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Beliefs are the most powerful form of energy on the planet. Learn how they direct human society and collectively create the current condition of world.


What Humanity and the US Can Learn from Afghanistan


Beliefs are More Powerful than Military Force —  

 As the adage says, when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  And so the US military often sees kinetic force as the solution to complex problems, leading to miscalculations based on confirmation biases rather than objective assessments.  These perspectives are supported by the underlying influence of neo-conservative advocates and a powerful industrial military complex that US president Eisenhower warned Americans about over 60 years ago.  Sadly, this is not the first-time brave service men and women have been used or the US taxpayer misled, to fund the global military industry that thrives on threat and conflict.

What began after 9/11, twenty years ago as a legitimate military intervention targeting Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan, eventually turned into a long-term drain on the US economy steering resources away from needed domestic investments to the delight of Islamic terrorists and into the hands of military contractors.  While there is no doubt that military force is sometimes needed to neutralize immediate threats in our chaotic world, it is not the solution to long term efforts such as nation building or lasting peace.

It is infantile to think in the modern age that one society can impose its culture onto another by military might alone. Sociologists, psychologists, theologians, etc. could have easily predicted the immense effort and time it would take to bring a 12th century culture based on an extreme interpretation of an ancient book into the 21st century. It’s not easy, if not impossible, to take a 50-year-old tribal leader whose fundamental Islamic beliefs have been embedded since childhood and expect him to rewire his brain’s thought patterns to accept women’s rights that took more than 100 years for even American women to achieve in a more tolerant western culture, with more work still left to be done.

A change in beliefs in any culture begins with a few, brave, progressive visionaries and must be passed on to the open minds of children as they together slowly change society over time.  Adults can also be   persuaded to uplift their beliefs, but they must first be open to the possibility.  It cannot be forced because of each person’s irrevocable power of free will to personally choose what to think and therefore believe.

Hopefully, the effort by the US and its western allies was not totally wasted.  For beyond some of the useful investments made in schools, hospitals, public infrastructure, etc., if the bright seeds of liberty have been planted in enough of the Afghan population, it will start an irreversible trend towards honoring women’s rights and joining the modern, global community over the coming years.  The Afghan people would become part of the on-going global shift from the old patriarchal controlled societies to those with a healthy and equal balance between the male and female members of society.

Otherwise, Afghan could temporarily regress backwards into a ruthless theocracy, joining other radical fundamentalists found in all religions who use their distorted religious beliefs to justify violence, control women and restrict individual liberties.  But even then, like all prior societies based on force, it will inevitably crumble as the inspired human spirit seeks to be free.   For once again, the world will see that life enhancing beliefs based on love, freedom and equality are more powerful than any self-destructing beliefs that depend upon fear and physical force to exist.


Religion’s Role in the Orlando Massacre

The Orlando nightclub killer’s father, a follower of the Islam religion, shared his religious belief saying that it is up to God to punish homosexuals, similar to what many conservative Christians believe.  He said he was saddened by his son’s horrific actions and did not support them because he believed it is not the job of humans to do God’s work of punishing others.  But there is a link between the religious beliefs he passed on to his son and his son’s actions.  After all, isn’t doing God’s work easily justified as “holy” work, especially if you feel called to serve the God of your religion?

Many of those who wrote and interpret holy books found within religions like Islam and Christianity still teach some form of a judging, condemning and punishing God.  Parents like the father of the shooter pass on to their children beliefs such as a man loving another man or a woman loving another woman is evil and a path to eternal damnation.  I remember one Christian church close to where I once lived, displaying signs that “God hates divorces. God hates…, God hates…, etc.”  These religious teachers feel it is important to instill a fear of God’s violent retribution as a way of trying to prevent what they believe are sinful human behaviors. But fear has never been successful sustaining control of hateful and violent human behaviors, and I want to make the argument that it is actually helping to create them.

While most people living in modern societies have consciously evolved to recognize and provide special laws and protections to ensure the same inalienable rights for the LBGT community, many Americans along with large populations of middle-eastern and third world countries have not.  Why?  Because for hundreds and even thousands of years they still blindly follow ancient beliefs without questioning their moral foundation and social value.  In some sects, questioning religious dogma is considered blasphemy and is punishable by death.  They are so filled with fear and insecurity; they can’t tolerate other opinions, let alone consider them.  And so hundreds of millions of children are taught each year, decade after decade, the ancient beliefs of their parents’ religion.  Innocent and never exposed to any other environment, they have little chance of growing up without the thought that God judges, hates, condemns and violently punishes those who don’t share the same beliefs, and therefore don’t live like them.  Outcomes of these thoughts lead to mental distress, intolerance and anger towards others. Thoughts eventually lead to spoken words and ultimately actions.

For example in the United States, millions of Christians condemn homosexuality and consider it a direct threat to personal values, their way of life and civil society.  This has led to the shunning and bullying of gay children in some schools and sometimes acts of violence.  We have witnessed their protests and legislative efforts to stop gay rights.  If not successful at the federal level, they take political action at the state and local levels.  They say that a private business’s right to refuse gay customers is not discrimination (like white restaurant owners once did refusing to serve people of different color), but an individual freedom of choice.  Yet an individual’s right to freely choose who to love, marry or enjoy sex with is not a freedom they want to allow, despite pledging allegiance as an American for the “liberty and justice for all.”  They feel empowered to make exceptions and twist discrimination into a “constitutional right” simply because they have been mentally programmed by the prior generation to think and act a certain way.

Looking for evidence to justify their beliefs, they find and memorize obscure verses in sections of the Bible written by different authors or in the Koran that support their unique interpretation of “God’s Laws”, and blatantly ignore those that don’t like loving your neighbor.  Close minded and fundamental, they believe that their religious interpretation of old “Holy” scriptures is correct, and anyone who disagrees with them religiously or politically is wrong.  Some convince themselves that they must be right and God must be on their side or God would have never allowed the shooting in Orlando to happen, inferring a God that condones violence.   Even if they can’t see it, they become energetically or emotionally aligned with the crime, filled and vibrating with hateful, mean-spirited thoughts such as ‘divine’ justice has been served or “Those homosexuals got what they deserved,” both having nothing to do with divinity.

When you have been taught to belief one thing your entire life, it becomes a truth, an accepted fact.  It does not require a leap of faith for a few individuals to justify a move from belief to action.   Racists, terrorists, bigots do not act out of faith.  True faith develops inside an individual.  It is an immutable trust or heart-centered knowing acquired after deep reflection, not from blindly following religious dogma insisted upon by others.  They act not out of faith, or divine guidance, but unconsciously react, from institutionalized beliefs passed down from generation to generation that have programmed their minds to think and see the world a particular way.

Beliefs are simply mental constructions, but they are extremely powerful when they become deeply embedded patterns of thinking.  Though beliefs are seeded and held within each individual, they have a far greater impact when they are collectively shared within large groups. Through science we know that thoughts create electrical current in our brains and bodies which generate much larger electrical impulses in our hearts.  We can feel this as emotional energy.  The electrical impulses from hundreds of millions of people believing the same thing creates an electro-magnetic field of vibrating, emotional energy that supports similar thoughts. Sensitive people can feel these energies.  Collectively they physically manifest as cultural values and behaviors from what many call social consciousness.

If they are loving thoughts, they create an ‘open heart’, experienced as compassion, understanding and tolerance for others.  If they are hateful thoughts, they energetically support ‘closed hearts’ which are less compassionate, understanding and tolerant.  Eventually they can develop into hateful actions such as bigotry, discrimination and violence, whether people are consciously aware of it or not. Violence can be verbal, psychological, and as we just witnessed, physical in the most grotesque way.  It only takes one crazy person with hateful thoughts to put them into action and kill.  All action, loving or hateful, originates from thought. The massacre in Orlando began years ago with one, simple, hateful thought which was shared and supported at some level, either consciously or subconsciously, by millions of people.

While law enforcement scrambles to prevent future massacres, it is not the lasting solution.  The answer is not more metal detectors at all public gathering places.  It is not putting weapons in the hands of every person.  It is not carrying side arms with us wherever we go to feel safe.   The weapons are just manifested symbols of our fear.   Stress and fear kills.  These emotional energies do not support life, they shorten it.  They restrict our freedoms and will lead to more violence.  Living in fear takes away our happiness and joy of life.

The only permanent solution is to uplift our beliefs.  If we want to live in a peaceful, sustainable world, we need to teach our children new beliefs about love that lead to tolerance, support life and sustain peace.  At the same time, we need to transcend above those of hate and violence that create obstacles to love.  What the world desperately needs is more love and it begins with us and our children.  It is time for the world’s religions to step up and focus on teaching us how to love one another, and about a loving God whose characteristics and behaviors we can aspire to emulate, not one to be feared who judges, condemns, punishes and condones unspeakable acts of violence as punishment. If we want to stop violence, terrorism and war, it is as simple as changing our thoughts. If we desire meaningful and lasting changes to people’s behaviors, change their beliefs.  This would not harm anyone or financially cost anything.  It is time we stop ignoring the obvious and start addressing the core causes of violence, death and destruction…outdated beliefs about Life and God that no longer serve the highest good of humanity.


The Three Most Important Changes to Uplift Humanity

The Three Most Important Changes to Uplift Humanity (Part 1 of 3) by Michael Krajovic

(This article recommends the three most important things humanity can do to move beyond its current struggles.  The first and most important is uplifting human consciousness in order to set clear intentions for guiding human society towards a brighter future. The second is developing a new economic and monetary system, and then finally, changing the education of children.  These articles will introduce these concepts which will be further developed in future articles because of their critical importance to the social and spiritual evolution of humankind.)

             If humans had a one time opportunity to change three things in the world to uplift humanity, what would they change?  Would it be access to money, food, solving global warming, creating world peace, curing cancer?  While this hints at the old jokes about a genie in the bottle granting someone the fantasy of three wishes, it is actually a very important question. Why? Because it deals with the most creative force on the planet- the collective intention of humanity.  What we wish for and set our attention on to do can come true.

            Humanity can change the world by changing its intention about what type of world it wants to create.  It is that simple.  This will create a powerful, massive chain of events beginning with a new sequence of thoughts, then words and finally actions.  As explained in the Community Creation Process video on the website, the current condition of the world is the result of our collective thoughts about ourselves, and what we have intentionally focused our  attention on to create, or in most cases unconsciously.

            And so the first step to changing our world is for the human species to fully understand that it is solely responsible for creating the current condition of the world.  The second step to changing the world is understanding that humanity has the powers of recreating it to fulfill its highest aspirations.  While simple, it is challenging because far too many people believe the state of the world is unavoidable because of basic human nature.   Many human thought systems have promoted the concept of the inherent evilness of mankind and have shied away from teaching about the self-creative powers found within each individual fearing the outcome.  They use fear as a way to force obedience to their doctrines in an effort to save people’s souls.   Some are actually predicting the end of the world as inevitable and sincerely believe the physical world will be destroyed at the time of Armageddon.  Salvation is for the soul and cannot be obtained in a human life, only earned for the afterlife.  Perhaps there is something they do not know, a knowing of which could change everything.  It is a knowing about the divine right of free choice and the human power of collective intention to actually stop the destruction and create a ‘heaven on earth.’ 

            Author Barbara Marx Hubbard wrote about this in Conscious Evolution.  Human evolution does not have to be an unconscious reaction to random events, but it can be a deliberate and conscious act of creation.  Evolution after all is just another word for the ongoing process of creation.  Humans are creative beings.  But for humanity to consciously evolve, it must be clear on what type of world it is trying to create.  This creates the opportunity for a common uniting theme for religious believers and non believers alike to work together to create a better world.  After all, it would appear purely logical that working to create a more loving, tolerant, peaceful and sustainable “heaven” on earth would be powerful way for those dedicated believers to be judged worthy at the time of their death to enter their spiritual heaven.   For secular humanists who may not believe in an afterlife, working to create a better world would improve their quality of life right now.  To accomplish this, it will require a combined desire to change the direction of the world.  No matter whether it involves an individual or an entire world, it is almost impossible to get from point A to point B if the people involved are not clear on where they want to go together.  This brings us back to the importance of intention.

            Unfortunately public intentions are rarely discussed or developed.  The issues and problems during each time period in history are often publicly debated such as the current issues dealing with the economy and climate change, but these are the results of circumstances.  They do not represent true, timeless intentions that transcend current issues and serve as principles to guide the operation of society.  These societal intentions are very uncommon, but are widely treasured in the moments of history that they emerge. They act as a compass pointing a new direction on how the world is to organize itself to operate its social systems and deal with changing events.  They add a sense of purpose for what society is trying to accomplish and what it believes.  Human operating systems like government, education and economics can then be designed, operated and evaluated on their basic functionality to achieve their intended public purpose.

            Few examples of intentionally and publicly developed social documents exist since civilization began such as the Magna Carta which dealt with basic human rights, or the American Declaration of Independence and its Constitution.  The United Nation’s world charter is also worthy of mention, as is the more recent Earth Charter which is trying to guide the world onto a sustainable and peaceful path.  The American documents outlined a higher purpose for society to follow such as the purpose of government is to support the general welfare of the people by empowering individual freedom for the pursuit of individual happiness. This included a sense of responsibility to others in a pledge of alliance to the government of the self-governed people or as stated – to the democratically elected republic, as well as a pledge for the liberty and justice of all people.

            For its time in the 1770’s and 1780’s, these were revolutionary ideas.  They said that that the purpose of government was not to rule over the people, but for government to be of service to the people in their own freely chosen path to achieve personal happiness.  The people became the government.  Over 200 years and ten generations later, America and the world have yet to fully achieve this intention, just as the United Nations has been largely ineffective in fulfilling its charter working with all of the countries in the world.

            In fact in many ways the world has regressed.  People are more conflicted than ever.  Government has taken on a life of its own and people in democracies talk about it as if it was a separate, autonomous institution. National leaders may be able to describe a beautiful image of each nation’s ideal quality of life, but they do not know what path to take to get there.  They cannot unite their own people under a common direction, let alone all nations moving forward together.  The world has regressed because the concepts of higher guiding principles have been all but forgotten in common dialog of daily life.  From observations of current human social behavior, they have been replaced by the dominating intention of the maximum pursuit of profit for material possession in the modern era.  Whether people are conscious or unconscious of it, profit and money influences nearly every individual and governmental decision regardless of the level or location in the world.  And where has this led humanity?  Even in America where over the last 50 years the country experienced the greatest period of material wealth accumulation in the history of the world, the purposeful pursuit of profit has not led to the fulfillment of the original American intentions.  Most of its population suffers from failing health, depression, increasing fear, economic insecurity, anger and social division.  The people are not very happy.  America is the perfect example to demonstrate that money may buy temporary physical pleasures, but not lasting happiness because acquiring money and material wealth is not the purpose of the human experience.  No matter how much is acquired, neither the human ego nor the soul will ever be satisfied.

          Despite these observable facts, securing money and wealth is still the primary intention and guiding principle of human society when economics should actually only be a process that is used to achieve a higher human purpose.  If the competitive pursuit of wealth, money or profit continues to be the guiding and motivating principle for human existence, then the human species will have chosen to stay on the current path where individuals must compete economically against individuals, communities against communities and nations against nations when there is never enough for everyone to win.  Even when there are temporary circumstances that there is enough money, prices are bid back up, out of reach of most whether it is a college education, a home, medical services or perhaps even basic necessities like nutritious food.  This system of continuous competition creates more disunity within and between nations when the world is desperate for unified action.  This will be examined in greater detail later in Part Two of this article.

             This historic period of excessive materialism has increased human suffering throughout the world, including the west, and now it is growing in the east.  While some will argue that globalization has lifted tens of millions out of destitute poverty, this was all done for the pursuit of profits, not with the intention to reduce human suffering, and therefore will not last.  It may have been an effect, but it was not the intention.  They will simply follow the American path of boom and bust as described above with all of its social problems.  And human suffering is not just limited to the physical, but to the mental, emotional and spiritual side of being human.  Looking again at the America model, hundreds of books have been written about its founding fathers praising their intellect, inspiration, courage and wisdom.  With all of that brain power working to decide the best purpose of human society, they came up with the common intention for America of – pursuing happiness.  That was their best effort.  Deceptively simple, but something the country has yet to optimize and maintain.  None of them spoke of the purpose of America being about the maximum pursuit of profit, maximum consumption, maximum ownership or maximum pursuit of self interests.  They did, however, speak about ensuring the common welfare, justice, liberty, individual rights, freedom and acting responsibly to ensure the same or greater opportunities for future generations.

            One social system trying to address these deeper human issues is religion. While the world’s religions have generally been a force for good and have accomplished much, observably, despite their best efforts, they have failed to produce enough enlightened individuals for new leaders to emerge to guide society to create a higher quality of life or ‘heaven’ on earth where all people can live freely and be happy.  This will also be examined in future articles.   Sadly, in some cases, religious intolerances have even been the source of violence and war.  Whether it is religion, world charters, constitutions or declarations, humanity needs more than ever to refocus its intention on what type of world it wants to create and establish specific principles and values to guide itself on a new path to improve the human life experience. 

The Earth Charter is good example of a world movement to accomplish this.  Here are some excerpts:


We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.

The Challenges Ahead

The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living. We must realize that when basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more. We have the knowledge and technology to provide for all and to reduce our impacts on the environment. The emergence of a global civil society is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world. Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.

Universal Responsibility

To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature.

We urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community. Therefore, together in hope we affirm the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, and transnational institutions is to be guided and assessed.


(Note the italicized words and phrases like choice, recognize, decide, future, creating, guiding, being, living, vision, aspirations, values, life and community.  I encourage you to read the entire document at


            With all of the chaos in the world today, there is only one thing that will accomplish refocusing the world’s intention to create and follow higher values and guiding principles as called for in the Earth Charter – an uplifting of human consciousness.  This is the single most important thing that humanity can do to reverse its current unsustainable course. 

            Many books have been written about human consciousness which is basically about state of mind or becoming aware of your own thoughts.  Some call this finding the internal observer within yourself.  Rather than simply thinking and reacting, going through life in an unconscious manner, unaware of your own thoughts, emotions and feelings, a person begins to realize that they have control over their thoughts.  Consciousness is also about understanding and experiencing the universal awareness of the interconnectedness of all things.  With advances in sensory technology, quantum scientists are able to show that people react to events before their brain receives the actual physical images through the body’s senses.  In other words, there is something non-physical that interconnects all things.  Awareness increases intuition and a knowing of that interconnection.  In the popular Star War movies, the Jedi Knights were taught to be “mindful of their thoughts.”  Knowing what you are thinking or how you are behaving is becoming aware, conscious that you can control your thoughts and actions.  And thoughts are the first step of creation. Human consciousness can only change one individual at a time because it can only be experienced in the human mind.  It is about aligning with one’s higher self, unique essence or what many call one’s own soul.  As explained in the Human Creation Process video ( on the website, each person has an inalienable and supernatural power of free will to make their own choices, not so much about doing, but always about being.  Other people and circumstances can prevent someone from doing something they want to do, but they can’t control or determine how that person will experience each circumstance.  The experiencing is about choosing a state of being-ness which is the divine and sovereign right of each individual.  The state of being-ness originates from the state of mind or consciousness within each person.   It is the state of human being-ness that can create a world which allows greater freedom to pursue individual happiness which in a natural progression will influence human actions.

            All of the past and all of the present true spiritual teachers in the world have worked or are working to raise human consciousness.  Regardless of the state of the world around them, they seem to live and teach a life of peace, love, serenity and joy.  They do no harm to others but live to serve others.  They seem to be in this world, but not caught up in the normal chaos of it.  They have mastered their state of being-ness through their state of mind.  True happiness, love, inner joy and peace are a choice, a soulful and divine choice, instantly and always available to everyone.  One does not do love, but is loving.  A person does not do happiness, but is happy and therefore chooses to do certain things.  An unhappy person may try to do certain things to make them happy, but even if they are successful to distract their mind with material things and physical activities, when they are quietly alone at the end of the day they will find that the unhappiness will return.  However, they may find through the interconnectedness of all things, that by serving others to make other people happy, they may find a growing and lasting feeling of happiness within themselves.  This is the Jesus injunction where he taught that what you do for another, you do for yourself.  Similarly, what harm you do to another, you do to yourself as a member of the same human family.  As one’s consciousness rises, the basic truth of these statements increase as does the understanding of the divine, energetic interconnectedness of all things.  We are human beings, not human doings.  Being-ness leads to doing-ness.  As stated in the Earth Charter, life is about being more, not having more.  The world has forgotten this.  It is stuck in the embedded culture of the Profit-Era of Do – Have – Be.  I will do this job, to have more money so I can be happy.  This is another way of saying that humans live in a materialistic, profit driven world.  Doing is the function machines perform, but even machines will not be able to achieve a state of being-ness no matter how hard or long scientists try.  Love cannot be physically proven or fabricated.  It can only be experienced through being-ness as felt in the human heart.  Humans are not machines though they have free will to act like them and operate the world as if physical and material things are all that exists.  In this mistaken thought, the human species has forgotten how to exists.  This has led the world to the precipice of choosing between existence and extinction.  This choice is very real, the outcome of which is becoming clearer with each passing year.

