From the Editor's Desk - LI Capital
Published For The Corridor
LI Capital - Finance and Human Resources Issue
China is the great manufacturer for the planet, but pays dearly for the distinction. The Yangtze River is dead, and you cannot see the sky in Beijing or the outlying provinces until you reach Mongolia--presumably from the manufacture of plastic. China is not only the originator of plastics, but also the major market for our recycled plastics. Plastic waste has in essence become “capital” in China; previously manufactured merchandise or a non-financial asset used in the production of other, saleable merchandise that is eventually converted into cash--in this case, trash.
Recently, China has decided to literally “clean up” their act, their sky and hopefully even the Great Yangtze, by creating “Operation Green Fence”, launched in February of 2013. Originally conceived as a10-month long initiative to prevent the importation of solid waste- contaminated shipments, China has since made it an ongoing effort. Operation Green Fence sets a limit of 1.5 percent prohibitive, or “allowable” contaminant in each bale of recyclable media, in an effort to keep trash out of China while continuing to remanufacture plastic items and re-import them world-wide. The good news is that this effort removes a percentage of plastic debris from the environment and provides a steady supply of material from which to make more goods.
We’ve brought together some provocative concepts of Capital on Long Island for this issue. Some are traditional, like George Likourezos’ advice about including intellectual property in your portfolio, or Jeff Bass’s article about Strategic Business Planning; some a little edgy, like our Editor’s article about the Long Island Angel Network and then in the case of BITCOIN somewhat...over the moon.
A reasonably simplistic timeline in the evolution of currency might be food, shells and beads, then coins and paper, credit, stamps, coupons and now, Bitcoin. The difference between beads and Bitcoin is that beads have three dimensions. They have weight and occupy space and can be used as bodily decoration. They are “matter”. Bitcoins are virtual, and exist only online. One Huntington entrepreneur, Tyler Roye, CEO of eGifter is the first Long Island retailer to accept Bitcoin. Read Joe Penora’s articles on Bitcoin and the Island Connection, our cover story. Hint: Local retailers can’t wait to take Bitcoin so they can avoid using credit cards.
While the mystery of an esoteric “currency” with no connection to the material world beyond buying power is intriguing, today, the heart of capital is growing, that is, human capital. The education, creation, protection and support of a competent, knowledgeable workforce with the ability to perform labor and produce economic value is critical for a robust economy. This workforce is created with education and managed with Human Resources. We’ve brought you a number of articles about both. Meet the founders of the Alcott Group, Barry Shorten and Lou Basso, who from their Long Island offices provide HR globally.
Our Cornerstone Interview is Dean Patrick Socci of Hofstra’s ZARB School of Business. We’ve also included a piece about leadership and gamification to round out our value added educational efforts for this issue.