Lorax: The American Story

As I was watching the Lorax this weekend with my family, my mind shifted to business. I couldn’t get over how the story of The Lorax correlated with America’s story over the course of the last three decades.

The Once-ler was a boy with Thneeds a great invention he developed with Truffula Trees. This boy, much like those who form corporations and manufacturing plants, started off as a good-hearted person, just trying to make something out of his great idea. The people of Thneedville were average people trying to enjoy life without paying much attention to the world around them just as American Citizens in the early 90s through early 2000s. America was on top, we were successful and profitable.

As the people in Thneedville lived their life purchasing air and living in a plastic world, they were shocked to find the barren land that surrounded them when their walls were knocked down. America holds a similar story of a “bubble burst” when the wool was removed from our eyes and what we once thought was prosperous, suddenly became a barren shell of what we once were. Why? What had happened?

Like the Once-ler who was only going to cut down a few trees but because of greed tore down the beautiful forest, our corporations and manufacturers lost site of the reason for outsourcing and began to outsource EVERYTHING. The barren forest outside of Thneedville is the great comparison to the American job market as it became bleak and hopeless. What was left of American jobs? No manufacturing…no customer service…no technical solutions… Just as the people of Thneedville who purchased life, one bottle at a time, we were losing one job at a time. What happened to The Lorax who spoke for the trees or the unions who spoke for the workers? Their hands were tied. There was no other way, right?

Ahh, but there was The Lorax, who had buried Unless, to be found by a young boy with a dream of trees. The American Dream was buried in the heart of people like me who say, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

So, what’s the moral of the story? In The Lorax, the people of Thneedville begin planting seeds to rebuild their beautiful forest. Today, business owners and executives need to begin planting seeds of new job creation in order to rebuild America. How do you think we should plant more seeds and bring back more jobs?