         The higher choice of sustaining life will be made by through a shift in human consciousness.  It is what will wake people up from the nightmare of existence that they do not realize that they have created.  More importantly now, they will realize that they have the powers of creation to change it.  It is the path to their freedom or ‘salvation’ from the suffering or ‘hell’ on earth that they have created.  Uplifting human consciousness is the first and most important thing that needs done to uplift humanity, to create ‘heaven on earth,’ to ‘physicalize’ divinity.  It is time for the people of the world that profess to be from nations formed and guided by divinity to start acting like it, and they need the help of true spiritual teachers to put them on the path of walking their talk.  This is both an opportunity and challenge for the world’s religions to transcend their dogmas and return to the originating messages of peace and unity of their founders through a living communion with others.  Then their followers can go forth from their churches, synagogues and mosques with the awareness and consciousness of their higher  states of human being-ness to recreate the world and put it on a sustainable path to fulfill its divine destiny of creation.  In its simplest and highest form, this is love.  What the world is lacking is love.  Love of the Creator, love of self, love of others, love of creation, love our home (nature) earth.  

        There have been others, but there has never been a better teacher who expounded upon the message of love than Jesus of Nazareth.  Sadly his teachings have been largely misinterpreted over the millenniums and lost its message of being-ness and love.  What world desperately waits for is for a new generation of spiritual teachers to deliver the true message of love as taught by Jesus and many other masters over the centuries.  Jesus taught by example as a way of living or being, before there was a bible or any Christian religion.  This message of being-ness has been largely lost in the largely ineffective message of obedience and submission that is so prevalent today in many modern religions.  Obedience is not freedom and contradicts with basic human nature of divine free will to achieve each individual’s highest aspirations, improve the human life experience and increase personal happiness.  The world is ready for these true teachers to step up and step out to teach others how to uplift their human consciousness to become empowered human beings capable of creating a life of love and the will to serve as a light to guide others into a new way of living.  This includes uplifting and bringing forth the core message of love contained in all of the world’s great religions.  This is a call for action, spiritual action on the planet.

            This will shift perceptions to awaken humanity to the dysfunction of its social operating systems and the need for new social guiding principles and values.  This will create a new generation of leaders to guide human society into a new era of peace and sustainability. From the individual shift will come group action.  Group action will lead to government action.  Government action will lead to world action.  All action will result from a rise in the collective human consciousness which will bring a sense of unity back into the human community.

In the Part 2, we will examine the next two most important changes for humanity to make as it uplifts its consciousness.


Uplifting The Human Monetary and Economic Systems

Uplifting the Human Monetary and Economic Systems

     Part 2 of a 3 Part Series – “The Three Most Important Changes to Uplift Humanity” by Michael Krajovic

                  Part one of this article emphasized the absolute importance of raising human consciousness and the power of collective human intention for human advancement.  This process of raising consciousness is underway and has been for thousands of years.  As the human race begins to awaken at an accelerating rate, now is the time to start moving to the next step in human evolution and update the world’s dysfunctional operating systems.  The first system that needs to be updated is the monetary system.  Since money is needed in our current world to do just about anything, monetary policy impacts just about everything.  It is the underlying reason for many of the world’s problems which seem to be unsolvable.

            Most people have heard of economics and types of economic systems and philosophies like capitalism or socialism.  But underneath the economic system is the little understood and often hidden world of the monetary system. Though hidden, it is the most important manmade social system which serves as the foundation for all economic activity and controls all economic processes.  More people have recently become aware of the term monetary policy due to the world’s growing economic crises.  Preferring to stay in its role as the controlling back seat driver of the world’s economic activity, it has been forced into the limelight to become more visible as the world’s economic systems begin to fail and people begin to search for answers.  It is most often the reason behind conflicts anywhere in the world, why there is not enough money for education, to prevent environmental degradation, to feed the poor, for health care, for solving just about any local or world problem.

            This subject is of such critical importance to the world, that it is worthy of an entire book for thorough examination.  However, as an introduction, this article will focus on why it is important and why it must change.  Just like waking up from an unconscious sleep, humanity must wake up and realize it is using an economic system controlled by underlying monetary concepts that are hundreds of years old that have outgrown their usefulness and which are no longer working.  These concepts were created by mankind at a time of much lower consciousness.  Now as we enter a more civilized period of higher human consciousness, it is time for mankind to modernize is monetary and economic systems.

            Unfortunately, most people and governments around the world are not even considering the possibility that these systems could change.  Combined with the fact that those that benefit from the current system don’t want it to change, most economists and financial experts are not even aware that there could be a shift in the basic fundamentals of the world’s monetary and economic policies.  As a result, they are devoting all of their effort at trying to make the current systems work, but quickly they are running out of options using either old or new tools due to the inherent underlying flaws in the system.  These tools which we hear economists talk about include interest rates, inflation, refinancing, loans, notes, bonds, debt, taxation, government spending, currency rates, trade laws, market regulations, investment, reserve notes and recently quantitative easing.  Banks, national central banks, the global International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, along with national governments are the organizations that use these tools and set polices in an effort to manage and operate these systems.  But when using this system with this set of tools, changes will mean social hardship for someone.  This is one of the main reasons countries and economists cannot agree on what to do since one segment of society’s gain ends up being another’s loss.  The other is complexity.  While they have made the global system very complex, they cannot correct its fundamental design problem.  As stated by the famous American economist John K. Galbraith, “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth, or evade truth, not to reveal it.”  It is like being stuck trying to fix an old telegraph machine with a multitude of different nuts and bolts, screw drivers and wrenches when what the world needs is something fresh and entirely different like a faster wireless smart phone.

            With globalization these antiquated systems have also become interconnected and interdependent, far more than realized until after the economic collapse in 2008. An economic problem in one part of the world now impacts the entire world.  Surprising, even central banks, such as the United States Federal Reserve Bank, turned out to be international, computer generating trillions of bank reserves or credit, (or if they are in paper form -Federal Reserve Notes or credit which is used as a form of money) to shore up the accounting statements for many banks and corporations from other countries around the world.  This was done to prevent more financial defaults and a much greater worldwide economic recession.  When the monetary system is just one big computerized accounting system, it is as simple as typing in numbers on a computer to create more credit or what society knows as money.  All of this is made possible by the backing of the working public or taxpayers who accept it as currency, the symbol of wealth, and who by design are unknowingly the guarantors of the financial institutions who control the monetary system.  The fear of a new world order of one world government in the 1990’s was misplaced as the new world order of one global financial market was quietly installed by global financial institutions who gained control of all economic activity worldwide. 

        While economists look at the primary trigger point for the 2008 collapse as the sub-prime housing mortgage crisis in America which was basically an excessive issuance of credit, they missed the larger point of the rising debt levels around the world which should have been a signal about a much bigger problem with the system.  Since the monetary system’s methods of debt, borrowing or lending are the financial building blocks for economic growth, they are assumed essential, therefore, never considered as something that can be changed.  Because growth is needed to sustain economies, and debt or borrowing is needed to sustain growth, debt levels must increase in size over time using the current monetary system.  The compounding amount of debt worldwide can be witnessed in nearly every economy and government as it reaches record levels worldwide.  This is usually shown as national government debt in relationship to national gross domestic output or GDP.   The crisis finally emerges because debt reaches a point to where there are no more credit worthy borrowers, whether they be single individuals or national governments, to continue fueling economic growth needed to pay back the debt already in circulation.  Using the world’s current monetary system, this is inevitable.  It is as if humanity is stuck using wood fires as its only source of heat.  As population grows, the demand for wood steadily increases to the point where the fires get bigger and they start running out of fire wood.  After all the dead trees are used up, they start cutting the live trees until there are no more left and the fire gets smaller until it finally consumes or burns itself out.   Using debt, or whatever appropriate form of credit, as fuel to grow the fires of economic growth always consumes more than it puts back making it an unsustainable system.  This trend could be witnessed with the deregulation of lending and the proliferation of credit cards, mortgages and commercial loans worldwide.  Making credit more available was needed to keep the economy growing for the last 10 to 20 years.  It may work for a few years and fuel a large economic expansion, but it cannot be sustained.

             In a repeat of the same cycle, financial institutions are now racing to developing countries which represent new, virgin opportunities for issuing more credit.  Their economies are growing for only one reason – they have natural resources to sell to other countries like China and America.  The boom they are having will eventually fade and turn to a bust as their resources are depleted.  But for now, whether it is in India, Mongolia or Brazil, there is a rush to market new consumables to the local people using sophisticated western advertising methods.  As the local people are convinced of the need to have new products, some of which would improve their quality of life and others to satisfy their egos, their banks are more than willing to extend credit to fulfill their need for instant gratification so that they can extract a fee for each purchase.  Just as in the west, higher levels of credit will be issued until debt levels increase to the point it becomes over saturated and the economy stalls due to a lack of consumption. 

            Eventually rising debt levels create cash flow shortages in the economy which creates intense pressures on humans to compete against each other resulting in massive financial stress and conflict worldwide.  The monetary system of generating more debt is the most important human social operating system that must be changed if the world is to uplift itself from its unsustainable and self destructive path.   If not addressed, it will eventually lead to an economic collapse as is beginning to occur, or something much worse.  Paradoxically, as this system forces division within humanity, like most social problems, it can only be solved through cooperation.  Given that the monetary system has been adopted worldwide, this cooperation must be on a global scale.  This creates a great challenge for humanity.  This then is why it is so important to uplift human consciousness if the human species is to begin updating its design of social operating systems.

            And this system can change because it is simply predicated on a choice.  In monetary terms, this is a choice made by society to accept bank notes( Federal Reserve Notes) as the representative symbol of value rendered.  But as is being explained here, what human society uses as currency really does not truly represent expended human energy used to contribute value to society.  Though it may be used as such by society in micro-transactions between individual parties such as someone giving a $20 bill to a neighbor in exchange for their labor of doing yard work, it is not the same at the national or global macro-economic level.  This makes it very difficult for the average person to understand how the larger monetary system of bank credit really works and how it will ultimately fail to create a peaceful and sustainable human society in balance with the planet’s natural ecological and resource capacities where it can work for everyone.

            This “modern” concept of monetary policy and central banking is actually hundreds of years old and began with the formation of the Bank of England in 1694.  It started out as private investors lending money to government which could levy a tax on people to pay it back. Subsequent refinements through additional authority, legislative acts, rules and regulations over the last three centuries years have led to the current financial system of credit and debt that the world uses today as money.   It nothing more than a complex, computerized accounting system of credit of who owes who in society.  Since it is all based on loans or credit, the monetary process forces the rest of the world which produces tangible and meaningful products for society, to pay banks interest and other fees to use it.  It is nearly impossible for an individual to exercise their free choice to start new enterprises without having to accept the demands for financial returns of the banks or investors who want a share of the individual’s earnings.  

            While economics is about the production, management and distribution of tangible products and services, monetary policy is about the banking industry controlling and extending credit to profit from the economic activity of others who provide tangible value in the real economy.   As explained earlier, economies require more debt or financing to fuel their growth, which in turn requires more economic growth to pay back the debt, creating a never ending spiral of compounding debt.   With this system of debt, only a growing economy can be a successful economy.  It is the only option available for this type of monetary system to work which is at odds with the fact that the world needs to stop consuming so much in order to survive.  Unfortunately for the bankers of today, the original bank designers of the monetary system never considered that the physical world was finite with only a limited capacity for growth.  A system dependent upon on infinite growth cannot survive in a finite world without destroying both itself and the world it is ultimately dependent upon to survive like a fire that eventually uses up all of the fuel needed to sustain itself.  Or just like any cancer, it will eventually kill itself by killing its host.

          During this life and death cycle, the monetary, banking and financial systems simply operate a process of wealth extraction through the interest charged on the debt and credit it puts into circulation as money.  While it will not be discussed in detail in this article, equity investments are often even more wealth extracting than debt, demanding higher rates of return.   The investor uses his/her own wealth, and the banker uses money he/she creates out of thin air which is explained below in greater detail.  Both are part of a process where those who control access to credit, or what we use as money, can extract wealth from economic activity in society by playing the role of investor or lender without ever having to contribute any reciprocal, tangible value back into society to earn it.  These processes represent the largest wealth redistribution program ever perpetrated upon on humans by humans. These statements appear harsh and condemning, but they are not intended to be.  They are factual observations of a system that most of the world is not aware of how it works and in nearly all economic discussions, it is simply ignored.

                    Human society has created a modern, complex form of this 300 year old monetary system through an elaborate accounting system of credit, where money is used to represent debt.  For example, the Federal Reserve Bank debt notes are what the American people use as their currency, which they back up by the guarantee through their own US Treasury as tax payers.  That is why it says “Federal Reserve Note” on the top line of all US paper currency along with the signature of the US Treasurer.  This is why people don’t understand why their country has to borrow money when supposedly their country has the sovereign right to print its own money.  What their national treasury prints are actually bank notes for the use and profit by the banking industry.  This is why financial institutions are more powerful than governments.  This may be difficult for some people to accept so here is a rare quote from a bank executive, Reginald McKenna, 1863-1943, the former president of the Midland Bank in England, “Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”  They control the supply and use of money through the monetary system, and therefore can control all economic activity.  This can be summed up in another quote this time from the government side by James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States – “Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.”  But what he saw in the 1870’s was nothing compared to what is occurring today.  The government may have input by appointing the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, but its purpose is to serve the banking system and their shareholders.  This is the priority of central reserve banks with the understanding if the economy does well, the banks do well by having a monopoly to profit from the control of the country’s money supply.  This seems like a compatible purpose. It should be no surprise then that central banks and governments work closely together.  They both want the economy to grow.   In the United States, the much larger US Treasury building is located directly next door to the White House in Washington DC with the World Bank, the IMF and the Federal Reserve Bank only a few blocks away. No other private sector industry has the same access to the country’s seat of power as the financial industry.

             This does mean that all people working in the financial industry are bad people.  Nearly all are just doing their job working in an essential industry needed to currently operate the world.  There is no other alternative at this time.  But the argument still stands that when observing from a maco-level perspective, by using the world’s current monetary and financial systems, the workers of the world who actually produce real goods and provide real services are forced to use a system of credit or investment recognized by society as “money” which allows the financial system to extract value from them and society for using it.  It is why those with money can make more money leading to the growing gap between the wealthy and poor at an exponential rate due to the mathematical effect of compounding interest and/or rates of return on investments.  This extraction of wealth without adding any real value continues to accelerate as world debt levels increase.  The interest charges occur on loans, credit cards and bank fees in various forms.  This includes all credit whether with individuals, companies, towns or countries.  The world’s economic system nears collapsing and the monetary system is imploding upon itself as too much of the world’s economic activity is now based on the growth of the financial systems which do not add any intrinsic or tangible value to society. 

           Now that debt levels are beginning to become oversaturated and the real physical growth is slowing down except in developing countries that have under developed natural resources to sell, the financial system has had to turn to other methods to increase profits.  Complex instruments such as derivatives are used to hedge bets or risks as financial insurances.  It is used by corporations, investment funds and governments who want to protect their investments from wild price swings caused by speculation.  But this too is a form of speculating through various forms of hedges.  Meanwhile each trade or purchase represents a fee to the financial industry which manages the system.  The total amount of trades in the derivative markets are approaching one quadrillion dollars (one thousand of one trillion), many times more than all of the money in the world!  This purchasing of insurance on top of insurance on top of insurance has created perhaps the largest method of creating “phantom” wealth that provides no real or tangible value on a massive worldwide scale.  All of this is dependent upon the stock market system where hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars of this “phantom” wealth can appear or disappear within a few hours.  All of this financial performance and wealth ultimately boils down to depending upon the earnings from real people providing real value to society.  Continuous wealth creation without providing any real value to human society will only accelerate the decline of the current systems.

           One final, but significant point needs to be made to better understand how the “modern” monetary and banking system works. To the surprise of most people, lending as practiced by the world’s financial institutions does not involve lending out money.  This is a very difficult concept to accept for the first time because it appears not to make sense.  After all on a micro-economic level, two individuals will actually lend each other $20 of bank reserves, but people must understand that those bank reserves or notes that society uses as currency were already put into circulation. Banks don’t lend out their own money as new currency, nor do they lend money from what has been already deposited into the bank.  This may be difficult to accept, but it is actually very simple, in fact very simple as quoted by the famous American economist John Kenneth Galbraith – “The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.”  Only being able to lend out existing money would make it impossible to fund compounding economic growth.  If the banks can only lend out money that people deposit, where does more money come from as the population and economy grows? 

          Some say the government prints it.  But if the government can print money, then why does the government need to borrow money resulting in so much government debt?  And if the government just prints it as is commonly believed, this should lead to a devaluation of currency and hyperinflation.  Since this is not what has happened with the growth of the world’s national economies, where does new money come from?

             This was the same issue faced by Alexander Hamilton as the first treasurer of the United States under President George Washington in the 1700’s.  How was the new country going to fund its growth?  What system could be used to increase the money supply while generating public trust?  Hamilton chose to install the Bank of England’s system which Thomas Jefferson vehemently opposed.   Jefferson’s feelings on this matter could be expressed in this earlier quote, “The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” Hamilton’s system could work and did work for a few hundred years until America’s resources started to become depleted combined with the inescapable compounding of debt, where the long term wisdom of Jefferson emerges vindicated.

             Today there are far more people living on the planet than two hundred years ago and the average salary and net worth per person has increased many, many times.  So where does all of the additional money come from?   There is a fundamental misconception in the world about this question, self perpetuated by the banks themselves.  To clarify, banks do not lend out their depositor’s money to other people and businesses.  They are prohibited from doing this through regulations of the financial industry.  It would require legal authorization by the individual depositor through a publically disclosed prospectus according to securities rules to notify the depositor that they were lending his/her money out to someone else with certain risks just as if they were investing their money in a mutual fund.  Upon checking the balance sheet of a bank, which is mirror image of the other side of society’s monetary system of credit accounting, deposits are liabilities and loans are assets.  Deposits are what the banks owe the depositors and loans are what the borrowers owe the bank.  This is just a mirror opposite for individuals where their loans are liabilities and their deposits are assets.  It is what makes the bank’s accounting system of credit work.  Another way of saying this is that the banking sector is financially rewarded by increasing society’s liabilities.

             When banks speak of making investments, they are speaking about using their shareholders’ equity or profits from loan interest or fees, not deposits.  In fact there is actually no real money on deposit in the bank as there might have been hundreds of years ago when the early banks did not have computers to keep track of deposits.  There might be a very limited supply of Federal Reserve Notes and coins on hand in the bank vault for people that want to carry “cash” instead of their check book or now bank card.  Banks simple store the deposit number in their computerized bank system to keep track of who is entitled to what numbers in the computer. 

            In order to create new money to grow an economy, banks function as the local franchisee of the monetary system that is allowed to extend new credit or in other words, lends new money into circulation through a regulated process controlled by a nation’s central bank such as the United States Federal Reserve Bank.   At the point a borrower signs the bank’s loan documents, new “money” is actually created when the bank deposits “new money” equal to the loan amount into their account through a simple computer entry.  So actually what we call and use as ‘money’ is just a form of credit or debt put into society for circulation that began with some borrower’s promise to pay back what the banks did not have to lend in the first place, plus interest.  The banks only extended credit.  Money’s value is simply based on a manmade perception to accept it as having value to trade for real material things.  It is based on trust and is why most former bank and Treasury buildings like most government buildings were built using an institutional style Greek architecture which culturally symbolizes public trust. 

