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ON GETTING RICH, FREE AND FRIENDLY

by: Richard John Stapleton
Tuesday December 17, 2013 - 15:23

The motto of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1799, and to a great extent the American Revolution from 1765-1783, was Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite, a good motto, still relevant today, still unachieved, probably more a reality in France than in the US.

One can build the case the reason many people vote for Republican politicians in the US is they are not rich and free enough. Many have to work for Republican corporations and the elite rich, and given the unemployment problems of the US they are glad to have their jobs, however meager or inadequate their salaries, wages and benefits, which they fear losing. So they are afraid not to believe Republican ideology and propaganda and not vote for Republican candidates, as if this will resurrect the middle class lifestyles of their parents and grandparents. This process affects about half the voting population of the US. The other half are freer more secure citizens working for federal and state agencies, teaching in colleges, universities and other school systems, high school, middle school, grade school, kindergarten, pre-school, whether public or private, or self-employed citizens running their own farms, small businesses, trades, and professions, and in some cases union members working for corporations and other large organizations with union contracts. Not all workers working without union contracts for large corporations are Republicans of course and not all citizens not working for large corporations are Democrats. Some believe what they believe about political ideologies and parties merely because they have always believed it.

I accidentally got rich, free and friendly, probably richer than I deserve, by being lucky enough to earn a doctor’s degree and being offered a position in a state university with a salary high enough to fund a defined benefits retirement plan that automatically increased due to salary raises and retirement deductions from my paycheck over 35 years, and by automatic deductions for Social Security, with some funds left over for me to invest for a rainy day. I am rich, that is, by my own standards, but not rich at all relative to the standards of corporate CEOs and the elite rich.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not jealous of the elite rich. I would not want to be bothered by all that money. I have all I want. My only concern is not losing what I have in some sort of economic collapse. I could care less how much wealth elite rich oligarchs, heirs and heiresses have. You can only consume so much. Beyond that it’s just a game. On the other hand, I resent the wealth of corporate CEOs and the elite rich because they got rich and are getting richer on the backs of the masses, made more feasible by modern management information and logistical systems, merely because of what they own and control, not because of what they personally produced or produce. The game has been rigged more and more in their favor, their odds of winning in economic competition being vastly higher than those of the dispossessed. I think that is unfair. I used to play football and basketball, fair games in the sense there were clear-cut rules for everyone and referees watched the whole game to make sure no one cheated. In business all the rules are rarely clear-cut and there are no referees or people in the stands to make sure no one cheats. Business teams can have as many players as they want and most teams do everything they can to change the rules in their favor by funding and lobbying politicians.

Except perhaps for the very worst off, however, you can build the case most people have some discretionary power over their incomes, however copious or meager they might be; and in most cases there are decisions that shall make one richer or poorer in the future, decisions such as whether to buy another six pack of beer or save the money to buy another share of common stock in the stock market, whether to stay in college or drop out and go to work, whether to get married now or put it off, whether to produce children or put it off, or have none at all, whether to take this job and shove it or stick with it, whether to stick with a dysfunctional marriage or get out while the getting is good, whether to start some sort of small business, whether to go back to college. The list goes on and on.

One view is the system is so corrupt that no matter what you do or don’t do getting rich, free and friendly is impossible; another view is it is possible for most people to get rich, free and friendly, given various subjective definitions of rich, free and friendly, ranging from being enslaved with no money or options to being rich beyond your wildest dreams with billions of dollars in wealth, more than you or your heirs could spend in several lifetimes.

However unfair the global capitalistic system might be for most people, it is still possible for many lucky souls to get rich, free and friendly, as they define such things, as many are doing around Earth, doing what they must do as they live their lives, however poor they were to start with, however unfair it was they had to start from where they started relative to the children of billionaires.

Most people probably do not think they get rich, however free and friendly they might become; but it would be a very good thing if everyone could become rich, free, and friendly.

Probably more than half the Earthian population would like to change the global economic system to make it fairer for everyone, as I would. See my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated” on my Facebook page and on the Internet for how I would change the capitalistic system if I had the power.

Given I do not have this power, and nor do you, it behooves us to do the best we can in the short run within the constraints of the current system to increase our personal wealth, power and freedom, regardless of the insanity, failures and injustices of the system, considering it could take Earthians many years, perhaps a century or more, to synergistically change the system to make it fair.

The richer, freer, more powerful and friendlier we the people become the more we can do to hasten the process of untying the Gordian knot that has kept the mass of mankind mired in poverty, disease, fear and ignorance since time immemorial.

For ramifications on how to get richer, freer and friendlier, regardless of your current situation, see Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, a business bible for people who would like to to the right thing for all Earthians, at http://www.amazon.com/Business-Voya...

Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of business policy and ethics who writes on business and politics at www.effectivelearning.net.



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