Posts Tagged ‘New Economy’

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2013

Happy Turkey Feast Day 2013!

I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
And if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

–From The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Grass Hummock, Indian Creek, Indian Valley, Plumas County, Northern Sierra, California, copyright 2013 by David Leland Hyde.

Grass Hummock, Indian Creek, Fall, Indian Valley, Plumas County, Northern Sierra, California, copyright 2013 by David Leland Hyde.

When you do not know the business of photography, it is challenging to jump right in full-time and make a living, regardless of experience in other businesses. This difficulty is eased in some ways, but ultimately more devastating in the long run, if you have some funds to start with. This tends to merely delay the necessary pain of actually having to produce, but when the funds finally do dry up, there is what seems like a long free fall before you finally learn enough to construct a net out of thin air, to save yourself from ruin.

They say you have to hit bottom before you can bounce. However, I have now proven that a person can skim along the bottom for quite some time before hitting the lowest point and bouncing. This year, for me, was the year of the bounce. Print sales are up. Business is up. Income is up. In fact, at one point early in the year I was mystified and lamenting my lack of earning power, when I began to ask around to find out what was really going on out there in the streets and with other photographers and landscape photographers. In most cases it is not very pretty, even though the images often are nothing but pretty.

I could sit here and moan about the economy like the majority of others do every day, even the very best, but it really isn’t “the economy, stupid.” It is really each of us making or breaking it daily. An interesting discovery I made not long ago was that the “economy” today is twice as big as it was in 1980. Why isn’t each of us earning twice as much? Well, because our individual incomes truly do not have all that much to do with the overall economy. In this essay, I’m going to play economic devil’s advocate.

The U. S. “Economy” alone is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars. If it goes down a few percentage points, the media spread hysteria and fright like wildfire, but if it goes up a small fraction, then we all rejoice. And what the heck is uncertainty? I thought the role of a leader is to banish uncertainty from people’s minds, but I guess we don’t have any leaders of consequence these days. The fluctuations in growth that are part of doing business affect each of us individually just about as much as we believe they do.

I am not blind to unemployment or the decline I see all around me, but to blame all of it on the idiot gamblers on Wall Street and the con artist mortgage bankers seems a bit overblown.  I know a huge number of people have been taken advantage of, lost their homes, lost their retirement funds and so on. I feel for these people and understand they are victims of the new corporate state. Toward changes, we all need to work and become activists, but what else is new? The big guys have been taking advantage of the little guys since history began. Each of us has to step to the plate and do it for ourselves despite the economy, despite unemployment, despite whatever the setbacks are of any nature.

I have discovered that if a collector wants to make an excuse not to acquire a print, he or she will find an excuse, lately it has conveniently been the economy. If you buy that excuse from someone who is more well off than you are, then you do not believe enough in art and you are not likely to sell much of it in the Soft Depression of the 21st Century. Go back and get a government job, oops, maybe that’s not such a good idea either. Nothing personal if you already work for the government. I feel for all those who were needlessly put out of work recently because of partisan politics. During the government shut down, members of Congress still collected their pay and retained all or most of their staff, while Nobel Prize winning scientists and other accomplished people were ejected. The only real security is the security each of us creates for ourselves. Henry David Thoreau called it self-reliance. This century we have to practice economic self-reliance. It is the only way we will have anything to be thankful for in the long run.

Back to landscape photography, certainly some superstars are still crushing it in the current “economy,” whatever that is, but it turns out that a lot of collectors and other print buyers are making a lot of excuses and most photographers have no decent response or plan to overcome these excuses. I certainly do not have all the answers, or even hardly any. However, I was heartened to find out when I checked around, that even though I consider my income paltry compared to the days of the late 1980s when I was making a six figure income, I am selling more prints than just about anyone else around, at least in the nature and landscape photography genre. That is something to be thankful for… and I am. Thank you Great Spirit, for the gifts you bestow. It has been a long road to get here. I still have a long way to go in many areas including time management, SEO, web development, social media, exhibiting at shows, museum relations, photography gallery development, printing my own prints and much more. My father once wrote that he had a long apprenticeship from the mountains themselves, mainly learning economics. More on the economy and selling photographic prints in future posts…

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

What are you thankful for?