           Deposit is also a misleading word because the bank’s deposit of funds is actually just making an accounting entry into a computer.  This system of using debt as the only way to increase a country’s or the world’s money supply is the fundamental social problem facing the world today.  Mathematically, when debt is used as the form of currency, there is never enough cash in circulation to pay all of the loans back.  $1 borrowed and put in circulation does not equal $1 plus the interest on the loan that needs to be paid back.  $1 in principle does not equal $1 in principle plus + interest %.  This means that for every new dollar created and lent into circulation, more than one dollar has to come back out of the economy.  This creates one massive world problem that is at the root cause of preventing the solution of nearly every other social problem the world faces today.  Nearly all old religious texts warn of the dangers of usury.  In their wisdom or in their understanding of mathematics, they must have known that over time a system based on wealth extraction or compounding debt it could not sustain a civilized society.   While Thomas Jefferson was very suspicious of organized religion with all of its faults, he would have agreed. He said, “I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”   Jefferson would not approve of governments borrowing so much money.  Unfortunately they have no other choice with the current monetary system where cash, credit and debt are the same thing.  That is why a few of the people who understand monetary policy call our modern form of currency – credit money.  

         As the financial system takes a monetary cut out of all economic activity, the only solution to make up the shortfall in circulating cash to pay back all of the principle plus interest is to put more credit into circulation by increasing borrowing.  This creates the continuous growth of compounding levels of debt worldwide mentioned earlier.  For example in the United States like other countries in Europe, while everyone is worried about the national debt, the total debt in the country is nearly $40 trillion dollars higher.  It is important to look at the United States not only because it is the world’s largest economy which impacts the rest of the world, but because it represents what other countries are trying to become.  But around the world including inside the US, people are beginning to realize that the US economic model of success is no longer working.  Total US debt equals about $53 trillion which includes all personal, business, municipal, state and federal debt.  This requires approximately $2 to $3 trillion in interest to be paid back that was never put into circulation each year.  The shortfall has been made up in the past by liquidating other assets such as natural resources or as resources become scarcer, taking it from someone else by out competing them for it.  It is why the US has been so globally dominate acquiring and consuming the world’s resources.  Theoretically the monetary system of compounding debt can work in a world with infinite resources that can support infinite consumption by an infinitely growing world population.  But the human species through modernization and globalization, is beginning to realize that the planet it inhabits has limited resources capable of only supporting a finite level of consumption.  Humanity has reached the final crossroads where its monetary and economic systems which require continuous growth and consumption to function have caught up with the planet’s ecological and agricultural systems which have exceeded their regenerative capacities.  They are starting to fail, no longer able to function at the increased levels of consumption and liquidation need to pay off all debt in the world currently owed to bankers and investors.  While some technologists believe this problem will be solved with technology, it will only temporarily delay the inevitable which is a mathematical certainty. Unlimited growth and consumption is not sustainable.

          In summary, there are monumental problems caused by the world’s use of its current monetary and financial systems.  There is not enough money in circulation to create employment, educate children, feed the poor, pay for environmental controls, convert to renewable energy, clean up the environment , lift the world’s poor out of poverty, pay for health care, rebuild public infrastructure, etc. including paying back all of the debt.  In the United States alone, if the total combined debt of $53 trillion was distributed equally among all US workers to pay it back over twenty years at a 6% interest rate, the cost would be equal to approximately $30,000 per year per worker, more than they can afford.  With an average annual wage of around $50,000, and after subtracting taxes and other necessary living expenses, the country’s working class cannot pay it back.  And on top of this, out of each worker’s productivity must come what is owed to investors in each business, not just lenders represented in the $53 trillion figure.  Since it cannot all come out of wages, there have to be significant cuts in worker benefits.  Workers also get hurt losing their jobs as most mental energy is focused on researching technologies to improving efficiencies in order to reduce labor costs to help make up for the shortage of cash flow.   Imagine the difference it would make if the world’s research capabilities and technologies were focused on solving the world’s problems rather than trying to address the devastating effects from a self-imposed flawed monetary system!

            On a larger scale, the total debt in the United States far exceeds the annual US GDP of around $14 trillion per year and the difference is much greater when the financial industry’s portion of false “contribution” to GDP is subtracted out of the total national Gross Domestic Product.   While economists, analysts and politicians argue back and forth why the country’s economy is struggling, the fundamental system is ignored.  The monetary system and the banks that operate it, which can only offer more credit or debt as the economy’s only solution,  have become so embedded in our culture that it is overlooked, assumed it can be no other way.  Meanwhile it is why people cannot pay their credit cards, mortgages and taxes.  It is why property values are declining.  It is why there are not enough jobs.  It is why the world’s businesses keep fighting for tax breaks and cuts in regulation.  They are forced to compete against their business competitors for cash when there is not enough in circulation for both companies to survive.  This leads to more mergers and acquisitions and even larger and more powerful, multi-national corporations putting more pressure on governments for breaks and cuts.  It is why businesses layoff employees, move to other countries with cheaper labor or install new automation to cut labor costs to improve efficiency.  But most of these moves and cuts do not reduce the overall consumption rate which continue to diminish the finite resources on the planet.

           This is also why the government is having a difficult time collecting taxes in the economy and why there is not enough money in circulation to pay for social programs.  This is why some public officials are screaming to cut the size of government when more people have to rely upon government for support due to lack of opportunity.  When there is only so much money to go around, it forces competition.  This is not just an economic game where everyone plays to see how much they can make, but a game with real losers who end up with literally nothing.  Left to starve, they will go to war as the only alternative.  This is the path the world is on now. One of Haves and Have Not’s.   In the US, 20% of the population now controls 84% of the wealth.  This restricts cash flow to maintain a healthy level of economic activity for full employment.  But even the Haves will lose in the end, because the world will have either consumed itself out of existence or destroyed itself in warfare between struggling nations fighting for some portion of the world’s remaining resources just to survive.  They have no other choice.

          Many say the problem with the economic or financial system is greed – the obsession with material possession.  This is only partially true because our monetary system creates an environment of fear and destructive economic competitions which breeds, and in many cases demands, greed like behaviors to be successful in society.  I do believe it was greed that designed this insidious complex system of credit accounting to hide the debt generator machine that it is.  As the U2 song New Years Day says, “Gold is the reason for the wars we wage.”  The war has been between ourselves, our businesses, our communities, and nations instigated by a flawed monetary system.  Then there is the war within us.   As will be explained in Uplifting Humanity, human systems created at a time of much lower human consciousness result in human behaviors which are far below the divine nature of humankind and its potential to create more meaningful, happy and peaceful lives. This is especially true with the monetary system.  In the words of warning from the former US President John F. Kennedy speaking on behalf of all humanity – “The great free nations of the world must take control of our monetary problems if these problems are not to take control of us.”

         All of this can change starting with an uplifting of human consciousness, and a refocusing on higher intentions and aspirations for the human race.  If we want a peaceful, sustainable world where people experience greater freedom and happiness, we only have to change our minds and create new social systems.  In future articles, I will begin to describe what a new monetary system could look like.  It will be one that will provide full employment opportunities without requiring fear and competition for motivation, will maintain the world’s natural ecosystems without needing to liquidate all of the planet’s resources and will not be dependent upon continuous consumption and physical growth to function.  

         Changing it will be scary at first, as is all change.  To help make it easier, people need to be self-aware whether the fear is coming from trying something new or from personal ego that resists change because it always wants to be right.  We humans are creatures of habit and change is often difficult when it is blocked by self-righteousness.  We cannot let selfish pride of having to be right stop us at this critical point in human evolution as it has so many times in the past.  This way of thinking, which is only a mental construction of establish thoughts, has been the core reason behind so many of the world’s religious and social conflicts resulting in continual division when we need cooperation.  This desire to have to be right is only rooted in a fear of being wrong.  But this shift is not about being wrong or right.  It is about humanity making a conscious choice to change direction to improve the quality of the human experience, which is after all the fundamental reason for society to exist.  We can overcome this inner fear because the apprehension of slowing changing the world’s monetary system through prudent incremental steps will be far less scary than the obvious self destructive and divisive path humanity is now on using the current antiquated and dysfunction system.

            Right now I invite you to read the third part of this three part article dealing with human education systems.


Uplifting Human Education

Part Three of a Three part series

The Three Most Important Changes to Uplift Humanity by Michael Krajovic

          In the first two parts of this series of articles, the critical importance of uplifting human consciousness was discussed followed by the need to update the world’s monetary and economic systems.  A change in consciousness is of utmost importance because it creates both the awareness and willingness within humanity that it is time to move the world in a new positive direction.  Secondly, the monetary system must change because it currently forces division and conflict within society preventing resources from being directed at more beneficial endeavors.  But in a self propagating cycle, one of the primary reasons why consciousness, the monetary system and other social operating systems need to be updated is because of a flawed education system.  Humans have done a poor job educating their children if they want to raise their consciousness and fulfill their highest intentions of creating better life experiences for themselves, their children and for future generations.  Educating children how to think, not just what to think, is very important to be able to identify and correct large scale problems needed for society to progress.

            When I mention that human society must do a better job educating their children, I am not referring to current issues and efforts to improve the education system, and there are many of them.  Initiatives to improve educational programming vary between states and countries.  Those that are recognized as the best focus on such things as continuous teacher training, smaller class sizes, strong early childhood programs, special student tutoring support, student engagement and motivation, new classroom technology integration and rigorous and relevant curriculum.  All of these worthwhile initiatives and many other wonderful efforts are made to provide the best education for children; however, they do not address the underlying flaws in the system.  They go unaddressed because the intended purpose of education is focused on the wrong goal.

         The world’s educational programs are basically trying to fulfill the function of preparing children to enter society, but if society does not have clear intentions on what type of society it is trying to create, then  society’s education systems will not be clear on what they are preparing children for.   If society is focused on the wrong goal, then so will its education system. And as a result, society will continue to struggle trying to find solutions to core problems threatening humanity.

         For far too long, human beings have been repeating the same mistakes, some for hundreds and even thousands of years.  There are countless examples throughout history and though the participants and circumstances may have changed over time, the core underlying causes are very similar.  Whether it is going to war over money, conflict due to differences in religious beliefs, over consuming resources to the point they can no longer sustain civilization, public corruption, inability to adapt, greed, lack of vision, jealousy, wasting resources for destructive endeavors, cheating others, failure to understand core issues, reacting emotionally rather than rationally, failure to communicate, unwilling to listen, failure to act, refusal to detect and address obvious challenges, unwillingness to admit mistakes, self righteousness, thirst for individual power, or whatever the problem is, humans have a very difficult time learning from their mistakes.  The reason why the same mistakes are repeated is because most people who are engaged in these behaviors are not aware that they are a problem which makes it even more difficult for those who come after to learn from them.  It is difficult to learn from mistakes if they are not acknowledged as mistakes, taught to future generations as learning opportunities, or if core causes of mistakes are ignored, denied or simply overlooked.  And this has to do with education.  Fundamentally, the problems with all other social systems can be traced at some level to originate from failures in the education system. 

         For example, parents or previous generations do not want to admit to their children that they made mistakes.  Those that record the social history of important human events rarely write, talk or teach about their mistakes, but usually end up justifying their actions.  As an American, I cannot recall a time reading about or learning from the mistakes America made throughout its history in school.  What I do remember was being required to memorize a lot of events, dates and information presented as facts. But at least I was able to receive an education which most people throughout history were not.

          At one time, only the wealthy were educated.  With the American experiment in democratic government, it became important to educate the people so they could make intelligent decisions about how to run their communities.  An informed electorate was important to elect competent people to public office in order for a democracy to work.  The focus was on the communication skills of reading, writing and arithmetic or what was referred to as the “3 R’s.”  Gradually history, culture, the arts and other subjects were added to provide a well rounded education.  Those families, who could afford it, sent their children to college to further their education in order to become a well rounded and respected member of society.  Liberal Arts education was a primary focus to provide a complete education for becoming a well rounded citizen or even perhaps an adult gentleman or lady of high society.  As available information increased and the sciences expanded, more degrees were added to focus on special areas. A rapid acceleration in technology breakthroughs especially within the last 150 years of human civilization, further expanded these special areas.  Electrical engineers hardly existed 100 years ago, then came aeronautical engineers, nuclear engineers, computer engineers, biomedical engineers, etc.  New innovations meant new breakthroughs and business opportunities for new products.  The economy grew.  Soon people were able to purchase household items that were unimaginable in their childhood.  Many people now living today in their 80’s and 90’s grew up as children without modern plumbing, a telephone, or refrigerator.  They remember seeing horse drawn deliveries of fresh milk and icemen selling ice to keep food cold in an ice box.  My father is one of them.  The changes he has seen in his lifetime are unprecedented in human history.

         The consumer demand for more modern conveniences and the opportunities for economic growth and wealth creation slowly shifted the focus of education.   For example, the American Dream changed from simply owning a home and being able to freely raise a family, to the maximum pursuit of profit in order to acquire more stuff.  The global desire for western style economic progress accelerated the educational shift to an economic focus worldwide.  This increased economic competition and in a spiraling effect, this increased the need for more of an economic focus of education.  The thought of receiving a well rounded liberal arts education to become a well rounded citizen faded.  As explained in Part Two from using the current economic and monetary systems, it was inevitable that the purpose of society had to become increasingly focused around the goal of improving economic competitiveness especially as globalization took hold. The purpose of the education system followed society; preparing children to compete in a global economy became its priority.  This can be read in articles or heard in just about any current discussion on improving the education system anywhere in the world.

         And so today, as explained through this very abbreviated history, the goal of nearly every child educational program is to improve economic competitiveness.  Children are under great pressure to get an education in order to become more productive workers.  In established countries, children are expected to cram in not just what their predecessors had to learn fifty years ago, but all of the additional information that was generated in the last fifty years.  And this is quite a lot. This includes recent history, new scientific theories, new technologies and understanding the massive amount of global information that students now have access to in the digital age.  They must do this and learn a skill or technology if they are to stay ahead of the workers in undeveloped countries who are willing to work for much less.  While most human societies try to teach children about the need to be able to get along with others many of whom are from different countries, with different languages, they graduate them into a world that requires cold, competitive decisions to be successful.  It is confusing to a child.  Society tells them to play nice, compete with sportsmanship and get along with everyone, but the underlying theme in society is that it is a dog eat dog world of a very competitive global economy where there is no second place honor role in the adult real world.  Losers who cannot compete are left behind and in some cases are left to literally starve to death as can be witnessed in poorer nations.  Everyday somewhere in the world, a national or regional leader can be heard saying that they must take action in order to compete in the global economy. 

         Basic human labor has become a global commodity as multi-national corporations shift jobs between countries seeking the cheapest labor costs.   This means that in order to move up the economic and social ladder, a technical skill or education is needed to be successful in the competitive global market economy.  Millions of young people can no longer just rely upon their physical labor with minimal reading and writing skills to compete economically, especially in developed countries where labor costs are too high as compared to developing countries with tens of millions of people living in severe poverty.  They are under intense competitive pressures to win and be successful.  Unfortunately many students are not able keep up with the demands either through lack of mental aptitude, lack of resources to allow more classroom time for learning or lack of desire.  For some students, their passion for contributing to society might lie in some other area that is unfortunately not in alignment with society’s current economic needs.   Millions of college graduates are unemployed throughout the world, and many that are employed, are employed working in the low paying service sector outside of their desired occupation.  Motivation is low with little hope of finding a good paying job that they are passionate about.  It is very common to hear corporations around the world speak about the lack of skilled labor or the lack of productivity of many young people.  Improving economic competitiveness through increased productivity of children by becoming more effective laborers through applied technologies is the world’s primary goal, and so it is education’s goal.  Educating children to enter society as adults is about preparing them to be productive citizens from an economic point of view, not a social point of view.  No wonder why the world is facing so many social problems.

        Most would argue today what is wrong with this?  It appears self evident that economic competitiveness must be the purpose of education given how the world is operated today, not even entertaining the thought that the world could be operated differently.  They are not able to recognize problems that have become embedded in human society despite obvious signs of distress.  This includes increasing economic distress and a life with continuous economic stress.  Fearful thoughts of not having enough, losing a job, finding a job, not being able to compete, not being able to pay bills, not working hard enough are constantly in minds of billions of people.  No one seems to asking what happens if one country is successful at another country’s expense?  What happens to the millions of people who lose in the economic competition?  Other problems facing humanity such as over consumption of the world’s resources, growing populations, increasing pollutants, more conflicts, global epidemic of financial corruption, food and water scarcity, diminishing fisheries, etc. go unaddressed.  It is mathematically self evident that the world is using operating systems that not only cannot solve current social problems, but are actually contributing to them.

         All human operating systems overlap, some more than others.  Not only do they overlap functionally, but in many ways geo-politically.  Through relatively recent technological improvements in the telecommunications industry such as the internet and cell phones and improvements in travel technologies that made modern globalization possible, the world has become much smaller.  Events whether economic or natural in one part of the world had little impact on the rest of the world.  Today a natural disaster in one country could affect the entire world like the tsunami in Japan that impacted the world’s automotive industry.   A debt default or just the threat of a default by one country impacts the financial markets in the rest of the world such as can be witnessed in European countries like Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland and Portugal.  As explained in Part Two the world’s economic and monetary system must change and therefore will eventually change in order for the world to survive, which it will.  The change is already underway as millions of people are beginning to realize that there are problems with the world’s economic system.   Recognizing that there is a problem is the first step to fixing it.  This economic shift will result in a shift in the purpose of education.  It will shift from an economic competitive purpose to a cooperative social purpose to first solve the world’s pressing problems, and then to improve the quality of life.

          Technological pursuits will shift from a focus on improving profitability to serving humanity.  And rather than competing against people around the world, people will be cooperating to overcome challenges and constructively advance human evolution.    Those that serve humanity by improving the human experience will profit the most.  Serving humanity will expand in understanding from short term profit driven goals and temporary conveniences to lasting long term solutions that are sustainable and do not harm others or the planet’s life support systems.  But will the shift in economic focus happen fast enough to lead to changes in the education system which seems to be so culturally embedded and resistant to change?

          The solution to this challenge can be found in Part One of this article, “The Three Most Important Things to Uplift Humanity.”  Part One of this series of articles, emphasized the importance of human intention to change the direction of the world.  In order for this to happen, there must be an uplifting of human consciousness.  Consciousness is another name for awareness.  Consciousness affects thoughts, and proper education should be about teaching children how to think.  Consciousness and education are related.  Thoughts lead to actions. Human conscious is evolving as more people become aware of the current unsustainable and futile direction of the world and begin shifting their attention to new intentions.  This will create a desire to change the current social systems that were designed decades or even hundreds of years ago, including education.  So as millions of people begin to awaken with new inspirations from a shift in consciousness, now is the time to begin looking at what that new education system will look like.

         The new education system will be designed to support the achievement of a new goal for humanity to improve human life experiences everywhere on the planet.  This includes ensuring that life will continue on the planet through new life sustaining principles, increasing individual freedoms and the attainment of personal happiness, not just the pursuit of it.

          To accomplish this new purpose, education will be centered on three core concepts – Awareness, Honesty and Responsibility.  These three core concepts were briefly discussed by Neale Walsch in Book Two of his “Conversation with God” series.  This shift in education is already occurring though it is just in the beginning stages.  We will begin examining these three core concepts with awareness. 


         As briefly mentioned above, the economic focus is beginning to shift.  To improve economic competitiveness, companies have been forced to become more efficient.  They can no longer afford to pay workers to just do repetitive tasks as directed by close supervision.  Employees need to be accountable and accept ownership for their work.  They are trained to be self empowered to require little direct supervision.  In order to accomplish this, companies are looking for employees that have critical thinking skills.  They desperately want schools to not just teach children what to think, but how to think.  With the exponential growth of information and technological advancements, students or soon to be workers, cannot keep up to date memorizing all of the available information.  But they need to know how to ask the right questions to acquire the right information when needed to solve real problems. 

