeing the original price of these large mansions that sell for $500,000 or more; that cost $15,000 when the house was built in 1905 or some such thing. Inflation.
So, my point? Inflation will sort things out. We will increase our prices. We will pay higher wages. The gap between the haves and have nots will continue to rise. We will raise our prices and clients will still come.
My hope for the future
My prayer is that we begin to create new systems that allow each human being to be cared for and keep their dignity and respect. Because in fact, there are more than enough resources for everyone to have the things they need and want.
Our challenge is to shift the mindset on both sides so that the systems of wealth creation (i.e., education, relationships and access) are redistributed to more people who in turn have the opportunity to thrive. Very few people in power are willing to make that change because they think they will have less so that someone else can have a little more. I am not judging. I want more too. But I know the pie is not finite. There is no limit to what we can create, just like we, humans, created the systems of money and economics. My hope is that when faced with the decisions of who will have access to the tools for wealth creation, we will each share those tools and invest in the future of humanity.