Economic Immunity And Freedom 1: Trash Your Television

August 22nd, 2011

Grasses, Clouds Reflected, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, copyright 2009 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. This photograph and a select group of others will be available soon as limited edition archival fine art digital prints. A friend, who already acquired a 16X20 print of this photograph, said it helps remind her clients of tranquility.

Something fascinating happened to me over the last few months. I have not listened to the Radio or watched TV. This has created a strange, yet significantly measurable positive effect. I know, I know, it is best to stay informed, to be aware of what is going on. Or is it? Is the news a good representative cross-section of events in the world, or does it have a sensationalized negative slant? Could you miss something critical by Trashing Your Television? Probably not. I have discovered that the most significant events seem to get relayed to me by people I run across during the day anyway.

I tuned into NPR for the first time in many months around the beginning of August, just in time to hear about a week-long plummet of European stock markets. Just as I did in October 2008, I sat down in shock and fear. Then I gathered myself out of a knee-jerk response and opened my heart as big as I could and first said yes to the fear, then let it gradually leave and dissipate.

Ever since I have been keeping Radio Silence and Trashing Television. I find that I have a much more positive outlook than many others I talk to, and guess what? Remaining News Media Free isn’t just a Pollyanna perspective either. It produces a measurable difference in the world. Staying positive has produced positive results. I have sold six prints this week including one of Dad’s vintage black and white prints. I also developed a pending situation that will bring as many as 20 more print sales in the near future.

Remember that what began all of this was the bank policy of giving loans to under qualified people. Where does bank policy come from? There is no conspiracy, just follow the money. Look to who is making policy. The Great Depression in the 1920s was the largest transfer of wealth in history away from the middle and lower classes to the richest corporate shareholders. A whole new brand of transfer is on again now.

There is another reason the economy has to take a dive this century. And I do mean a whole century long “managed collapse.” Get used to it. The maximum number of clean energy sources available can provide only about 30 percent of the energy on which the current oil based economy runs. To make the transition to a clean energy society, we have to operate the world economy on 30 percent of the energy we do now. That means we have to trim 70 percent of the fat.

Through it all, Photography will survive.

Will you survive in photography?

Will your photography survive?

Some photographers will thrive and some will fail.

Will you thrive?

Is Climate Change A Hoax?

March 25th, 2010

Climate Change Hoax Cartoon by Joel Pett from USA Today and Royce Fullerton’s Blog.

Click Here for the original USA Today posting or see Royce Fullerton’s Blog.

Contrary To Some Claims, Environmental Stewardship Is Good For Business

March 13th, 2010

The Next 20 Years Will Be Nothing Like the Last 20 Years…

Paper Money and Compass by Paul Cowan. (Royalty Free Photo)

Green Fact: Wind power now employs more people than coal mining across the United States. Coal mining employment has plummeted, from 126,000 miners in 1948 to only 15,000 miners today. Much like the whaling industry, many wasteful, resource-exploiting enterprises must either transform or die.

Denial, Short-term Greed, Lack of Vision and Failure to Plan Can Obstruct Positive Change

Corporations have long threatened employees with losing their jobs if manufacturing and services have to conform to environmental standards. It is hard to get people to see through these fear-based manipulations, when companies create loyalty by giving employees benefits, but blame layoffs on the environment. In reality, environmental regulations protect the health of the very people who resent them. Over 70 percent of all cancers are induced by pollution and other factors in the environment. Besides, the same company leaders who ask for loyalty from employees to help fight pollution controls, do not hesitate to lay people off when company profits slow down, regardless of whether it has to do with the environment.

Environmentalists Planted the Seeds for Business Opportunities

David Brower’s successor as Sierra Club Executive Director, Michael McCloskey, back in 1981 wrote an article called, “Environmental Protection Is Good Business,” in the Sierra Club Bulletin. “Environmentalists have been accused of being radicals,” Michael McCloskey said. “Of course none of this is true. Environmentalists seek responsible behavior by business people, behavior that does not degrade the environment others must share, or impoverish the future. We are against the brand of progress that means that only a few gain and most lose.”