         So the education system is changing from memorizing information to being able to access and analyze information.  The ability to analyze information can be evaluated from different levels.  Most businesses want workers who can make correct technical decisions.  The worker or student must think before acting.  If they press this button or turn that valve, something will happen.  Consideration of consequences technically is just the first level of thinking.  If the employee thinks economically how it might impact costs or profits, they may be recruited for a management position.  But business impacts are now beginning to be evaluated not just from a technical or financial perspective, but also an environmental and social perspective as consciousness begins to advance.  More and more companies are following a triple bottom line philosophy where they are not just focused on bottom line profits, but feel they also have an environmental and social responsibility to society.  Being concerned about the total impact on a community from their operations, requires a greater awareness. 

          Large multinational corporations with operations in many countries are having difficulty finding capable managers.  These new managers must be multi-cultural being able to relate to different management situations and operational techniques unique to each national culture.  The most advanced and successful companies have already realized that one management style will not work everywhere around the world.  With the globalization of economies, even smaller companies are able to engage in international markets, making the need for a new social awareness an important component of education.

         Consumers and investors are also becoming more conscious of where they spend and invest their money.  In many ways they are driving the change in the business sector, no longer willing to support companies that do not demonstrate socially or environmentally responsible behaviors.  Socially responsible investing or SRI is a rapidly growing field of investment.  These investors want their dollars to go to companies that are socially responsible in all parts of the world that they operate in.  As investment dollars shift, companies must adapt or lose opportunities.  Some contemporary entrepreneurs are forming companies with social and environmental purposes as part of their core mission, challenging the status quo.  New legal forms of business formation reflecting a triple bottom line approach – economic, social and environmental benefits – are being approved by government legislators.  Colleges and universities are beginning to teach courses on this growing area of sustainability including in business schools.

         As business and economic behaviors begin to shift so will education.  Children need to be taught much more about how to think critically, with less emphasis on memorizing facts and other information.  They need to learn how to reflect before and after taking action to both prevent and correct mistakes.  Mistakes end up not being repeated, but become some of the best learning experiences.  Everyone makes mistakes, but it is what people do in response to them that make the lasting difference.  To do this, children need to be able to discern the quality of their thinking through logic and the quality of information and assumptions they are using in making decisions.  They also need to move beyond parochial thinking and the cultural bias it generates to consider consequences on others beyond local impacts.  This would create a greater social awareness which will also begin to create an awareness at an individual level.  Being aware of the impacts on and the feelings of others will naturally lead to self-awareness.  Children will be taught to evaluate how they feel about their decisions.  If society is to move beyond the pursuit of human happiness and advance to the attainment of human happiness, people must be able to become more aware of the connection between their actions and their feelings.  Happiness is something that is felt as a result of an internal state of being-ness.  It is something humans experience and can create with greater frequency if children are taught to be aware of their feelings and thoughts about their actions.  As explained in the human creation process on the Uplifting Humanity website, thoughts, feelings and awareness are all interrelated.  Becoming aware of how thoughts affect feelings is a big step towards achieving a happier life through improving the process of making better decisions. 

         The cumulative effect of all of this is that society would be teaching children about consciousness.  Another way of saying this is that they would be increasing their awareness of the impacts of their actions to make better decisions and how to use information and technology wisely.  They will begin to think in broader terms of community and oneness and the interconnectedness of all things.  Some call this communion.  The world desperately needs leaders who have this larger perspective, who can see through the limitations of current social systems and the destructive behaviors and unsustainable outcomes they create.  These leaders will emerge from within society after being nurtured through an education system that will make the current one look primitive.  While many will argue to the contrary pointing out that the world has many universities that teach advanced technologies, teaching advanced technologies does not make education socially advanced, which should be the fundamental purpose of technology.  The world is embarrassingly weak in teaching its children how to use current technologies responsibly.  Humanity is good at educating technical research specialists, but very poor at educating them how to assess the comprehensive impacts of their work, especially the long term consequences.  This represents one of the most serious threats to human survival.

                All of this can be addressed by increasing awareness.  This includes thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions and reactions.  The lack of this in the world and the problems it creates can be witnessed every day.  Businesses pollute the air and water, creating health problems, and deny that they are.  People compromise their integrity to win financial contracts to defeat the competition and deny that they are.  Children watch violence and murder after murder on television and society denies that it has any impact on their behaviors.  Poorly designed social programs create ongoing dependency and society denies it is happening.  Corporations put chemicals in food and deny that they cause harm while disease rates rise.  Universities tailor research to conform to the bias of corporate funders and deny that they are.  Communities and governments cut funding for children programs and deny that they are causing harm.  Big money self interests influence political decisions and elections at the cost of common interests and society denies that it does. 

            All of these problems are fixable, but to fix them, society must first recognize and then acknowledge that they are problems.  This requires an increase in awareness and honest assessment of observable truths.   It also requires an awareness and willingness to acknowledge trends, not just quick current assessments of current conditions.  Too often problems are dismissed because they appear tolerable today, with little or no regard to what will occur over the long term if the current situation continues.   Awareness is not only important for solving existing problems, but for avoiding future ones.  As mentioned above, human society is dangerously close to developing biological, nuclear, military technologies that have the capabilities to destroy the entire planet, if it does not do it sooner by destroying the planet’s life support systems such as water, soil, air and other life sustaining eco-systems.

                Raising awareness by teaching children how to be more cognizant of observable facts is essential for the survival of the human species.  They need to learn how to be discerning and logical in their analysis in order to use information wisely.  From there, children will be able to mature into responsible citizens capable of managing a world with greater peace, prosperity and freedom for all people.


        Another trait society is looking for in its citizens, is the ability to act responsibly.  Every parent knows the concern of having to trust their children with greater responsibility as they mature.  Whether it is staying at home alone for the first time, going off to school or going on a first date, parents hope that their children behave responsibly.  Businesses are looking for the same quality in their workers.  Employees are trusted with money, equipment and often the safety of other people.

         Civil society itself is based on most people behaving responsibly.  Communities would collapse overnight if the majority of people no longer acted responsibly.  If people started to drive their cars straight through intersections without stopping just imagine the number of accidents that would occur.  What if people stopped turning off electrical and mechanical devices and equipment when not using them?  What would happen if the older people stopped taking care of younger children or began to disregard laws like not polluting or paying taxes.  There would not be enough policemen and enforcement agencies to control the impact.  Society is absolutely dependent upon people acting responsibly. 

         But it seems almost shockingly obvious that education systems do not make responsibility a core component of educating children.  One of the reasons for this is that taking responsibility for decisions starts with having an awareness of the consequences before the decision is made.  This brings us back to the importance of awareness.  It is unreasonable to expect people to take responsibility for their actions if they are not even aware of their impacts.  This is a core reason for the failure to amend, modify, improve or redesign dysfunctional social systems.  Most people are not conscious that they are faulty.  They don’t see how their pollution negatively impacts the health of others.  They don’t see how over harvesting of fish can permanently destroy an entire fishery.  They don’t see how their actions to economically compete can destroy the livelihood of others.  They simply are unaware of their consequences, or if they are, they truly do not understand them.

         Ultimately society does not depend upon people who take responsibility for their actions, but upon people who act responsibly.  Society wants people who will make responsible decisions, not just accept responsibility for their decisions.  The best way to achieve this is to learn from mistakes by becoming keenly aware of consequences through enhanced powers of observation.

         As explained earlier, it is critical for children to be taught how to become aware of their surroundings and the effects of their actions as well as the actions of others.  This includes effects – not just personally, but economically, socially, globally and environmentally.  They will be able to think and act responsibly because they have been taught to critically analyze the total impacts of their decisions on others and the world before taking action.   

        Teaching children about responsibility is actually teaching them a value important to operating a civil society.  The lack of values and guiding principles is one of the core problems with the world today.  While values may vary between communities, countries and cultures, responsibility is one value that will be found to be commonly desired among all societies.  And there is one more value that is just as important.  It is honesty.


         In order for students to be taught how to objectively analyze situations to choose the best course of action, they must be honest about their assumptions, analyses and conclusions.  Children need to be taught to be able to share their true thoughts about situations if they are to increase their awareness of potential impacts.  Unfortunately within today’s education system, children as young as four and five years old are already being conditioned to be afraid of expressing their thoughts and feelings because of fear from peer pressure.  Their desire to be accepted and liked by others can override their desire to be honest and true to themselves as well as others.  I have heard from parents and teachers who have witnessed children in pre-school succumbing to conform to their peers on issues that are not related to proper behavior, but that relate to freedom of expression of their own uniqueness.  This carries over into adulthood where most people are afraid to honestly express their feelings to others, yet become upset when others act in ways that offend them.  Honesty is not just about speaking truthfully when asked a question, but being able to speak truthfully when discussing issues and expressing opinions about situations including how one feels about them.  People will not able to learn from mistakes if people are not willing to be honest about what happened.  How many of us are living quiet lives of desperation, afraid to share our true thoughts to our partners, our work associates or to the general public?  Honesty is a quality lacking in our political leadership, not just in its extreme form of corruption, but in being able to stand up for what one believes is right deep in their own heart.

       Honesty is also a fundamental value that would also be found to be common among all societies.  It is a desired value needed to operate a civil society.  While teaching values to children is a controversial subject to some members of society, very few can disagree with teaching children responsibility and honesty.  If some parents would object to these two fundamental values being taught, I would recommend to simply dismiss their irrational arguments.  Society cannot function properly without its citizenry acting responsibly and honestly.  Both are desperately needed to be accepted as common social values throughout the world.  Anyone opposed to these principles is actually opposing the most fundamental basics of civil society and should not be coddled.  

        Honesty is the core value of nearly every other value.  A person cannot be responsible if they are not honest.  A person cannot be trustworthy, dependable or develop self esteem if they are not honest.  A person cannot be loyal, respected and have integrity or honor if they are not honest.  Honesty is an essential building block for advanced civil society to function.   Other values such as courage, conviction, graciousness, empathy, etc. are all related to a person being either honest with themselves or others.

         With the massive problems facing societies all over the world, the line must be drawn somewhere to establish common values needed to move society in a better direction.  It is the lack of values which rests at the core of many challenges facing humanity.  To me it is an obvious sign of how primitive human society is when the average person on the street could not answer what the main social values are of their community.  The world can no longer afford to rely upon its once advanced, but now outdated, system of Rule of Law.  Governments keep passing laws trying to compensate for the lack of living values that are needed to tie society together with a common cultural thread.  More laws mean more government, more enforcement and more costs.   There are currently more laws on record than there are agencies to enforce them even though imprisoned populations continue to rise.   This reactionary response process of:  law – enforcement – judgment – punishment, to try to control human behavior, though complicated and complex, is primitive as compared to an advanced society that requires few laws because people naturally do what is naturally right as having been taught from their earliest years.


These three core principles of Honesty, Responsibility and Awareness are the foundational building blocks around which humanity can educate their children to create a more peaceful, happier and sustainable world.  Around these three core principles, educators could develop the curriculum for every subject.   Reading, writing and mathematics would be taught as part of the process of education, not as the objective.   Children will be taught how to speak clearly expressing their thoughts without fear.  These are the communication and computation tools that society uses to build a better world and improve the human experience.  They are not and never should have been the final objective of education.  Rather than just reading in first grade about Jack and Jill going up the hill, children might read about Jill helping Jack up the hill and when it is appropriate to help and when it is not.  Reading, writing and mathematics would no longer be taught as the core subjects, but as tools to teach and implement the core principles which will lead productive and rewarding lives along with greater personal freedom.    People would have greater freedom to consider their actions from an increased awareness of the consequences of their actions.  Crime and abuse in all forms will be drastically reduced because the population would be educated on what it means to be a responsible citizen.  This would increase personal freedom through the reduction of fear and stress that greatly limits free expression today.  People would consider it absurd to consider doing something that would do harm to others, their community or the planet that supports all physical life.

          Curriculums for advanced subjects would also be designed around these three core principles to align with each child’s passion.  Subjects will be taught engaging all of senses such as kinesthetically, experientially and even intuitively.  Students who are passionate about the arts would have their math and science centered around an arts curriculum such as the physics of sound or the importance of understanding accounting to run a theatre.   More students will be turned on to subjects like math and science through improved teaching methods such as true inquiry and design.  Science and math students will fine tune their reading and writing skills within their math and science curriculum.  But all of this will revolve around teaching the three core principles as the underlying theme through all grades, all levels and all subjects.  The world’s current industrial model of education where children are forced to conform will also one day be viewed as primitive.  Children will be free to pursue their personal interests while learning not only how to read, write, think and live by social values, but without the limitations of system that is constrained by a shortage of monetary resources as explained in Part 2 of this three part article. When children are aligned with their passion, they are at their most ready point to learn.

            Forcing children to learn according to conformity is highly inefficient.  Businesses know this very well.  Simply training employees to do a job that they do not want to do ultimately results in decreased productivity.  Matching employees with their interests is the best way to maximize effectiveness and reduce costly absenteeism and turnover.  Children are no different.

           Businesses also want employees who can solve problems, think on their feet, and be creative.  Creativity and innovation are especially important in today’s world.  Though most creativity is currently misdirected to address economic competitiveness due to the failed monetary system as also explained in Part 2, it is perhaps the most sought after trait in the workforce.  Just imagine the advancements that could be achieved by humanity if every child was encouraged from a young age to develop their creativity combined with the shift in resources that would focus on solving critical challenges facing the human species rather than directed at ways to out compete one another.   The world would drastically improve within a single generation with noticeable signs within a few short years.


         In summary, this three part article began with the title “The Three Most Important Changes to Uplift Humanity.”  There are other changes that must occur to uplift humanity as well, but in my opinion these are the three most important because they will lead to changes in all other areas.  The other changes will not be possible or extremely limited without changing these three first.  Society has organized its governments by function and though most are operated as silos as different departments, they are very much interrelated.  Actions in one area impacts another area or most often multiple areas at the same time.  Just as explained in the above article, monetary policy impacts just about every social function as does education.  Though not as easily seen or understood, transportation policy impacts housing which impacts education and agriculture.  At Uplifting humanity, the shifts within each of these social systems that need to occur to move humanity to a higher level of existence will be examined.  But as a very important adjunct to this statement, none of them are as important as raising human consciousness.  Increasing consciousness and awareness through improved education whether from new thought leaders, spirituality or returning to the core essence of the world’s great religions, is absolutely without equal among these initiatives. Humanity is stuck with antiquated thought systems that must be uplifted to higher understandings of universal love, divinity and of the process of human creation.  All must begin to work together to raise human consciousness so we can create our ‘heaven on earth’ and improve the quality of life for all of life on our very special planet earth as we travel together through space on a journey of a lifetime.


Dysfunctional Human Operating Systems and the Problems They Create By Not Providing What the World Really Desires

Dysfunctional Human Operating Systems and

 ……. the Problems They Create By Not Providing What The World Really Desires

                          By Michael Krajovic                  

                 Humanity needs a lift.  It needs to uplift itself from its self destructive path to evolve to new and higher levels of peaceful and sustainable existence.  Why? Because it would be in humankind’s best interest to do so for two very good reasons.  The first and most obvious reason is to avoid the growing potential for global catastrophes threatening its own survival.  The second reason is to improve how the world operates so diverse societies could significantly improve their abilities to fulfill fundamental human desires.  The inability and growing failure of human societies to empower people to provide for their basic desires is a primary reason why the world is facing so many challenges.  People are angry and frustrated.  They are tired of living in fear and stress about how to pay their bills, whether they will be able to find or keep a job, or worse if they will have shelter for the night, clean water to drink or food to feed their families.  At all levels of Maslow’s model of human needs from basic survival to self actualization, human societies have failed to create systems that enable all people to live fulfilling, happy and peaceful lives.

                 Despite all of the world’s recent advances in technology to make living easier, even in the wealthiest countries, this has not been accomplished for the vast majority of people.  At best, the world can point to certain classes of people in a relatively small number of countries, as examples of social success in meeting some of these needs.  This success is most often defined as having wealth, but as time has shown over and over again, wealth does not guarantee fulfillment, peace or happiness for anyone.  And so the statement still stands, the world’s operating systems – governmental, political, economic, educational, religious, and others – despite having centuries to demonstrate their effectiveness, have failed to provide an adequate way for all people to meet their basic human desires.  After all, if the goal of human society is not to fulfill human desires, then what is the intended goal? 

                Being part of a community where all are respected, admired for their own unique contributions, allowed to freely pursue their work and passions to achieve a sense of fulfillment, where all can prosper, and live peacefully, feeling safe, loved and be happy, is the goal for billions of people on the planet.   Is this so unreasonable to be so out of reach?  Desiring these things in life is natural. They are good things.  Desiring them is being human, and in fact lies at the core of what is considered the highest attributes of humanity.  It drives our evolution as a species.  When one looks deeply at human motivation that drives the collective intention of the world, everyone on the planet is striving for the same things. 

                And so humanity through its different governments and societies has organized itself to help people fulfill these natural desires.  For example in the United States, the justification for going to war against British rule and to form its government over two hundred years ago was based on the founding principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness where it organized its society through its new form of democratic government with the purpose to achieve security and happiness of its people.  Having witnessed and experienced the abuses of capitalism and aristocracy, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, founded communism as another attempt to organize/govern society, and there have been many other attempts throughout history, many going on right now such as China’s one communist authoritarian party, Venezuela’s social dictatorship and the European Union’s confederation of nation states.

                The cumulative result of all of these efforts is the current state of the world which is facing ongoing wars, terrorism, economic and financial stress, environmental distress and a growing scarcity of resources, just to name a few issues. It is clearly observable that it is difficult for most people of the world to attain a state of existence which reasonably satisfies all of their basic physical needs let alone fulfill all of their human desires.  There are some people that have achieved many of these desired experiences, but there are very few, in fact a tiny percent of the world’s adult population, that feel that they have achieved all of them.  The aim of fulfilling these desires was once summarized in its highest interpretation at that time in history as living the American Dream.

                 Sadly most people in the world can only dream of living such a life; and their numbers are increasing everywhere, offsetting the number that are having their basic needs met for the first time in developing countries.  Developing countries is usually the term used to describe countries that are experiencing economic growth for the first time thereby economically empowering some of its citizens to provide for their basic needs and move up the socio economic ladder.  Unfortunately, most economic advances in these countries continue to come at the expense of the environment.  Advances in one part of the world, now often come at the expense of people in other parts of the world, not just ecologically or environmentally, but from the outsourcing and off-shoring of jobs from developed countries to developing foreign countries.  For circumstances beyond their control, many people fear that they might lose their job or savings, and along with it, their ability to meet the basic needs of their family.  Many will never get to experience prosperity, acceptance or health.  Some will never feel secure, free of constant worry, respected or loved.   With all of the advancements of modern society, our systems of operation are still so primitive that we still struggle to provide basic safety defined as physical protection rather than evolving to be a more enlightened society that is not just safe, but free of fear.

                   Many people would argue that this is not possible stating that the many of the people in the world aren’t seeking these underlying human desires at all.  Having been taught the basic evilness of man, they believe human beings will always compete against each other because it is a world driven by the animal instinct of the survival of the fittest.  They can point to human behaviors which could be interpreted to be below those of animals who take just what they need when they need it.  Who does not know of someone who wants more than just prosperity, but is motivated by insatiable greed?  How many wealthy corporate executives financially support politicians in return for favorable treatment to make more profit?  Who does not know someone who does not just want to be accepted, but has to be right all the time to extent of becoming extremely intolerant of others?  Many human beings don’t believe there is enough for everyone, and so out of fear of being left out; they fiercely compete against each other.  Who does not know of a story of someone who would betray, cheat or steal from others to get ahead?  Many of those that are fortunate enough to have saved more than they need, live in fear of losing what they have or that it won’t still be enough over time.  Some don’t have enough, so they go to war and kill others to get what they want out of either greed or desperation.  Their desires just can’t seem to be fulfilled.

                   On the other side of the economic spectrum, many want everything given to them without contributing anything back to society in exchange for it.  They lack fulfillment as well, in fact are perhaps missing it the most, leading to unhappiness, depression, anger and even violence as can be seen in many public welfare projects.  It can become multi-generational and create an addicting culture of slothful entitlement.

                  Many people are afraid of being wrong and losing respect from others.  Or they are afraid of being different and not loved by others, so they hide their true selves in a cave of unhappiness and false images, never feeling totally free to express themselves, never feeling fully alive.  Many feel so insecure that they close their minds and won’t listen to new ideas or consider alternatives for change. They have to right all the time. Some so deeply crave admiration that they rapaciously pursue more of whatever they feel they need with the hopes it will attract the attention and envy of others to satisfy their inner craving for recognition.

