I recently had dinner with my best friend, George, and I expressed a lot of political ideas and judgments to him. We have a stable, robust democracy in America. However, our prosperity is in jeopardy – with a huge national debt, over a trillion in student loans and entitlements that are actuarially unsustainable. These are very real concerns and those who care about our future will think seriously before this upcoming election. We cannot tax ourselves into prosperity.
It’s sobering how almost all people, worldwide, don’t have any understanding at all about currency defacements globally, in terms of some nations which a currency failure will severely affect so many others. For example, Japan, which is the third largest economy, is close to the potential of a currency failure. Their central bank is “buying” their national debt. Greece is in jeopardy as they have been for some time. But France is the one that might bring the Euro to a crisis.
Other nations, including Italy, Russia and Argentina, are weak and there are others, not to mention banks that will be affected by these overblown governments with deficits that hungrily devour more and more national debt. Debt and unsound entitlements are pressing down on America and elsewhere, diminishing growth and hurting everyone at all income levels. Low taxes and regulations without inefficient and bloated governments can very surely allow prosperity to blossom. It’s not a matter of envy, class warfare dividing the American people, or the population globally. Growth is the engine of prosperity.
What is prosperity and why can it be good? I believe global prosperity is where all have the basics of life, including food, shelter, education, and healthcare. We may not—and probably won’t—have everything we want, as that is limitless and basically unattainable. This ideal state—Heaven on Earth element—is filled with gratitude for our means, rather than envy for those who have more, or condescension toward those who have less.
There has never been a time in human history where all had the same means. The 20th century is full of the tragedies of genocide in the Soviet Union (20 million people) and China (a staggering 70 million people) where the Communist experiment with equal outcomes played out. The charade of Communism is still in Cuba and North Korea to the extreme detriment of their people.
Greed and envy—negative values—are closely related. Both are very detrimental to a satisfying life. While it is important to have the ambition and desire to care for oneself and family, the lust for more, more, more beyond one’s reasonable aspirations can become greed. Timing can matter; for instance, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett certainly avidly pursued great wealth, but eventually became philanthropic with their vast means.
It’s not just timing within one generation. Passing wealth from one generation to another can result in dramatic advances, such as those by Darwin and Newton. Personally, I have felt a great responsibility to use my inherited wealth to benefit others as well as my family and myself.
Financial literacy is critical for all. But when wealth is passed from generation to generation, it requires a preparation for the handling of such assets, not just for the generation receiving the wealth, but also for their frame of mind to use the wealth and, in the end, benefit others.
We are in The Innovation Age as clearly seen in technology. As humans, we must change, too, in all our entities, groups, governments, and religions. At the same time we must seek the wisdom-associated values and go about ridding ourselves of the negative values (See Copthorne MacDonald’s essay, “The Centrality of Wisdom,” in How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth.
The reality is that life itself is a process of change with many “bumps” in the road. I had so many severe bumps from 1963 onward. But, despite the pain along the way, there’s no question that I am much wiser than if my life had been success after success. That certainly doesn’t mean that I want to go down in defeat. Quite the opposite, I have important words to impart. I deeply want to be a recognized and serious pathfinder toward Heaven on Earth.
A world full of robust, stable, prosperous democracies will be a peaceful world, and I fully intend to do what I can to promote that result. A free, prosperous world will go about solving so many goals: ecological, harmony, health, spiritual harmony, racial harmony, and moral purpose and meaning. It’s not a matter of possibility. It’s definitely a matter of will—individually, and nation by nation.
Dedication of everyone from spiritual leaders to public servants to everyone else is essential to this awesome and wonderful undertaking of the ages, the dream of a heaven on earth, which I definitely believe was predestined by Almighty God from our creation.
Non-violence is part of the puzzle, even the abolishment of capital punishment. Restorative justice, particularly for non-violent criminals, is so much better than revenge. Non-violence is also crucial in the replacement of authoritative governments with democracies. Revenge shouldn’t be foremost. Freedom and democracy are too necessary that backward looking shouldn’t overshadow the opportunity of liberty and freedom.
When I write about prosperity, I am not glorifying materialism or consumerism. It is just that financial literacy should be taught at all levels of education and serve to stabilize economies worldwide. That, in turn, helps employment or self-employment or business formation or business growth, a very healthy situation, especially if we are altruistic.
We must transform the world from people hurting people to people helping people, whether one is speaking of nations, corporations, other human entities or individuals. There is an innate sense within us that seeks to help. Let’s see that part of us reign—one by one, million by million, billion by billion.
There is no question that each of us and all of us have an enormous role to play in that inevitable march toward Heaven on Earth, which will include peace and security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, gender harmony, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony and health as well as moral purpose and meaning.
The road ahead probably won’t be easy. But it will be enormously rewarding to everyone on our planet.
God is with us. Who can really believe that we can’t succeed? The world is getting smaller and smaller as globalization and technology march forward. Let us adopt the wisdom-associated values of Copthorne MacDonald and shun the negative values he identified.