“Pollution-control programs,” Michael McCloskey continued, “Far from being a burden on the economy, have produced one of the fastest growing industries in America. There are now more than 600 companies manufacturing control equipment. Others make cooling towers, scrubbers, precipitators, catalytic converters, pyrolitic processors and mufflers. As many as a million workers may soon be employed in this work.” Michael McCloskey goes on to outline how environmental advocacy has helped to provide business opportunities in “processing recycled materials, manufacturing buses and trains for mass transit, building and selling solar collectors, rehabilitating older homes and installing insulation and energy-conserving equipment.” Remember, this was back in 1981. The opportunities are much more diverse and larger now.

Pollution Controls Save More Than They Cost

Though even in 1981, investments by business in pollution controls, often saved as much or more than they cost. “One division of Dow Chemical found that new investments in pollution control cut operating costs by the $2 million that the control equipment cost,” Michael McCloskey wrote. “Alcoa cut energy consumption in its plants by 30 percent when it introduced new technology to reduce flouride and tar emissions. The 3M Company changed its processes to reduce air and water pollution and saved $11 million in costs. The Great Lakes Paper Company found a water-pollution treatment system that reduced annual operating costs by $14 million a year.” Environmental retooling has produced savings and increased profitability for many years. Yet in the dirtiest industries, a few prominent players with the most influence, still perpetuate an outdated public perception that conservation is bad for business. On the flip side, consumers and shareholders are instigating change themselves in many cases. See these recent articles: “Home Depot Shoots For 20% Reduction,” “Home Depot Faces Shareholder Wrath Over Energy Efficiency,” and “Record Number of Shareholder Actions Target Climate Change.”

A New  Brand of Leadership?

While many feel betrayed by Barrack Obama’s promises of peace and promotion of war, as well as his misguided continuation of George W. Bush’s uncontrolled spending, Obama’s leadership in developing green jobs is the best of any president ever. It is refreshing to see our national leader demonstrating that going green does not cost jobs, but creates them, does not undermine the economy, but boosts it. This is the change we need to make in our generation and the sooner the better before we destroy not only the habitat of small endangered species, but enough of their habitat to add up to the destruction of our own.

A Taste of the Future…

Many people don’t realize that the recession is really a reordering and shakedown. We are in a transition from a brick and mortar reality to an internet reality, from dirty energy sources to clean ones, from black to green, from health profit to health care and from self-denial to self-awareness. There are certainly many people and factions of government who will hold on hard to the old ways and hope that we can revitalize them, but the new ways are much more resilient, flexible, dynamic, healing and expansive, a much better recipe for long-term success, even if the transition is bumpy.

“The Earth will survive but will humans survive on the Earth?” – Philip Hyde

What do you think, will humanity survive? Please share your views in comments.

Clean Energy Putting America To Work

January 19th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 2010
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384


Report: Clean Energy Investments Are Creating Jobs


New Report Shows Recovery Act Supported 63,000 Clean Energy Jobs Last Quarter

Washington, D.C.–The White House Council of Economic Advisers today released a new quarterly report highlighting the success of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act at creating jobs and fueling economic growth.  The report, which includes analysis from outside economists, shows that the Recovery Act has saved or created  1.5 to 2 million jobs through last quarter.  63,000 clean energy jobs were created by the $5 billion (out of approximately $90 billion total) in clean energy investments spent under the Recovery Act so far.  The report estimates that, in total, the Recovery Act’s clean energy investments will create 719,600 job-years (one person employed for one year) through 2012.

The Sierra Club offered the following comments in response. Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director “This report is proof positive that government investments in clean energy are already putting food on the table and paying the mortgage for tens of thousands of Americans across the country. Tens of billions more from the Recovery Act will be invested in the months to come, so these jobs are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of the administration’s unprecedented investments in clean energy. “While the numbers released today are very good news, even the dramatic investments made by the Obama administration pale in comparison to the private capital waiting to be unleashed. That capital–and the millions of clean energy jobs that will come with it–remains frozen because the Senate has yet to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. With millions of Americans out of work, it’s time for the Senate to get serious about passing a comprehensive climate bill that will help get America working again. “President Obama has made tremendous progress over the past year, but he and his administration can’t accomplish everything without more help from Congress. The race to build the clean energy economy is on.  Unless Congress acts soon, the U.S. will be left sitting on the sidelines as China, India, Brazil and other countries compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow.”

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