                 While all of these behaviors are observable in everyday life, they are unnatural for humans.  They may be normal in today’s world given the current circumstances, but they are not natural human traits.  They have become so normal that many believe they are the natural state of being human.  These primitive behaviors have been going on for so long that people can’t imagine it being any other way.  They have become embedded into the culture.  Even some religious beliefs which accept these behaviors as inevitable based on the idea of the original corruptness of man which helps to reinforce these behaviors, have had to resort to fearful theological constructs to try to keep these behaviors of greed, violence, theft, jealousy, laziness and narcissism under control.  Similarly, modern society continues to pass more laws to try to control behaviors through its criminal justice system in order to attempt to maintain civility.  There are now so many laws that there are not enough resources to adequately enforce them.   As a result, the thought of redesigning the world’s operating systems to better fulfill human desires can be quite alarming to most people.  They fear the worst based on what they have been taught is the inner nature of man and based on the behaviors they have observed in so many people, and from their own personal experiences.

                  Some may feel guilty of their own actions or for having their own temptations where they have failed to follow the Golden Rule of love which would create more noble behaviors such as sharing, fairness and peace.  But this article is about bringing hope to those people and all of the people of the world, who need to realize that they have been culturally programmed or even forced to act far below their divine potential, simply because they are stuck in a society that created the environment which almost requires those lesser thoughts and behaviors in order to meet their basic physical democratic needs and fulfill their deepest yearnings.  It is difficult not to fight back, for some to be tempted to steal or commit fraud, when living in a society that rewards those that fight the hardest to win the economic competitions over others in order to be successful.  It is nearly impossible not to feel threatened or worried listening to crime after crime in the news, of bankruptcies, plant closures, rising deficits, inflation, higher medical costs, food costs, energy costs, hearing of continual environmental disasters and threats, or observing the grotesque levels of violence in our culture as can be seen in the hundreds of murders and other violent acts people watch each week on TV for entertainment.

                  To overcome this mythical, manmade fear about human nature, humanity needs to take a moment to pause and take a deep breath and deeply reflect.  Humanity must be completely thorough and discerning to recognize the root causes of these unnatural behaviors.  We need to notice that if they were natural, our children would act far differently than they do from birth as infants and toddlers before they start to mimic unnatural, but learned behaviors from their family and social environment. Upon factual observation, honest reflection and logical analysis of cause and effect, people will find that nearly all of these disreputable behaviors are the byproducts of the way the world arbitrarily organized itself according to multi-levels of governance and their social systems.  Whether they are political, social, economic, religious or any other self-created systems, all have failed to provide what all human beings truly desire as uniquely expressed through each individual.  In combination, all of these systems may have worked well for some people over time, mostly the winners of the competitive economic processes, but not for many.  These primitive social systems are now leading to even greater divides between the Haves and the Have Nots.  The more that fall behind, the more pressure is put on government to react as a safety net.  The need for more government is actually an indicator of the failure of other systems.  The larger the government, the higher the tax rate increasing resentment towards government and a further separation between people and their own democratic government.  Even if these systems have worked to benefit a few, they cannot work much longer, maybe just a few generations longer,  as major global issues converge in a collapsing collision of growing population, resource depletion, environmental degradation, food and water scarcity and economic failures.

                  These and other failures which have resulted in distorted human behavior patterns are not natural because they can be observed to be unsustainable.  They are contrary to the natural flow of creation or the state of nature which is naturally self-sustaining.  Even at the world’s current level of awareness, people want to survive.  Life does not desire to devolve into self destruction.  But all one has to do is look at the direction of the world and determine if it is sustainable.  Clearly as the world is currently operated by humans, it is not functional nor are the behaviors natural; otherwise it would be naturally self-sustainable.  The combined effect of these dysfunctional operating systems and behaviors has resulted in humanity facing several global challenges threatening its own survival.  The world‘s dysfunctional systems perpetuate some of the most inglorious behaviors of humankind such as conflict, violence, corruption, competition, scarcity, hoarding and despair which have been blindly accepted as unavoidable due to the false belief in the imperfect nature of humankind, while ignoring observable facts about the ineffectiveness of the design of these systems.  As a result, very little effort is put towards the rethinking of systems.  Mush effort is put towards reacting to various crises as they are created by these systems, but very little towards understanding the inherent flaws in these systems. 

              The problems they create have been intensified through advances in technology, combined with a lack of understanding in how to use them wisely.  These culturally embedded beliefs and behaviors are why the world cannot solve its increasing social problems.  Whether they are technological, environmental, ecological, biological, chemical or ethical, they have all been self created through unhealthy levels of self-righteousness, ignorance, greed and fear.  Unaddressed, their combination is fatal through a continuous downward spiral of moral and social degradation.  The human species is trapped in a serious situation where its primitive social systems have created a culture that self perpetuates the behaviors it purportedly despises.  In turn this culture has institutionalized the dysfunctional systems in an unending, self destructive cycle. 

                 Due to the continuous economic hardship and struggles they create, many people believe the answer is money.  More money will help people to realize their dreams, and solve the environmental and other problems.  This is why so much energy is spent on debating fiscal policies at all levels of government, all around the world.  The economy preoccupies nearly every national government as the primary concern.  Money and all of its derivatives of economics, debt levels, tax policy, financial regulation, trade, currency exchanges, etc., make up the number one reason governments around the world now meet.  At the highest levels it involves debates on the merits of capitalism and socialism.  Most of this hardship and debate is the result of little understood, obscure monetary systems that regulate the circulation of money as a form of credit, ensuring a continuous shortage of money, increasing levels of debt, constant inflation and economic turmoil worldwide.  The world is trying to organize itself into one global market, economic and monetary system – a New World Order, but due to the inherent faulty design of these systems based on illogical assumptions such as the need for continuous and infinite world growth, they are collapsing.

                 And so the world struggles along as if falling down a flight of stairs, feeling each bump after painful bump as if in slow motion, trying to solve growing problems with less money, not realizing it is trapped in a bubble of its own making that eventually has to burst with dire consequences.  These bumps are felt by most people whose lives get disrupted, and by those who care enough to be concerned about the well being of others now and into the future.  Some, just a few, are thriving on the chaos and conflict, as the corporatization of government and the global scalability of profit-taking continues to concentrate wealth and influence into fewer and fewer hands.  But this is only temporary, because the system is not ultimately sustainable.

                  Stuck with using the current monetary system, there is no doubt that certain level of wealth can provide basic necessities for survival, reduce stress of financial uncertainty, and increase freedom and access.  That’s why so many people crave more of it.  It is also why so many people say the main problem with the world is greed, while just as many people believe if it wasn’t for people wanting to have more, there would be no new investments, no advancement, no evolution or no purpose of life.  Some who have much more than they need, want more, even going to the length of stopping efforts to help others who have very little from having a little more.  They see the gain of the many coming at the expense of the few.  They are all right, because this is the nature of life in a society that has created and uses these systems that basically have not changed for hundreds of years. With limited resources, and a continuous shortage of money supply, most gains do have to come at someone else’s material expense.    If not someone else’s, then from everyone’s through the destruction of the world’s eco-systems needed to sustain all of life. 

                   Even the world’s education systems are organized around the purpose to educate children so they can successfully compete against other children because they are forced to in this economic system where it is not possible for everyone to win at some level.  What message does this send our children?  As the world competes for a limited cash flow, the world’s universities have had the integrity of their research corrupted by the need to rely upon corporate money to operate.  This money comes at a price to make sure that research conclusions economically favor the corporate donors.  This makes it easy to understand why the world’s leaders who were once children growing up in these same systems cannot work together to develop new solutions to the world’s most serious problems.  They have been taught since childhood about the need to compete and in some cases to compromise their personal integrity in order to be successful.  They don’t know how to cooperate as a unified group and create worldwide win-win situations for everyone, let alone in their own country.  Alliances are formed to compete against other alliances.

                  Humanity can and must do better.  It must stop acting like money is the solution, but recognize the scarcity or craving of it as a symptom of a much larger problem.   We all say that there are many things beyond wealth that money can’t buy, but we don’t act like we believe it.   Our systems do not support this higher thought.  Wealth might be able to provide physical pleasures by creating external sensory experiences, but it can’t buy sustainable happiness, which originates from within.  It cannot create true respect, honor or integrity, so vital for admiration. It might serve as one way to help achieve self actualization and express creativity, but it is not the source. Most importantly, money can’t love. 

                Humanity must begin to recognize that the real problem facing the world is not human nature or what the people of the world are trying to achieve at their underlying levels of truth, but how people have organized their world to achieve them based on false beliefs about themselves and others.  The reason why our social systems have grown so complex is that people keep trying to fix the systems that are inherently flawed at their fundamental design, by adding new bells and whistles, to try to give them more of what they want.  Most of the attempts to fix them are often influenced by special interest groups focused on seeking a financial advantage over others.  More and more frequently, these revisions lead to greater complexity, corruption and even greater wealth for just a few.  Whether it is modern finance, tax codes, religious dogma, regulations, laws, legislative processes, new type of churches, education programs, new technologies, bigger government or whatever, the modern world despite its best efforts, has not addressed its fundamental problems, but simply made things more complicated.  To paraphrase Albert Einstein –“any intelligent fool can make things complicated, but it takes real genius to make things simple.”  The world is filled with many well meaning, intelligent specialists who cannot see outside the bubbles of manmade systems they are working in, along with all of their limitations.

                 The world has made its operating systems so complex and dysfunctional that the world has lost its ability to control them, and in most cases even explain them.   For example, that is why despite the importance of world economics, most economists cannot agree what to do.  More importantly, the world has lost its sense of direction, and the sense of purpose of its social systems or what the people of the world are trying to collectively accomplish by using them.  It is extremely difficult to generate a consensus to take any action, because people cannot agree on what they are trying to accomplish, or how to accomplish it. These system processes have taken over and are now running society, rather than society running the processes.   People have been demoted from being the creators of their systems to reacting to their outcomes.   Teams of nations meet trying to develop consensus of what to do when problems arise, and even if a temporary agreement is reached, they struggle over who is responsible and how to implement recommendations.  To effectively run any process, it must guided by principles which are based on what society is trying to achieve.  The performance of any process should be evaluated by its effectiveness to deliver desired outcomes.  If the goal is to achieve what has been described hereinbefore as rich and fulfilling life, or what was the original intention of the American Dream, then it is factually observable, without question, that society’s systems and processes are not working.  Many of the followers of the world’s religions who believe the purpose of life is to get to heaven, must also acknowledge that these systems are not calling forth the best in humankind.  They may have worked for a short period of time in certain places like America while there were fewer people with an abundance of unused resources to create the land of opportunity, but they are now failing.  Even the original American dream of being free to live one’s own life to pursue individual happiness has been distorted into every man for himself to amass as much wealth as possible as quickly as possible with little or no regard to others.  Poverty rates, unemployment, GDP, health indicators, educational achievement, are all used as indicators as part of feeble attempts to evaluate human systems which are all mostly dependent upon or directly impacted by the omnipotent monetary and economic systems.  What is so odd about this, is that while the world is so obsessively enamored with new technology and innovation to improve economic efficiency, competitiveness and performance, to wipeout deficiencies, to maximize yields, production and returns at any costs with aggressive abandonment – often with little regard to both human and environmental impacts – human society does not apply the same amount of scrutiny, vigor, resources or resolve to redesigning its social systems to deliver what it truly desires.   The issue is so obvious it begs for humanity to ask – why?  What is holding us back?

                  The further humanity continues to descend by using these very limiting systems, the greater the world will experience upheaval and perversions of unfulfilled, natural human desires.  Greed, ignorance, fear and self-righteousness  all originate from the suppressed human spirit crying out to be accepted, respected, admired, free and ultimately loved by others.  The human spirit will naturally rebel from being oppressed to live such an unfulfilling life.  It always has pushed back when suffocating from lack of freedom, self expression and fulfillment.  The human spirit will never stop fighting to experience these rooted in the depths of its own soul.  It is the same spirit that was behind the formation of the United States and its democratic form of government.

                    And so the rising levels of social unrest in the world is a sign of hope.  Finally the people of the world are recognizing that the systems that they live under are no longer working.  Never before has there been a greater lack of faith in government, in the economic, financial, education and religious systems.    People everywhere are waking up that there is something wrong with how their society is organized and operated.  The world is ready to take the next step of human evolution through a new social innovation revolution.  It will not be driven by technology, but driven by the indomitable human spirit, guided by higher life principles.  The current systems are failing in functionality to provide what the people of the world are truly seeking.  The current direction of the world is not sustainable; therefore it must adapt, or become permanently non-functional or in other words – extinct.  Humanity wants peace- not conflict, fairness – not corruption, freedom – not restriction, cooperation – not competition, abundance – not scarcity, sharing – not hoarding, honesty – not dishonestly, transparency – not secrecy, trust – not distrust, happiness – not depression and despair, opportunity – not charity, individuality – not sameness, equality – not inequality, and love – not fear.  People are tired of fighting for the basic right to survive.  They are tired of being angry at the world for not providing them with opportunities to be able to live a fulfilling life.  They are tied of their livelihood being controlled by multibillion dollar corporations whose only purpose is to increase the wealth of its shareholders.  They are tired of living in fear that the world is destroying itself, that there won’t be enough food, water or air.  They are tired of being told that they are sinners, that they aren’t working hard enough, that they aren’t good enough, or that they aren’t smart enough to succeed.  They are tired of hearing about rising costs and threats of war, that their governments and leaders are corrupt.  The world is ready to change. 

                     To change directions, the world must first recognize the failure of its complex, antiquated systems, especially its economic and monetary systems.  This is the most challenging task, given how culturally embedded and out of control these systems are throughout earth’s societies.  (At Uplifting Humanity, I will spend a significant amount of time explaining the flaws in the economic and monetary systems to create the opening of understanding of how a new fundamental system design can free humanity from its seemingly unsolvable problems so it can move forward together to its next evolutionary level.)  It is time to think out of the box of the current social constructs to innovate and move beyond them to establish more advanced systems capable of meeting the needs of significantly greater numbers of people.  And this would not have to come at the expense of others.  Now is the time to evolve, to reorganize societies so their systems and processes can stop contributing to the world’s problems and start fulfilling humanity’s highest aspirations for all people of the world.  This is not a cry for sameness, but for fairness, justice and equal opportunity for all where even the least among us is provided a fair opportunity to live without physical suffering or fear.  This will bring true happiness and joy to the human heart.  This will start by establishing principles and values by which to guide the creation and operation of new social processes.  The construction of these new processes will be guided by a clear sense of what society is trying to achieve in terms of creating living human experiences which are both functional and sustainable. 

                 To initiate this change, something new must intervene to break this destructive cycle.  Something must serve as the catalyst, the spark, to shift the direction of the world so it can begin changing its failed social systems. 

                 The first thing that must change, must come from the individual. Every individual person must play their part in creating the world they desire on the planet by simply following and truly living what has been called the Golden Rule – loving and treating others as they would like to be treated and loved.  And the word ‘others’ in higher states of awareness, means everyone and everything, not just close family and friends.  It is the spark of divine inspiration which comes from the awakening of the human soul.  It is what has been called the rise in human consciousness.  This will begin as a shift in beliefs of who we are as individuals and as a community of people.  This will shift perceptions to awaken ourselves to the dysfunction of our social operating systems.  From the individual will come group action.  Group action will lead to government action.  Government action will lead to world action.  All action will result from a rise in the collective human consciousness which will bring a sense of unity back into the human community.

                  Government action directed by a new social consciousness that combines both the heart and the mind, will lead to the changing of social systems such as the monetary, economic, education, health care and other systems, including government itself.  Everyone will take responsibility to provide opportunities for themselves and everyone else in order to participate in fair and just social systems where they will be free to pursue their personal happiness.  And this freedom will come, not at the expense of others or the environmental life support system of the plant, but in sustainable harmony without causing harm.  It will also lead to an uplifting of the world’s religions calling forth the spiritual divinity in their followers to bring their core messages of love, peace and tolerance out into the world in unprecedented ways that will change society forever.  Humanity will begin to create “on earth what is in heaven.”  Growth and evolution in each sector will support the growth in other sectors.  They will finally begin to work in harmony rather than in contradiction to each other.  This has been said many times in many ways throughout history, with the exception that this is the time that this change must occur, or face the fatal reality of unsustainable trends.   As has been said in the theme of the Star War movies, this will bring balance to the force of life.   Balance is not perfection, but it is sustainable and peaceful.  It is a huge step forward from where we are and have been as a species.  Perfection will take thousands of years, so let’s just give ourselves a chance to try to see what new type of world we can create by finally working together.

The next article on “The Three Most Important Things to Uplift Humanity” will discuss the changes in the future social systems in greater detail.


Market, Market on the Wall, Will You Take Care of Us All?

Market, Market on the Wall, Will You Take Care of Us All?

..…market processes versus American principles

By Michael Krajovic.   From UPLIFTING AMERICA series  

(Note:  This article is from an American perspective using Wall Street examples, but it is applicable to world markets and economies.)

               It seems with every passing year, the primary focal point of our society becomes more about the financial Market.  It influences almost everything we do and impacts everyone and everything.  If the Wall Street Market is doing well, our country is doing well, or at least we believe it to be true.  We can’t imagine modern life without it, but for most of human existence, life did go on without it.  Somehow slowly over time it has crept into society to become the gatekeeper, the key to the success of our people, our businesses, our economy, our country and the entire world.  And so the question of the day is – “Will the Market take care of us all?” Will pulling our collective resources to do everything we can to make sure the Market does well , solve our problems and ensure the social advancement we all want to lead to greater individual freedom and personal happiness? Will the Market satisfy our physical, mental and spiritual needs as human beings?  All three are important to creating lasting human happiness which is the core American intention. The answer to this question will determine the future of our world.

          By our actions we believe it will.  We believe it is Wall Street – the banks, the stocks and the investments – and all of the money which drives our economy, drives our well being.  The dominating thought of today is the more money we have, the greater our freedom and well being.   And so it drives individual, business and governmental action.  We want unlimited, continuous economic growth.  The goal of publicly traded corporations, many international in scope, is to do well in the Market as determined by their stock price performance.  They put millions and billions into political elections and lobbying efforts to influence government so their companies do well in the Market.  These corporations control most of the small businesses that are now dependent upon them as sub-contractors; and combined they make up most of the businesses and employees in our country.  So nearly all businesses, big and small, are either directly or indirectly controlled or impacted by their desire to do well in the Market.

          Now add in the millions of shareholders who hope and pray that the Market does well and millions more with pensions that are dependent upon it for their retirement, and the result is that most of population is somehow connected with or dependent upon the Market.  We can’t forget the millions of people employed in the financial industry who make a living off this entire process.  Finally add the trillions of dollars of government spending which is trillions of dollars of revenue for many of these large corporations in the defense, construction, medical and agriculture industries and there is a direct link between government and the Market.  Willing or not, every tax payer becomes another stakeholder of the Market.  No wonder why we make it our major focal point in society.

          The funny thing is, that even though we as society seem to be driven to supporting the Market, we can’t decide how best to do it.  It is as if it was like some ancient deity that demanded to be worshiped with the personal sacrifices of our hard work so companies can make greater profits, so we can make our loan debt payments and pay our taxes, but even after all this collective effort by hundreds of millions of people, we still cannot agree how best to support it.  Our best leaders, our best economists, our best CEO’s and our best professors cannot come to a consensus as what to do.  It seems to have an unpredictable personality.  Sometimes it is up, and sometimes it is down.  In fact, economist and financial analysts study human emotions and how they impact the market.  We are more anxious, fearful, and suspicious of the Market than ever before. We want to feed it, nurture it, but we argue and fight for political control to determine who will get to try to influence what they feel is the right way to care for the Market.

          Meanwhile more people are losing wealth than are gaining it. They are falling further behind economically. Our country seems more divided, angrier and more depressed than ever before.  Those that have gained wealth in the United States, the country with the biggest Market, in the last 10 years represent only a very small percent of the population.  The remaining 95+% are more pessimistic about their future than in many generations.  More people are losing their jobs than those that are able to find equivalent jobs. More people are working harder and yet are still financially further behind.