First, we must strive to say and do the right thing. My belief is that God cares about this most. We should live “The Golden Rule.” Second, we must cultivate the values referred to above. Third, beliefs that support these values and behavior must be respected and adopted one by one as each person’s whole being sees fit.
After a long spiritual journey, I now describe myself as spiritual, but not religious. At the same time, I find so much truth, wisdom and values within the loving great religions of the world. There is no question in my mind that the spiritual leaders of the great loving religions are all-important in our march toward Heaven on Earth.
I’ve now read two books that say that government cannot solve people’s poverty. The poverty I am writing about is that of people existing on $2 or less per day; although comparative poverty above that desperate state is also immune to government “solutions.” There is a huge opportunity in learning how to provide useful products to this huge market 2.8 billion strong. But it can be done, and can even be profitable.
People existing on $2 per day or less require special attention to arrive at a product that is affordable, such as the treadmill pump, which can pay back three times its cost within a year to rural farmers in India and Africa.
Providing healthy water to rural areas of India, Africa and the poor American populations is a challenge being met partially by spring water. But many other opportunities to help this population abound. It will take extremely dedicated, hard-working and visionary business persons to conquer poverty in the world. But it can be done. I sincerely believe that and, I believe, that it is the only way it can be done.
We all have a part in this worldwide march toward Heaven on Earth. While government won’t provide the solutions, its members must be free of corruption, and be wise, honest, capable and efficient. Governments can stand in the way of conquering poverty; or they can –through wisdom, honesty and capability—help to engender private enterprise to conquer extreme poverty.
We can and we must look to private enterprise as the primary route to a prosperous world, one in which the $2 or less a day customers rise into a more and more prosperous state.
Ruthless affordability is part – a big part – of the business solution to poverty. But the market is so huge – 2.7 billion living on $2 or less. Apple made dramatic products going after the “high end” market. If companies go after that low end market with great innovation, persistence, determination and hard work; they can develop customers and fans at all levels.
I’ve spent a lot of time – about a month roughly – reading and marking up “The Business Solution to Poverty,” then reviewing the marked up version with more marks and highlighted and finally on the third time through doing my book review. After doing the book review I went back through it almost two times.
I really believe in the basic premise of the book – that business is the only way to conquer extreme poverty and, for that matter, most any kind of poverty.
We are in The Innovation Age and we must innovate – in business, government, religions, and every human entity. But, at the same time, we must not let the wisdom-associated values go and we must rid ourselves of the negative values.
I sincerely believe that $2 or less per day poverty can be defeated, and the way to do it is through capitalism, free enterprise or business – whatever you choose to call it. It won’t be easy.
So many very good and charitable people have given their lives to help the poor. But business can help them help themselves. It is very basic. The receiving human of charity or government aid just doesn’t respond in a way that allows him or her to elevate themselves.
Somehow, we must use our own time and money to move toward prosperity. What is missing are corporations that seek profits at all levels – from the customer to the corporation itself.
“Profit” is not a bad word. It is the only thing that can allow the poor to “profit” themselves and allow businesses to sustain growth to help other “customers.”
And “customers” is the right word. The poor should not be an object of pity, but rather as fellow human beings for business to present profitable opportunities. It can be done, but it won’t be easy.
Multinational corporations may risk their reputations in the ventures proposed in this book. But look at the reward, not only in profits from the poor, but profits to the poor. And, amazing public relations victories within the corporations and all their customers and potential customers. It might be the best advertising dollars ever spent for so many really insightful corporations.
We are one human race and we must help each other – not so much with self-defeating handouts but with thoughtful business with both goodwill and a real profit in mind for all.
The 2013 world GDP is approximately $75 trillion according to the book. But the global South is, in a way, the focus of a lot of well-meaning people. Let’s get it right this time – not to try to play “hero” to the poor – but to help them help themselves through profits.
I have real concerns about the United States and how government aid is multiplying, unwed mothers number about 40 percent, and a lack of basis competence in our government – especially the Presidency.
The future is all we have ahead of us. We must take care of that precious element of our existence. The future is only known by God. All the humans – me included – must peer as clearly as we can toward Heaven on Earth.
On a recent trip to India, I started thinking about wealth and those who are lacking it. I agree with Gandhi that wealth without work is a sin. The important thing throughout the world is to strive toward global prosperity, but at the same, time, move away from the negative value of envy. I believe this will encourage those with means to contribute to worthy charities which can aid in promoting prosperity worldwide. I believe all can rise above abject poverty. The goal then will be for everyone to appreciate their present economic state and not envy those who have more.
It’s rather simple. There will always be someone richer. In fact, if everyone was unilaterally rich, the value of money would decline to the point of being meaningless. Therefore, the goal has never been for all to be wealthy. However, we can all be free from abject poverty and be grateful for our state of being. People should not be desperate for their sustenance. But neither should they be long-term recipients of financial aid without a serious ambition to better themselves and their families (where possible).
Gandhi espoused self-induced methods to survive economically. The world was changed and for the better.
We must grow education at all levels not only in India, but in America and the world. I think it can be done. But it will require:
This applies not only to the corporations but also to the parents and children of our planet.