And how do you pitch it to Congress?
A: The American Scorecard is that set of new economic measurements that I described before that I’m going to present every year at the State of the Union. And getting Congress on-board with it is going to be pretty straightforward. Because the government does not need to go to Congress to update economic statistics. Congress was never like, “Oh, let’s use GDP for stuff.”
If you have new measurements, you can just say, here are the new measurements. We should start putting these out.
The challenge is tying behaviors you’re excited about to tax breaks. That part is trickier and you have to work with Congress to achieve it. But it’s going to be easy to achieve because when I talk to CEOs, I say, “Look, we get it. Your hands are tied. You can talk a big game about doing wholesome stuff, but at the end of the quarter, you have to optimize for profitability. That’s why you get paid.”
That’s why the threat of automation is so enormous. If you’re a CEO and you have a thousand call center workers, and someone comes to your office with software, “Hey, I can replace those call center workers for you.” Right now, if you call and get a bot, you’re just like, “Get me a human as fast as possible,” because the bot is super annoying, right? But in about 2 years, the bot is going to be really good.
In about two years, the bot is going to be like, “Hey Andrew, how are you doing? What’s up, what can I do for you? Sure, I’d be happy to get that done for you.”
And I’ll be like, “Ooh, this was delightful.”
“If you’d like to give feedback on my program because I’m a bot…”
That’s really the way it’s going to go down. If you’re the CEO of this business and you have to manage for quarterly profitability, and I come to your office with this software, saying you can replace your thousand call-center workers, you literally have to use the software.
They can literally fire you if you do not.
If you go to your quarterly meeting and they’re like, “You could’ve cut a thousand jobs, and you didn’t? And now we have this extra payroll? You’re fired.”
That’s literally way our system is designed right now. So if you want CEOs to have any kind of flexibility to do something more human, and wholesome, and positive for stakeholders, you have to build it into the numbers. There’s no other way. You can imagine a world where the CEO has their profitability, but also they get incentives attached for helping find workers new roles.
Right now, the reason we’re losing so badly is that we have this economy that optimizes for this single variable. And the rest of it, we just pay lip-service to. The only thing we can do is just integrate the things that we actually value into the numbers. If we do that, then we can actually free up some of these CEOs to be truly accountable in a human way. Then we can say, “Look, you did good,” or, “you didn’t do good.” Because they just get measured by the numbers.
2019-04-23 Town Hall in Las Vegas @ 28:57