           In summary, the Market does not seem to be working so well anymore, but no one seems to know how to fix it, or at least been able to develop a consensus to at least try something with everyone pulling together in same direction, to give our best to make it work.  How has something that really did not even exist in the human race until just a few generations ago, grow into such complexity and dependency that all the king’s men and all the king’s horses can’t seem to put it back together again to work for everyone?

          So with something that is so pervasive in our lives, we, us common folk, not the Wall Street power brokers, should take a closer look at what it is. We know that a market use to be a place where buying and selling occurred.  In current times however it has become a place of investment and speculation where investors compete against each other trying to guess what will happen next to see who can make the most money.  This money is not earned the same way the average person or our forefathers worked, but created simply through betting or speculation.

          Even flakier is that even if someone should guess right and the stock price increases, the increase itself might be simply based on the perception that the stock price should be going up in the future, without any real or current financial justification for it to do so.  The massive computerized buying and resulting “flash crashes” try to capitalize on guessing how investors might financially react based on their perceptions of current and future events. Or maybe the rise in stock prices simply represents a shift of more investment dollars into the stock Market because other investment options like traditional savings rates in banks are too low.

           Sometimes the increase in stock price is actually determined by actual corporate profits.  These profits are generated by either increased revenues or decreased costs.  Either way, there is usually someone, a competitor, who loses on the other end which translates into benefit or revenue for the winning company.  For example, the company might add new technology to become more efficient at the expense of some employees losing their job.  Sometimes new technology could help a company add more market share and employees at the expense of some other company’s profits and employees.   

           We call all of this advancement.  Some of it is good; some of it is bad.  But would it not be a higher standard of human society if we were able to make product and technological advancements without the negative impacts on others?  Today we accept this form of advancement as the unavoidable norm, without any consideration that it could possibly be different.  Perhaps in the future, the level of advancement in society will be measured by both how it advances and what it considers advancement.

              This is not to acknowledge that many of our technological advancements have improved the human condition.  Two hundred workers being able to produce the same amount of steel in a factory that eighty years ago would have employed 20,000 is not a bad thing.  Rather than having men work in dangerous exhausting environments doing exhausting and dangerous, manual labor, would it not be better if they were freed to pursue other methods of contributing to society?  Of course it would, but was society able to accommodate them?  Some yes, but many no.  Even eighty years later, the best our most accomplished business and economic advisors can do is urge people to get higher degrees, learn an advanced technical skill, another language, or “just do something to give yourself a competitive advantage” over other job seekers in order to be able make it in today’s Market economy.  While this is all very true and good advice for the way we operate the world, what do the other 90% of the people do who were not fortunate enough to have access to more education or be in the right place at the right time to be hired?  What are they to do when there is only one job opening for every 100 applicants?  Is this really the best our society can do?  Yes it is based on the way we let our current Market process run our society.  We are all experiencing this either as participants or witnesses of events that are unfolding right now.

          As mention when using this Market process, it is very difficult to realize gain without someone somewhere losing.  For example, a stock price could go up in the Market because the company moves to a new location or overseas to lower labor costs at the expense of the original employees losing their jobs.  It would be unfair to say it always happens, but it is becoming much more pervasive in the modern world.  We can look at some developing countries as an exception, but they are developing simply because they have natural resources that someone else wants to develop to make a profit, otherwise there is little interest by international corporations and the financial Markets to invest in their economies.  Because they are either too desperate for economic activity or just unsophisticated to the potential harm of specific industrial processes, this often comes at the expense of their environment and their quality of life.

          It is time for us to question whether our Market driven society is really working for or against society.  Market, Market on the Wall (Street), Will You Take Care of US All?  Obviously some believe yes.  These are almost always the people who are the financial winners in the competitive Market.  They have unbending faith in the Market to take care of society, and like any good fundamentalist, they consider it blasphemous to think otherwise.  In fact, it is even sinful, un-American, anti-capitalism, un-patriotic to even question the Market.  People who do are demonized as evil fascists, communists, Marxists or socialists meant as some ugly cultural slur.

          They are as, if not more, fervent in their beliefs and faith in the Market than the God of their religions.  They live and fight for the right of the Market to remain free and unregulated to do whatever it wants.  Most religion as it is taught is after all a poor attempt to regulate human behaviors.  Whether it is government regulation or moral regulation, it is viewed as an impingement of their freedom to do whatever the y want, when they want, regardless of the consequences to anyone or anything.  They don’t want to hear that their behaviors might be morally wrong and so they run to their best defense – their belief in the free Market.  But when the Market worshipers say they want freedom which sounds great, they are really saying – continue to allow people like themselves, the CEOs’s and corporations to generate as much wealth for themselves as possible.  If someone has to win, it might as well be them. If they do well, some truly believe the rest of the people will do well too, by making a living off of their investments and expenditures.  But just how much stuff can a wealthy person buy and consume?  The economic data shows that this “trickle down” theory has actually turned into an upward flood of wealth for just a few.

          As a result, many of the rich are more convinced than ever, reinforced by their personal experiences, in their beliefs that the Market itself is the key to a free society because they have enough money to buy and do whatever they want.  If they could do it, so should everyone else.  Due to their financial success, they feel they have achieved a higher level of freedom.  Somehow they can’t see that even the amount that trickles down is a form of dependency with the poor dependent upon the expenditures of the rich.  And it is even a more repugnant form of dependency in that it is all based on individuals who have enough, to want more, to buy more, to spend more, to have more.   But it is never viewed as dependency if the less fortunate are dependent upon their purchases and investments. It is only dependency when it is government expenditures that the poor rely upon.

            As a positive sign, some of the super wealthy have begun to realize that their wealth really can’t buy them anything more that they can use.  As a result, they are giving sizeable portions of their wealth away.  While it is a positive trend, it is still a form of dependency.  People really don’t want to be dependent upon the charity of the wealthy to survive.  They should have the freedom to participate in society and earn their living without the need for either government or private charity.  Let the charity be used for special projects for the common good of all people, but it should not be the mainstay of the economic system.  Similarly, dependency upon the expenditures of a tiny percent of the world’s population should not be the key economic component of society because of the fundamental failures of the Market to provide opportunity to tens of millions of people nationally and billions of people worldwide.  Yet this is exactly the type of world we have created where the Market has become the primary guiding principle of society, especially in the United States of America where millions of people are dependent upon either government spending, charity or what is left of trickle down spending. Most people don’t realize it even though their lives revolve around it.  Still others swear by it.

          Most of these Market worshipers confuse the Market with the notion of free enterprise, believing they are the same.  Some are not confused, but say it to confuse others to get them to buy into supporting their own plan to increase their personal wealth.  They do not want any social, moral, ethical or governmental interference to prevent them from gaining power and influence over their competition in the Market.    Unfortunately, their competition just happens to be someone else’s free enterprise.

           What they don’t realize is that they have become confused between the concepts and principles of free enterprise and the Market.  The Market is a manmade process and free enterprise is a principle to believe in and live by.  The Market process, or any societal process, should be guided by high principles such as the belief that people should be free to choose their enterprise.  Today this idea of freedom in the Market has degraded into the idea that everyone is allowed to do anything to anyone in the pursuit of profits, even if it limits someone else’s opportunities to pursue an enterprise to earn money which is needed today to increase their personal freedom.  In other words, the winners of the economic game just don’t make more money; they take freedom away from others, something they say they believe in.  This lack of principles has led to the establishment of massive financial industries that thrive off the work of others, making money off of money, or monopolies that have grown in size and influence that they are now almost dictating government policies and programs for their benefit at the expense of common people who are losing wealth and freedom at the same time.

          In fact, it is this draining of the average consumer’s wealth over time through lower wages, higher prices and greater debt that is the core problem behind the current economic recession.  They cannot maintain the same level of consumption to keep the economy going as they have in the past.  This can only happen in a system that has become cannibalistic of its own people, communities and countries. Since the search for more profits cannot keep coming from a world that has fewer resources to develop with each passing year, the profits have to be extracted from someone else’s wealth.  The odd thing about our Market system, even if consumption could be maintained at high levels to keep the economy going, it ultimately is only temporary.  It is not sustainable indefinitely because of the physical and natural limits of the planet.  As a finite biosphere travelling through space, it can only handle so much consumption before its systems start to fail.  If not enough consumption is bad and too much if fatal, what is the right balance?  The Market process that feeds off of consumption does not have answer this question.

          So then what are the guiding principles of the Market?  If there were any, we all would know them.  We would be taught them in school in business and economic classes. We would refer to them to guide us in generating consensus into taking action to fix the Market, because after all, it is the dominating focal point of our modern society.

          Obviously there aren’t any guiding principles of the Market, but we act like the Market itself is the guiding principle.  “It is the Free Market that we stand for!” cry its proponents.  But principles are basic truths, rules of conduct, ethical standards to guide all of humanity to attain higher aspirations and ideals.  They are all inclusive, transparent and self evident that stand the test of time.  They do not discriminate based on race, socio-economic status, religion, sex or nationality.

          The Market however does discriminate.  By its very nature it is exclusionary.  This is done in levels.  The first and largest level are for those who are not wealthy enough to own stock to invest in the Market – more than four fifths of the world’s population.  There is only a percentage of the population in each nation, wealthy enough to be investors in the Market.  In some countries, almost no one is involved in the Market.  These are the people whose lives are impacted the most by the Market, many who are facing hunger as the Market drives up food and energy prices. 

Then there is the second level which is made up of the employees with pensions who are not active in the market but are dependent upon it for their retirement.  Their pensions are managed by others.  The third level is small and medium size investors, who have enough money to actively invest in market as individuals, but are not large enough to influence the Market.  They are the pawns, at the mercy of the kings of the Market.

          The forth level are the financial Wall Street power brokers – the banks, money managers, CEO’s, large investors, the analysts, hedge fund speculators – who control the Market.  They control or manipulate it by their buying or selling, through the control of information or by their deal making.  The top one or two thousand people worldwide representing the largest mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds, boards of directors of banks and corporations – control the majority of stocks in the Market.  They make decisions that impact all stock prices.  This is not an inclusive club, but a very exclusive club of the rich and powerful.

             For something that is the focal point of society, why are the vast majority of people at such a disadvantage when it comes to having information and access to the Market and its financial opportunities?   The dealings of the Market are not transparent or of equal opportunity.  Even the results are hidden never really knowing at any given time who is doing what, why and how much money they are making or losing.  The statistical numbers are available for individual stocks and overall market indicators, but the actions of what is influencing the numbers are not really understood.  It is not clear of who is doing what, how they are doing it, when they are doing it and why they are doing it.  It is all very secret and private.  In fact making transactions before others follow is a way to make money in the Market.  All of this does not add any intrinsic value to society.  It is just a computer transaction.  For something so important to the well being of the world, why is this process operated this way?   What is its guiding or operating principle? 

          If people believed that there was a “guiding principle” for the power brokers and the Market to follow, it would be – the maximum pursuit of profits – and nothing more than this.  Is this not what we encourage them to do by incentivizing them through stock options and other forms of bonuses?  But this is not a guiding principle, it is an objective. It includes no analysis of cause and effect other than the behaviors it seeks to invoke within its own process, no consideration of repercussions on the general welfare of society or the environment and no concern for others especially the competition.   In fact maximizing profits is an objective or aspiration for only those that invest in the Market.  And as explained earlier, those profits often come at someone else’s expense. 

           People should not be fooled that the Market is a guiding principle.  As a people we are not use to thinking this way.  We don’t consciously look to our values and principles to guide our actions.  We have lost our focus and are not use to understanding the differences between principles and processes, or between ideals and objectives.  The maximum pursuit of profits is nothing more than a description of the purpose of the current Market process.  The modern Market is simply a complex, manmade process to maximize profits for investors.  In our culture, we do not like to think of it this way and would prefer to think that if it was not for banks and investors willing to put their capital at risk, there would be no opportunity for anyone.  And with the current Market process that we use, this is absolutely true.   Profits create monetary wealth which in our society determines who gets to do what, when they get to do it and what they get to use when they are doing it.  If you are wealthy, you get to use a bigger more expensive house in a more exclusive neighborhood during a certain period of your life.  You get to take vacations in exotic locations and do unique things.  You get to buy the best seats at performances, and you get to use a private jet instead of a crowded commercial airline.

           While maximizing profits may not sound too threatening, after all some people work harder and contribute more t society and therefore deserve more than others, it is still deadly if it becomes society’s guiding principle.  Just look at the number of conflicts worldwide at the individual and national levels that are related to money.   It is a sign of the immaturity of the human species to allow a process to take control of its destiny.  It is childish, unconscious and uncontrolled creation, creating a world of environmental and economic devastation based on the rapid consumption of the world’s resources and the cheapening of the value of human labor contributions, while increasing the value of financial computer transactions, all in the search for more profits.

           Even if generating more profits and wealth was the primary goal of our species, don’t we think that we should at least give consideration as to how the profits are generated to determine if the specific method of profit generation is in the best interest of society?  We have some laws that are suppose to control the worst abuses, but they are very limited. The forces behind the Market continue to fight any new regulation and laws considering it an infringement on their freedoms.

           And so as it exists today, the bulk of the responsibility to manage and control the Market is the role of the financial, economic and monetary systems.  As branches of the same tree, they fight to limit the influence of government in their industries.  They are a monopoly.  With the change in campaign finance laws, Americas’ 2010 election saw more money from the financial sector than ever before to help elect people who would be in favor of getting government to stay out of their interests.  These are Americans who have lost their way, those that espouse untruths based on their ignorance and confusion between concepts and principles of free enterprise and the processes of the Market.  Some and a growing number are not even Americans, but managers of global corporations that have no loyalty to any country or people.  As their global reach has grown, their loyalties have become more individualized on their own self interests.  We play this game, pretending that everyone pursuing their own self interests is the best way for society to function, while refusing to admit that we do.

           The Market and its controlling systems create behaviors that represent the worst in humanity – like greed, jealousy, hoarding, theft, corruption, stress, depression and now greater dependency on others from charity and the government for the losers in the competitions.  Government dependency is something the Market believers say that they are against, while they don’t realize or acknowledge that they are creating it.  Some actually believe and teach that greed is what is needed to keep the Market going.  While as absurd as this might sound, it is actually very true and accurate as to what the driving motivation is behind the Market.  It is what makes it work.  If those with money stop wanting to make more money, investment would stop and the world’s economies would crumble.  Isn’t it scary to think that this is the mentality which is the driving force behind our world?

           It is the act of a primitive species feeding off of itself and the planet’s life support systems at an unsustainable rate that is leading to global destruction of all species, humans included.  While we must acknowledge that our Market processes have led to great advancements over the last 50+ years, we must begin to understand that they were achieved with a much smaller world population and a planet full of abundant resources ready where an economic and monetary system based on consumption could thrive.  It appears that it was a good ride, but it was predestined to eventually end due to a faulty assumption of unlimited growth and consumption.

           The Market process that we all created is based on an operating model that no longer can work for humanity.   We have all contributed to problem, becoming willing investors lured into a Market hoping that we all could make a fortune without having to work for it.  The 1996 movie – “Independence Day” – does a good job at capturing the idea of aliens from outer space taking over the planet to consume its resources.  But the real joke of the movie is that we don’t need alien invaders to do it, we are already doing it to ourselves.  As the old saying goes – “We have met the enemy, and them is us.”

           It is time for humanity to evolve, to take a giant step to the next level, to begin moving in a new direction with a new goal.   Is really tracking which country is generating the highest concentrations of wealth in terms of the number of billionaires really the highest achievement of the human race, the best we can do?  But this is how we act.  This is who we admire.  This is who most people in society want to become.  We all want more money to have the freedom to do the things we want to do.

           Imagine in a new science fiction movie about the historic meeting between humans and an advanced alien race and the first thing we say is “We have 2000 billionaires on our planet. How many do you have?”  While this is comical and sounds absurd based on a epic moment for humanity, it actually frames the insignificance of money and wealth in relation to what we would truly hold as sacred and how we would describe ourselves as a race of beings. But this is what the aliens would expect us to say based on what is observably so in our world as to how we organize, operate and govern in our world.  Would it not be a better greeting to say – “Greetings and peace be with you.  We value all life including your race. We care for our planet and all plant and animal life forms. We have no disease, poverty or violence.  All of our children and elderly are cared for.  We are a loving, compassionate race of many different people living together peacefully, passionate about creating new and wonderful experiences on our planet, which we keep in pristine condition because it is our home.  Our technology is complex, but simple to use and benefits all humankind and all life on our planet.  All our people are able to successfully and freely participate in our societies. Welcome. We are eager to learn about you.” 

           To achieve this much higher state of existence, we must reverse our present course and establish principles by which to guide our societal processes.  We must advance as a species to set higher intentions and goals for ourselves supported by higher values and principles to guide our societal processes, especially our economic and market process.  While our leaders can only think about controlling a process like our modern Market through regulations and bigger government and enforcement agencies, ultimately it would best if the Market was operated according to guiding principles that eliminated the need for regulation and big government.  A guiding principle such as – “Everyone is free to do what they wish, to freely  pursue their enterprise and idea of individual happiness,  so long as they do not harm anyone or cause damage to our planet’s life sustaining environment and ecological systems. Everyone is expected to act responsibly, and will be held accountable to do so.”  It sounds very simple, but it could take 1000 years to achieve its highest level of implementation.

           From this principle, we could start today by evaluating our processes, including the economic, monetary and financial processes of our Market, and make the appropriate adjustments wherever and whenever necessary to lift human civilization to a higher level of existence.  This will take a shift in consciousness.

           We must first become more aware of who we really are in relation to each other, have a desire to help our neighbor, to see others as part of our own family, the human family, even if they are on the other side of the world.  From here we will become aware of what we are doing to each other and our planet, so we can stop doing what we are doing.  But even then when we ask the question – “ Market, Market on the Wall, Will You Take Care of Us All?” the answer will still be no, because we will have learned that is only through the principles and values by which we freely choose to live by that ensure we can take care of each other and our planet, not the processes that we use to implement them.

           This may sound like a new idea, but it is actually a reminder of what we already know, but sadly have forgotten.  America was founded on these principles. Principles that set the intention and purpose of what the rest of the world called – “the American Experiment.”  These ideals included establishing a just society that insured the general welfare of all people in a way that fostered freedom for everyone and for future generations. To the contrary, the modern Market is not about justice, it is about every person for themselves.  The Market is not about the general welfare of all people, but about people profiting off the labors of others.  The Market is not about freedom for everyone, but enslavement of the people to pay off debt and generate profits for the Market.  The Market is not about preserving the world for the many including future generations, but liquidating it as quickly as possible for the short lived, physical pleasures of the few.  The Market is not about freedom, it is about competition, destruction and consumption for gluttonous gorging on the world’s resources.  It is about financial tyranny and enslavement to the captains of finance and mega-corporations.

           To revisit America’s founding guiding principles, we just have to look at the opening paragraph of “The Constitution of the United States.”  Here is what it says – “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States of America.”

           It is all right there.  It could not be clearer that the purpose of America was to form a new unified group of people into a new country.  It was about developing unity, not division. This is what attracted millions to come to America.  It was a land of fairness that created opportunity regardless of race, class, religion or ethnicity.  It was these ideals, not the pursuit of maximum wealth.  This was the guiding intention, and intention directs action.  So we should review the guiding principles that they intended us to follow with serious intention and take them to heart as Americans once did.  First to realize this high intention to form a more perfect union of people, the country would embrace and establish justice, not just as an afterthought of enforcing laws so that criminals could be brought to justice, but form a society that was just to begin with that would by its own accord, reduce or eliminate the causes of criminal activity.  The purpose included developing a unified sense of individual responsibility to the common good to insure domestic tranquility for everyone, not just a few.

           Another purpose was to provide for the common defense from all enemies, both domestic and foreign.  Today our main enemy is domestic in the form of an out of controlled Market process that we have allowed to be controlled by a few who use their power to influence the very government that allowed it to be created in the first place, simply because we have forgotten our principles.  The higher intention of the United States used to be to encourage and promote the general welfare and well being of all people, not just a few.  This would be allowed, protected and insured to occur through the establishment of additional guiding principles such as individual freedoms and rights including free enterprise.  Finally the Constitution recognizes the importance of sustainability in terms of both the individual and collective responsibility to ensure the same rights, freedoms and opportunities for future generations, our posterity.

