While trillions of American dollars hold back on hiring and expansion, complaining about environmental restrictions, product quality regulations, wages, and taxes, European, Asian and South American investors are happily buying up U.S. companies and real estate. A Japanese firm just bought the controlling interest in Sprint, , aGerman software developer SAP just paid $4.3 billion for U.S. Internet-commerce firm Ariba Inc, and Switzerland’s ABB Ltd. recently bought Thomas & Betts Corp., a U.S.-based maker of electrical connectors, for $3.9 billion. Michelin is expanding its facility in South Carolina and build a new factory there, while auto makers BMW and Volkswagen have already set up plants, and Brazilian meat company JBS spent $1.4 billion on U.S. companies in the first quarter of this year.
Yet according to the ranting of media personalities, the doom and gloom of pundits, bloggers, and forwarded e-mails it would be hard to imagine why anyone with any business savvy would come within the five mile limit of America’s shores! So, where’s the disconnect?
Americans are belting down the dopamine-laced Cool-Aid of the media and those happy, successful foreign investors aren’t. They’re looking at the numbers. We’re listening to headlines hyped on probable disaster. Simultaneously our Mammalian brains are being wired to function in anxiety/fear-mode to the exclusion of our sophisticated Human Brain (prefrontal cortex) where innovation, problem solving and collaboration functions could solve our current crisis.
The hopeful news, apparently yet to make its way to the Bloomberg crowd, is that our brains are neutral territory. We’re changing the volume and functions of our brains accidentally, or intentionally, with every experience, all day, every day. No amorphous bag of Jello between our ears; better to imagine our brains as being made up of muscle groups. The muscles pumped most often run our lives.
Repossessing our brains by limiting exposure to media, and instead increasing intelligent dialogue, introspection and independent analysis, could reactivate American business brains and reinvigorate the U.S. economy. Our inherent neuroplasticity guarantees that it all comes down to a matter of choice!