           Nowhere does it say to allow each person or corporation the freedom to maximize the pursuit of wealth at the expense of others, to disrupt unity, created division, establish classes of citizens – the haves and have nots, disrupt domestic tranquility and dismantle the general welfare of all people and future generations.  But this is what the Market is doing.  The Market is not taking care of us all.  It is destroying us and our world.  More accurately stated, this is what we have been collectively creating together as a society.  This is also what we can collectively change, starting by going back to the guiding principles that America was founded on. With these guiding principles we can create a renewed sense of intention and establish a grander vision for our societies to achieve.

           It will take effort.  It will require change. It will take time to live up to what our country originally set out to accomplish.  When we get back on track, we can then help bring the same change to the rest of the world, and spread these ideals and principles to all people.  From there as a more unified world, we can then begin to take steps to build upon what was started over 200 years ago on our part of the planet called the United States of America, and together uplift all of humanity to exceed the expectations of our forefathers.  This is America’s true destiny if it decides to follow it.  This is the upheld light of the Statue of Liberty, the “shining city in the clouds” and all the images of America being a light of enlightenment to the rest of the world.  This is the true American purpose, a purpose which will overwhelm the simplistic thought that maximizing profits and economic growth is the purpose of the human race.  One day in the future we will look back and wonder what on earth were we thinking about back then in the early 21st century when for a period in our history, we let the Market process take over our society.


Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Ourselves?

Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Ourselves?

Part 1 of a 4 Part        Uplifting America Series by Michael W. Krajovic      

           While we change as we age, our patterns of thinking are basically the products of our cumulative past experiences.  They have a tremendous influence on how we perceive and address current situations in our lives.   Our social environments of family, school, neighborhood, work and provincial culture expose each of us to different people, ways of thinking and behaving which has a large impact on who we are today and how we think.

             Brain researchers are now able to show us how different environmental experiences activate certain parts of our brains.  Those areas that do not get stimulated, eventually degenerate and fade away because the neuron connections are not given opportunities to nourish themselves.  Similarly, those that are used regularly grow and flourish.  In other words, people’s brains are wired differently based on the experiences that they have been exposed to.  Children are especially impressionable as they mimic behaviors of their parents and other individuals they naturally look up to.   A child born into a violent inner city environment surrounded by violence, will have a highly developed fight or flight brain response, but by the time they enter adulthood, the parts of the brain that deal with the feeling of compassion might be minimally developed.  They have been experientially programmed to be very suspicious of the world around them from living in a tough, survival environment.  Being compassionate of others or feeling empathic are often difficult to experience, unless there was someone involved in their lives who was able to demonstrate and nurture those behaviors.  Survival is their main motive.

            A child born into a very hard working family, where the father and mother push the child to extremes to succeed, will develop other neuron connections, but they may also be lacking compassion, empathy and sympathy for others.  They have been taught that to be successful in a very competitive, global economy, where they must be willing to make sacrifices and tough financial decisions, with little regard to the human consequences.  They may be taught by their parents, not formally, but indirectly through their actions, to put work above family.  Making money to earn the respect of their parents and peers is often their motive.

            Perhaps the most extreme example of how human patterns of thinking can be so controlled is when children are born into families with radical fundamentalist beliefs.  Without ever having been harmed by someone of different race or religion, they can actually be taught to viciously hate others who are different from them.  Bigotry and racism are often the result.  As an extreme but very poignant example of how powerful parental and environmental influence can be, children can be taught to believe that it is holy to kill even if it means ending their own life as a suicide bomber.  As unnatural, desperate and even demonic as this might be for parent and child, going against the essence of life itself, human brains can be programmed to do the unimaginable.  The evidence is clear, our individual experiences have a profound impact on our beliefs.  Our beliefs determine how we perceive the world, interact and respond to it.

          Carrying this understanding forward when looking at state and national governments, it is not surprising to see the great divide that exists between liberals and conservatives.  They have come from different backgrounds, families, belief systems and life experiences.

Liberals vs. Conservatives

         There are many examples to demonstrate this, but let’s look at the classic struggle between liberals and conservatives.  Liberals and their social activists’ companions, who might have grown up in the environment of depressed urban centers or who had parents that did, fight to help the underserved, but often lose sight of when help turns into dependency.  They are vilified by conservatives as simply wanting to take from the rich to give to the poor.  The conservatives and their often equally aggressive activists’ companions, who might have grown up in the richer suburbs in very competitive environments and fought their way to success or emulate their parents who did, fight for freedom so they can be allowed to make as much money as possible regardless of the consequences socially, economically or environmentally.  They are vilified by liberals as wanting to exploit the poor or the environment to become rich. 

         The liberals believe government can be a force for social good, and the conservatives believe government gets in the way of being successful.  In this situation, both are coming from competitive backgrounds of fight and survival.  Both are fighting for their piece of the pie.   One wants to redistribute wealth, the other wants to maximize wealth even if it means taking it from others.   The liberal background experiences might be more physical and personal, and the conservative’s more financial and impersonal, but the motives are similar.  It is an us vs. them mentality.  Each side’s loss is considered the other side’s gain.  They are caught in an eternal struggle.

          Some people say this is natural.  People believe that humans are naturally competitive in a world that needs to be ruled by law where the strongest and the smartest compete for power, survival and success.  But are these natural laws or are they learned behaviors that have become so common that they are considered natural?  It may be the norm to teach these behaviors according to local culture and beliefs, but that does not make them natural.   Each person, whether liberal or conservative, inherently seeks freedom for their own unique and individual expression, but they do not inherently seek conflict.  Outwardly expressing different opinions is natural as is desiring approval and acceptance of those opinions.  Not receiving acceptance often creates conflict.

             So in seeking government leaders, it is important to seek people with open minds who can consider other differing opinions without having to engage in conflict.  Too many people are elected to office to wage battle against the other side in this never ending struggle without a larger vision to move beyond the war of philosophies that continues to hold the advancement of humankind hostage.  When we look at professional backgrounds of the people in high levels of government today, we see that many have been business people, career politicians or attorneys.  Are they the types of leaders we need today?

Are Lawyers the Leaders We Need?

          Lawyers seem to dominate many elected positions because they have been raised in an environment of intellectual debate, where everyone is entitled to their opinion.  While being able to listen to others’ opinions is a step in the right direction, many attorneys have worked in careers that basically turned them into hired guns.  Clients pay them to represent their interests and points of view, not their own.  An attorney might defend a chronic criminal, or a corporation that created an environmental catastrophe.  I know of local attorneys who represent dead beat dads who do their best to hide their income to avoid having to pay child support.  In a small town, everyone knows it, but the attorneys are hired by the dads regardless of their reputation, to do their legal bidding no matter how outrageous it might be.  There are also many attorneys working to defend the defenseless, but most will defend anybody regardless of the factual truth or legitimacy of their client’s position simply because they are being paid.  This is a very grey area and there are thousands of examples that could be argued both ways in discussing an individual’s right to the due process of our legal system, but the statement still stands that attorneys represent a unique profession where people are excused from their own personal values and morality in exchange for money to represent someone else’s.   Corporate attorneys are a strong example of this.  Coming from this environment it is easy to see why so many people with legal backgrounds run for office.   They have been mentally trained to represent the views of others.  Providing leadership, standing up for principles and making major course changing decisions based on personal integrity is not the strength of the majority of this professional group.  Those that do follow their values often spend their careers working in activist organizations to stop injustices, and they stay out of politics because they do not want to prostitute their convictions to gain political supporters.  Campaign contributions are just like client retainers where they are paid to represent their contributors’ interests. 

Are Career Politicians the Leaders We Need?

             A career politician is someone who is trained to listen to other opinions and speak by upsetting the least amount of people.   They avoid controversy whenever possible to maintain their voter majority.  This reminds me of the time I can vividly recall being a part of training program for a speaker’s bureau for the large company I was working for at the time.  Part of the program included a presentation from representatives of the company’s political action committee or what is commonly referred to as a PAC.  The woman giving the presentation whose name was Jean made a remark that I have never forgotten.  Jean had worked for the PAC for many years.  As she was explaining the role of the PAC and how it interfaced with the political and legislative processes, she said that she was beginning to see a new trend emerging where for the first time in her career as a political activist, there were people running for office whose resumes listed themselves as career politicians.  This was back in the early 1980’s.  Jean was recognizing that there was a shift occurring from the idea of the private citizen volunteering to serve in public office to individuals who did not just want to serve, but were searching for a lifelong career in politics.

          Today it is widely accepted that one of the major problems with government is the career politician.  Establishing term limits is a concept that continues to come up year after year, but is virtually impossible to accomplish because of the career politicians in government who want to protect their livelihood.  It is difficult to get people to listen when their job is dependent upon them not hearing, plus the constitutionality of term limits is debatable.  Though rare today, there could be a great public servant, wise from many years of life experiences, a leader among leaders, who would be a great loss to society if he or she had to resign from public service after just a few years.  But people are desperate for change, and if term limits could be put on a public referendum, it would probably pass.  However, any new term limit law that would pass will simply be an errant attempt to try to correct something that cannot be changed by simply changing the length of terms.  The core problem rests with changing beliefs that caused individual behaviors to go awry for both candidates and the voters that elect them.

           Government today at all levels desperately needs true public servant leaders regardless how long they are allowed to serve, and not just politicians who think giving the people what they want is the best way to stay in office.  Or those career politicians who are skilled at convincing the public that they are acting in their best interest while actually they are pursuing their own self interests and those of their financial supporters seeking special government favors.  No new laws can substitute for individual greatness and true leadership.  These cannot be legislated.  Until the people are willing to listen to those that are strong enough and honest enough to say what is not working and what needs to change, regardless of how much personal sacrifice it will call upon everyone to make, government will not change.  Term limits will not address a problem that originates from a problem with the will of the people.  As long as the majority of people are only interested in change as long as it does not adversely affect them financially, this will not change.

            And so we continue to re-elect career politicians.  They are very good at telling us what we want to hear, and often avoiding the truth of what we should hear.  Many and their supporters believe leadership is about gaining seniority to increase their influence to bring public funds back to their district.  Governing gets “dumbed down” to “bringing home the bacon.”   But knowing that government is no longer working and that eventually something must change, many people believe that it will change by electing more business people to office.

Are Business People the Leaders We Need?

             Successful business people are also seek public office because they believe that if they can balance a private company’s budget and make a profit, they then are qualified to run a government.  This argument carries more weight today as governments all over the world and at all levels – city, state and national are running massive deficits.   People believe that since they could make money in a competitive for-profit environment, that they can save money in a non-competitive, public environment.   Politicians with this background claim that they can make government more efficient and competitive like they ran their companies.   Cutting cost is the easiest way for companies to make money.  As chief executives of their company, they are omnipotent.  Without any strategic vision, they can simply demand their vice presidents cut costs by a percentage.  They lay off workers, leaving a few to do the work of many, while increasing the need for social services of government to help their now unemployed workers.  Or they ship jobs overseas to take advantage of desperate workers willing to work at subsistent wages to accomplish the same objective and create the same financial benefits.  Many then run for office claiming government is too big, while they contributed to the need for bigger government.  They lack the ability to see the bigger picture of how their own actions impact society.

            This is the culture of modern business.  The primary goal is the next quarter’s profits.  For public corporations, the CEO is paid to pursue one objective – to increase shareholder wealth.  Employees are motivated by the desire to make more money. These profits most often come at the expense of another company’s revenue competing in the same marketplace.  One company’s gain is another’s loss.  Long term if it is considered at all, is all about how to grow the business to increase profits often dealing with mergers and acquisitions and emerging markets.  Long term is also research and development which is often related to government funded programs.  Rarely do businesses advocate cutting government funded R & D, or contracts for government work like the defense or medical industry.  The drug companies were not against the trillion dollar government prescription drug program, they wanted it.  The defense companies are not against the trillions of government dollars spent on defense every year worldwide, they encourage it.  The large agricultural conglomerates are not against cutting the billions of agricultural subsidies, they defend them.

            So how does working for the sole purpose of increasing profits, or increasing shareholder wealth for a select few, at someone else’s loss, prepare someone for working in government to address the common interests of everyone?  Their vision is about growing their business revenues.  They automatically equate taxpayers to shareholders.  Cutting costs by reducing government is nothing more than the usual boiler plate, simple business strategy of trying to make the bottom line look good as soon as possible.  Nearly 20% of all public companies are now owned by private equity firms often acquired after a hostile takeover, or highly leveraged buyout.  While some work to improve efficiency, often they strip out not just the fat, but muscle of the company to generate a short term financial picture of increased profitability in order to flip the company public once again to make short term profit.  What is often left is just a skeleton of a company with overburdened employees working long hours to keep their jobs.  Less costs and higher productivity means greater competitiveness and profits.  Unfortunately, the leveraged company will be on the verge of financial collapse with even the slightest downturn in sales.  The idea of worrying about any negative effects on employees, the environment, the investors that they sell the gutted company to, or society in general is not the concern of these business owners.  They are trained to look out for their own interests and the interests of their company, not the interests of others.  Taking care of others is limited to the shareholders so they can get personally rewarded with more money through bonuses and stock options.  The better private equity firms try to improve operating efficiencies, but once again, this comes at the loss of some other competitor.  This is contrary to the purpose of government whose responsibility is to look out for the general welfare of everyone, or as better stated – to serve the common good to ensure domestic tranquility and liberty and justice for all.  It is not about doing things for the short term personal gain of a few.

            Running a business as the owner and chief executive is also not good training for learning to work with others with different opinions to solve complex issues.  Developing consensus without having the power to fire anyone at anytime is a much different game.  Whether it is spoken of or not, their subordinates often live in fear of keeping their jobs, and have to carefully balance their comments and actions from taking risks to make things happen to not making a mistake.  From my perspective, most business people are not wired to work with others who have strong differing opinions from different political parties and backgrounds.  These are the people they fire, but they can’t do that in government with as much freedom.  They must learn to work together, starting with deep and genuine listening to ideas that may be foreign and in conflict with their own way of thinking.  An open mind is necessary to make the best long term decisions, to reach compromises and solve problems that are in the best interests of the common good.  But this is contrary to their imbedded nature and culture of beliefs.  A successful business person may actually more often than not, make a lousy public servant.

             To sum all of this up, I really like the analogy that if people are used to only carrying a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail to them.  It is the only way they know how to work, to contribute to society and solve problems.   Trying to clean windows, cutting grass, taking care of the elderly, educating a child with a hammer as your only tool, does not work very well.  But it is all they have been trained to do.  It is how their brain is wired to think and tackle problems.  And so if lawyers, career politicians and business people in general do not make good public servants, because they have the wrong backgrounds and established brain patterns that make them see, reason and act differently, who does?

Name Recognition Leaders

           Well based on past experiences, it appears that voters think that people with the right last name do.  Having a famous father or mother is invaluable for running for office.  It is amazing how many people win elections riding on the coat tails of their family name.  Sometimes it is the hidden insider relationships that come from long time family political connections with key supporters that is the most powerful benefit from family.  While electing people by name is not necessarily a guarantee for failure in office, it certainly is not the best way to select a candidate.  This only amplifies the point that people are less interested in hearing about real issues.  In today’s politics, there is no second place so doing everything to make sure your party’s candidates win, is the primary concern.  It further demonstrates that campaigns are more about marketing and public relations where name recognition can be worth millions of free advertising, than selecting leaders with the abilities and vision to solve complex issues.  People would rather vote for someone familiar, than for someone new with unfamiliar ideas, and even go so as far as to vote simply because the candidate’s last name sounds familiar.  The Bush family in America is a good example of this, but it happens frequently at all levels of government from local to national offices.  As history has shown, sometimes the public gets lucky and elects a competent leader who was someone’s relative, but sometimes it can go terribly wrong.  Much depends upon the backgrounds and life experiences of each individual.

            In closing it must be said that being a lawyer, business executive, career politician or famous relative, does not automatically make a person a poor public servant.  It must also be said that this does not make a person bad.  This article is about explaining how different people with different upbringings and work backgrounds can be stuck in set patterns of thinking.  Their minds are often closed to new ways of thinking.  They are only doing what they believe is right, but this does not make them good leaders.  So “forgive them for they know not what they do” is truer than most people realize, but that does not mean to stand passively by and let them run government, slowly ruining society which desperately needs a new breed of public servant leaders.  Of course incumbents can change overtime, but does society have the time to wait to see if they are willing?  Remember they believe that their opponents are the ones who are ruining society.  More political grid lock is the result, creating a pendulum of repetitive election cycles which do not address fundamental problems.  As voters, people need to become more discerning in selecting their representatives including demonstrating a desire to address long term issues in the best interest of everyone, not just their own.

I invite you to read the subsequent three articles in this four part series, for more insight into answering the question –“Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Ourselves?”


Compromise vs. Control – A Challenge for Democracy

Compromise vs. Control – A Challenge for Democracy

Part 2 from …… “Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Ourselves?”

 Uplifting America Series  by Michael Krajovic                    

                   In order to form a more perfect union of people, democracy was established as a better way for groups of people to form and operate a civil society.  A democratic government’s role is to be a place where people of different opinions can assemble to reach compromises about common issues for the common good.  In fact many say that the art of politics is all about the art of compromise.  This generally has been how the basic system of our government was meant to work, but it has not yet achieved this ideal vision, as societal beliefs have faltered.  Sadly government has never been just about the people’s representatives convening while in office to reach compromises for the common good, but over time, it has degraded to the point where the election process is dominated by political parties competing to gain power and majority control of the governmental processes in order to pursue self interests. 

            The effect of this over time has turned political campaigns into vicious attacks to defeat the competition at all costs to gain power and control.  The thought of proposing solutions to serious problems, debating issues and demonstrating personal leadership and sound reasoning has been forgotten under the pressure to raise money to run outrageous and often misleading attack ads against political opponents.   In America, there was a historic change of the normal election process for a democracy during the 2010 election year, where many challengers from the opposing party were able to defeat incumbents without having to publicly debate issues.   Funded by a massive influx of corporate self interest directed money, challengers were able to defeat incumbents simple through massive negative and mostly misleading ad campaigns.  The public elected a new type of person to government – someone who did not have to publicly debate their ideals, ideas or policy positions.  They won by destroying the image of their opponent with enough voters to win the majority of votes.  As a result, the idea of compromise in modern government has regressed.  Compromise is considered a weakness.  Uncompromising fundamentalism is considered strength.

            Compromise, rather than being something that is actively sought within the internal workings of the government process, is something which now might only passively occur over time by default through the external workings of the government election process itself.   For example, over longer periods of time through the law of averages, readjustments may occur, but compromises are not reached.  One party and their supporters benefit from having the power of the majority, and after a few years when the pendulum has swung too far their way, the other party is elected to the majority by disgruntled voters.  It is then their turn to change government policies and appropriations to benefit their supporters when they get back into power.  This has fueled the era of political extremism for each party to win at all costs and inflict as much change as possible while in office.  It is the swing of the pendulum that results in adjustments, not compromises, as government power swings back and forth between political parties as if engaged in an epic battle where the front line shifts back and forth.   I feel that US President Barack Obama has tried to break this cycle by spending time with both sides and by appointing members of the opposing party to key positions in government.  Unfortunately, the radical opponents and much of the American public do not recognize the noble effort to break this very destructive and wastefully ineffective cycle in American politics.  Confused and frustrated voters are easily misled by political campaign managers who know that it is easier to make voters more afraid of their opponent through negative attack ads than trying to convince voters of the merits or leadership of their own candidate.  It is a sad statement that while we believe we live in modern times, fear is the primary political campaign strategy used to in the election process to ultimately choose our government leaders at a time when society desperately needs true leaders.  We may say we live in modern times, but at heart, we are still behaving as a very primitive species.

           And so it is like watching a football game where one team gets the ball and tries to drive down the field.  Sometimes they are stopped and have to punt.  Sometimes they score big and other times they have to settle for a field goal.  Either way, eventually the other team gets the ball. While today it might be an enjoyable pastime watching what your home team will do season after season, it is a not a very effective way of running society. When serious problems need addressed, everyone’s brain power needs to be focused on developing the best solution for the greatest good, not  on seeing who can develop the best offensive or defensive strategy to defeat the other side.  The recent debt ceiling issue in American politics in the summer of 2001 is perhaps the most dramatic example of where a minority of extremists can basically bring government to a stop focusing on just one issue preventing it from addressing  the most urgent and critical issue of the economy.  But they were elected on one issue backed by voter anger and fear that they inflamed.  They, along with many longer term incumbents, do not know how to listen to everyone’s different opinion to build upon the collective wisdom of the group is needed to come up with the best solutions. Solutions that are desperately needed as old social systems begin to fail.

             Unfortunately, the concept of integrity has also regressed as the idea of compromise between both parties has degraded into a sign of weakness.  Agreeing to support some aspect of the opposition’s position is viewed as admitting that there is some aspect of your own position that is wrong.  This polarization exists in a world of duality, of black or white where there is not only no room for compromise, but for new, innovative points of view, except of course when they are your own.  The new integrity has become having to be right all the time.  Admit no mistakes and never be wrong.  Close-mindedness rather than reason has become the norm.  It is an Either – Or, winner-take-all approach.  Simultaneously accepting the merits of each other’s points of view is becoming unheard of.  Even if one party does win one issue, in truth, it is a hollow victory as fellow countrymen suffer.  Deep down at some level, everyone knows that disunity is not a process that will develop a lasting solution.  Since someone has to lose, society as a whole loses.  The sense of fairness is a lost sense of direction.  Divisions widen and frustration from not being able to solve problems increases.  The idea of rugged American individualism combined with pledging liberty and justice for all has been degraded into every person for themselves.

            As a result politics and now government has become much more violent, not physically yet, but verbally where opponents are to be defeated in elections at all costs regardless of the tactics used.  Seriously discussing issues is avoided as attack and defend political strategies set the tone for elections which are expressed in the media as short, repetitive phrases.  There are so many accusations and so much arguing that the public becomes confused and susceptible to manipulation.  The uninformed and disgruntled public is easily swayed through simple but frequent exposure to ads that aim to convince that the opposing political candidate running for the same office  is to be feared and hated for being the source of your problems.  This takes a lot of money, so those with the largest pocketbooks, usually win by saturating the media with their attack ads. The golden rule of politics of “He who has the most gold rules” is truer today than ever before as greater individual and corporate wealth concentrates into fewer hands.   While the public is confused about who to blame and what needs addressed, this public distraction creates an opportunity for others to profit.   Regardless of the issues, there is one overwhelming fact and undeniable trend that continues to grow at an alarming rate during all of this turmoil, the super wealthy are getting wealthier and the masses are getting poorer.  And so the money spent on winning elections continues to set new records with each passing election.  Billions will be spent on the US presidential election alone.  And the bankers and corporations who are spending this money are not doing it to support useless political ideology, but to influence government policies to advance their self interests and increase their profits.

           As a result, truth, honor, integrity, morality, values and principles have become virtually meaningless concepts in modern politics.  They have become so meaningless, that private, individual sexual experience is now the barometer to measure individual character fitness to either run or stay in office.  Lacking other methods, individual sexuality which should be a private matter is now used to judge the ability to govern and to condemn individuals.   And even this is not consistent.  Some politicians having affairs are not asked to resign while other “sexting” phone pictures without actual physical sexual contact are forced to resign in disgrace.   Is this the only measure our society can come up with to evaluate someone’s character?  How primitive we are.

            It seems that truth, honor, integrity, morality, values and principles are only raised for moral arguments when attacking an opponent by researching their past for mistakes.   Mistakes should be opportunities for personal growth.  It is what people learn and do after making mistakes which molds their true character.  Some of the best and wisest leaders are those who made mistakes and learned from them in their youth.  But today someone can be discredited so easily with attack ads about their past without ever having a chance to respond.  Their personal life is scrutinized for failures as an evaluation of character.  But who among us has not made a mistake?  “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  As a result many qualified people do not run for public office because they don’t want their personal history often decades earlier to be the judge of who they are as a person now.  What if they shoplifted as a teenager, went through a divorce, got caught drinking beer, smoking pot, got fired, were arrested for “driving while intoxicated”, had child out of wedlock, wrote a controversial college paper, suffered a bankruptcy, purchased adult sexual movies, have a child with drug problems, a relative with a criminal record, once belonged to a group that went radical, or had their picture taken with a person who turned out to be a criminal later on?  Any of these and thousands of other experiences could be manipulated to embarrass anyone nationally.  A few million dollars spent on false or misleading sensationalism could destroy a worthy candidate’s entire campaign for office.  While it may only take a few seconds to throw a stone, it may take weeks to heal the wound.  This has left the door open for others to seize control of the government that is supposed to be of, by and for the people.  Narcissistic people who have no regrets, admit no mistakes and have self inflated egos are left to run for office.  Other people are elected to office without much public experience, leadership or genuine desire to serve others other than themselves.  Often they are safe political bets because they have led very quiet and private lives.  Their image can be molded by public relations’ professionals and campaign managers.  They can now win an election by speaking as little as possible except for launching their planned attacks against their opponent.  Wealthy individuals and corporations who have the money to fund these types of campaigns are now able to gain control of politicians, who feel they have no other choice, but to play ball with them and do their bidding if they expect to gain and maintain their careers in public office.  The elected representatives of the many have become subservient to wishes of the few. 

         To break these primitive human behaviors used to simply gain government control , we must bring integrity and values back into our political process. We must rebuild the true human spirit of cooperation where people of different opinions can contribute to develop the best alternatives through the art of reason and compromise so that the control of the government can return to the people.  But to do this, the will of the people must change first.

         I invite you to read the third part next in the four part series of articles, for more insight into answering the question –“Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Us?”


Why Most Business People Don’t Make Good Public Servants

Why Most Business People Don’t Make Good Public Servants

Part 3 from …”Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Ourselves?”

Uplifting America Series  by Michael Krajovic    

             In the opening article “Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Us?” I discussed how most business people are mentally programmed to think short term for the pursuit of self interests.  This does not prepare them very well to address common interests and think long term to solve systemic social problems.   I would like to spend a little more time examining this in greater detail given the unprecedented amount of corporate influence in public election processes especially in America.

            Business people often run for public office because they say that government needs to be more competitive, and they know how to compete.  They were able to be a winner in the private sector competition between companies successfully growing their business and creating jobs.  Since jobs and the economy are usually at the top of any political agenda, they feel they are ready to lead the public sector.  They feel if they could be successful creating jobs in the private sector, they should know how to create jobs by changing policies and programs in the public sector.  Most often this is done by advocating for either regulatory reductions or tax cuts to increase business profits, believing that profits and job creation are directly proportional, where increased profits automatically means increased jobs.  This myth, while still widely believed to be true, was blown away by the jobless ‘lost decade’ between 2000 and 2010 in the United States that saw large increases in corporate profits with no new job increases.  To most corporation executives, jobs are equivalent to labor costs, something to be minimized or cut to increase profits.  Increasing jobs is not a business objective, but an unavoidable consequence of investment that is to be minimized.  So why should the public trust business people to lead the public sector and set policies to create jobs when it was not their conscious objective to create jobs in the private sector, and in fact reduce them as much as possible? 

            Despite the claim of excessive tax and regulatory burdens holding business growth back, some of the largest corporations in the world are now sitting on the largest amounts of cash they ever had totaling in the hundreds of billions of dollars, but employment rates are not increasing.  Jobs simply shifted from the business losers to the winners, or to developing countries, in the cut throat game of competition with no net employment gain. Profits were used to merge with or purchase other companies creating ever bigger corporations that could cut their workforce. Or, profits were used to buy back stock to increase stockholder value, not to invest to create new jobs.  Most business politicians believe that cutting taxes, both business and personal, will increase national job and GDP growth, but the fact remains that growth in both areas was much greater in the past when net tax rates were much higher.   This is not necessarily an argument for greater taxes, but it is an argument showing that cutting taxes to increase corporate profits does not necessarily lead to creating new jobs.  If there is no consumer demand or decreased spending power, no amount of corporate tax cuts will increase a corporation’s sales and the jobs that come with producing more to sell.  In many cases, the tax cuts and tax payer funded corporate subsidies are used to support corporate earnings where the wealth is redistributed to the executives and shareholders.

            History has shown that when corporate taxes are higher, businesses are more eager to invest their cash in their business, rather than withdraw as profits which will be taxed.  Investing to generate even a modest 5% to 10% return is better than taking money out of the business and paying 30% to 50% in taxes.  But with the globalization of the economy, and loop holes in the tax codes around the world, what corporation or wealthy individual is really paying the top nominal rate anyhow?  In 2011, with the world economy still trying to recover from the Great Recession, some of the world’s largest corporations despite making billions of profits, did not even pay any corporate taxes.  Meanwhile the call to not raise business taxes led by politicians supported by major corporations resonates well with small business owners who are paying the nominal tax rate.  They don’t realize that they are being used to do the bidding of the large corporations.   They have to pay more to cover the large corporate subsidies.  Or if they do realize it, they don’t really care about it as long as they get what they want in the short term, not realizing that they are paying the price in the long run through either less public services, higher taxes or fewer customers.  These small businesses don’t make billions of profits on top of billions of government incentives while avoiding paying taxes.  For individuals, even Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in the world, admits that he actually pays far less than the nominal top tax rate, often far below the income of working families, and thinks he should be paying more.  In Pennsylvania, the democratic governor in 2002-2004 tried to lower the corporate tax rate by half.  His administration calculated that by eliminating the loop holes, the state could cut its rate from 9.9% to approximately 5%.  The effort failed for lack of support in the business community who did not want to see the loop holes eliminated.  Imagine that, an American politician being unable to reduce the corporate tax rate due to lack of business support.

            Another simple political approach by business people to reduce the size of government and increase jobs is to outsource public services, but over time costs will increase as the private contractors seek to increase profits.  The profits go into the hands of the owners rather than into the pockets of the workers who often have to work with fewer benefits and less wages than before.  They certainly will not have the same pension benefits that government offers.  The tax payer saves in the short run, but there is less money circulating in fewer hands of workers which reduces economic activity.  This is not to say that public sector pension benefits have become excessive.  Being able to retire with only twenty five or thirty years of service, when employees are at their peak abilities, is a huge cost to society and needs to changed.  But outsourcing public sector jobs for the benefit of a few companies and their individual owners is not the best way to address the problem of job creation to support the economy and it may or may not save public money.

           In many other cases, it is also true that government has grown fat.  This is at all government levels – local, state and federal.  Government employees can suffer from low morale and apathy from having to work for a new politician every so many years.  The constant changes from having a different government CEO, results in working without clear, consistent direction.   Not having a clear  sense of direction hurts the effectiveness of any organization, especially large organizations like state and national governments.  It is even worse if it is a group of politicians setting direction that can’t get along.  But low morale, poor inconsistent direction, lack of leadership, inefficiencies and waste does not mean that the services are not needed.  Whatever happened to the reorganization of the organization, reengineering, training and leadership, employee engagement, coaching and mentoring to make an organization more effective?  Why don’t we hear of business leaders setting a clear mission and vision needed for the long term, not one that changes dramatically every few years with election cycles.  Sure adjustments need to be made to respond to external circumstances, but the core direction and purpose needs consistency. All successful business executives know this.  Their culture and the productivity of workers are ultimately the foundation upon which business success originates from.  But somehow, this aspect of running a business is lost in improving government.  Instead of concentrating on improving government effectiveness, they focus on short term measures to address immediate crises caused by long term systemic problems.  This only delays addressing the core problems which will only get larger over time.  For example, cutting services, reducing investments in public infrastructure needed to support common assets, or slashing education budgets are easy to do and may reduce government spending depending upon how much tax revenue is lost, but they do not address the core social issues that created the need for bigger government in the first place.

          Simply blaming government for all of the problems is even easier for businessmen and women to do.  Government is not being credited for the record increase in corporate profits, but blamed for the loss of jobs.  It is blamed for the economic results of running export deficits and off shoring of jobs which have resulted in stagnant wages and higher unemployment.  But the off shoring of jobs and importing of trillions worth of goods are trade policies led by large multinational corporations in the private sector.  Through their financial influence, they were able to get government to approve trade policies good for corporate profits, but not good for the national economy.  A government of the people does not encourage imports at the costs of exporting jobs, but is blamed by people who lost their jobs.  This creates fear and anger in the general working class population, which is used by business politicians backed by large corporations to get more favorable government treatment such as tax breaks, more free trade laws and fewer regulations to reinforce the same business practices that created the problem in the first place.  People don’t understand what happened, because it happened slowly, the ongoing effect over time of closing a town’s manufacturing plant one at a time.  These people and the politicians that they elect to office cannot distinguish between policies that benefit large multinational corporations which have no loyalty to any community or nation and small business owners who are solely dependent upon their local community’s economy.

             When these struggling, small businesses have to pay their taxes to support their community and their country, there is less to give.  Contributing by paying taxes to support each other – the unemployed, seniors, children – is viewed as a taking by the government.  This creates an environment where people can be easily misled by candidate running for office who is good at pointing fingers, not working solutions, to stoke the fires of anger.  They can’t figure out why they have less money when costs keep rising, but they know the government is taking some of it away through taxes, so government becomes the easy target for all of their problems.

                This is especially true for small business owners who often pay the personal tax rate.  Very few make over $250,000 per year in the United States, but these small businesses are used as the tip of the spear to defend not raising taxes in higher income brackets for very wealthy individuals.  The argument is that higher income tax breaks damage the economy by reducing new business investment.  But as explained earlier the concept of “trickled down economics” is flawed as higher concentrations of wealth increase.  The luxury expenditures of a few do not create enough cash flow in the economy to support the many despite every business owner’s best efforts from the smallest business to the largest corporation, to get people to consume more.

          At the same time, corporations and the upper class want more profits in their stock portfolios and therefore want to cut government taxes and regulation.  The suffering middle class can’t make more money so they want to cut taxes to cut their costs.  Everyone wants to pay fewer taxes, therefore it is easy to join forces against government with a common objective – cut it. But with long term high unemployment, a crumbling public infrastructure of roads, bridges, water and sewer lines, and needs to install modern communications, retrain workers, expand and improve education in all communities across the country to remain economically competitive, pursuing the path of just cutting costs across the board is a childish and simplistic approach.  It may provide short term gain and instant gratification, but it will just delay addressing serious problems that just keep getting bigger over time.  It will not get the job done that needs to be done. 

            Of course after business politicians backed by large corporations have built the argument that government is incompetent, it is easier for them to begin selling a relatively new idea of privatizing public assets and services.  The government often gets a short term lump sum payoff or reduction of expenses, but the public as the users of the services now has to satisfy private sector investors who seek ever greater returns which will paid for by future taxpayers justified simply as the rising cost of doing business.  Blame and poorly thought out cost cutting is simply kicking the can down the road for someone else to have to pick up at a later time.   The problems are much more complicated and require serious attention.   Issues like monetary reform need addressed to effect the systemic change that is needed, but this is a discussion that can’t be had as business politicians seek simple solutions like cutting costs and privatization in an attempt to gain public favor.  It is all they know how to do.

            Recently in the Spring of 2011, the United States Congress had public hearings on whether to continue giving big oil corporations public tax breaks and incentives.  The vote was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives and was defeated along party lines as the Republicans holding the majority of the seats voted against the bill.  Despite record profits, the oil companies said the losing the incentives would cause a price rise that would be passed on to the consumer.  But the price is not even controlled by the oil companies, but by global commodities markets.  What was shocking about the vote was the votes by those who believe in the free market, but were not willing to let big oil compete among themselves in the market place without government subsidies.  While these same corporations are racing to compete aggressively among themselves by bidding billions of dollars to give to other nations to have access to oil reserves in other foreign and often dangerous countries, they are hypocritically defending the need for American subsidies to maintain their business.  During this period, the US was actually exporting more oil than it was consuming.  Why would the US tax payer need to subsidize private corporations to sell its own oil to others around the world at the highest market price as determined by speculative futures’ contracts to benefit a few?  Should not the people of the country at least get to benefit of using its own oil at a cheaper price at the pump if it is going to subsidize it?

            The point of this example is to demonstrate how business people will complain about government about being the problem, but fight against reducing government expenditures if it means reducing profits for the special interests of particular businesses.   They argue that eliminating unfair subsidies and incentives are actually tax increases.  To them, reducing big government is about reducing subsidies for individuals who need government assistance, not for large global corporations who want the benefits of subsidies.  Business people often seek public office in order to give tax loopholes, reduced regulation and reward government contracts to businesses, especially those that contribute to their campaigns.  Considering the unprecedented fiscal challenges facing the United States, the vote in the Spring of 2011 to continue unneeded, tax payer funded big oil subsidies clearly demonstrates the corporate agenda of many business politicians.  Even though corporate profits are so high and corporate tax revenue is at an all time low for government, the business oriented politicians won’t do anything to interfere with the maximum pursuit of corporate profits by eliminating subsidies or increasing tax rates even though they pay far less than the average small business.  The increased profits will not mean one more American job, cheaper oil or even a more reliable source of supply.  Meanwhile it is the small business sector which is forced to pay for not only higher fuel costs, but taxes to subsidize the profits of the oil companies.  Hundreds of millions of consumers and small businesses have less money to spend as they pay hundreds of more each year for fuel costs.  They try to create jobs while large corporations shift their jobs and their customers right out of the country, taking even more money out the pockets of small businesses.  This is the clearest example of “business friendly” politicians putting self interest ahead of common interests and the best interest of the nation.  “Business friendly” actually means corporate friendly at the expense of millions of small business owners.

           Let’s look at one example of one business person’s engagements in fixing the public sector.  Since our society measures business success according to the amount of revenues and wealth generated, Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest people in the world, is considered by many to be one of the most successful businessmen of all time.  He has not run for government, but nobly he has moved billions of dollars of his own money into his private foundation to help address world problems.  In the US, he has focused a lot of attention on improving public education.  Besides selecting and backing best practices around the country to be used as examples, the Gates Foundation is strongly supporting teacher financial incentives.  It seems normal and reasonable to a business person to motivate employees by using a pay for performance compensation system.  The better the performance is, the higher the monetary reward.  Employees compete within the company to advance.  So should not the best teachers be paid more?  As fair as this may sound, it does little to improve public education. How many teachers or young people go to college to become a teacher say that they want to teach because they want to make money?  Making money is not their motivation.  Do we want a person that loves teaching children to teach our children or someone who just wants a job to make money?  It is hard for business people to understand that not all people are motivated by money.   Teachers and public servants want to contribute to society to help others, not compete against their neighbor’s company to get ahead.  Based on the fundamental purpose of teacher and the benefit they provide society, I believe teachers as group of professionals are underpaid, but more importantly underappreciated.  The overall blaming and labeling of public teachers as poor performers or the reason for failing schools due to union issues that need addressed specifically, is only exacerbating the problem of recruiting new, qualified teachers. This is especially true as schools struggle to file vacancies with good math and science teachers as the shortage of technical workers pull the brightest college graduates away to work in private industry.  

           Mr. Gates is right about the need to pay good teachers more, but he is wrong about motivation.  This does not mean that the bottom performers should be tolerated or protected by teacher unions that have only hurt themselves by defending poor performers.  Even the best teachers can be demoralized working in a system that is in different to incompetence.  While Mr. Gates intentions are good and his methods were successful in the private sector, teacher financial incentives are not going to solve the problems with public education.  It is not even the best available strategy to pursue, but to a business person, it is because of how they think. 

                In summary, most business people in public office cannot make the transition from thinking about short term profits and maximizing the self interests of businesses to thinking about acting in the best interests of all people, now and for future generations.  All of their decisions and actions are based on or around the concept of money and the pursuit of profit in the shortest time possible.   Concepts such as common interests, social justice, and long term economic and environmental sustainability are just not in their vocabulary.  As discussed in earlier parts of this article, their brains are not developed to think that way.

                 Government is about operating society, not running a business to make money.  (For those who make the valid argument that government should not waste money and act more like a business that would never consider wasting money, that is an entirely different subject worthy of discussion).  Government is about fairness and requires cooperation. Actions are taken because they are right to do, not because they make money, or cost money.  Developing and following higher principles to guide public decisions are foreign to most buinessmen and women with their imbedded profit driven thinking.  To most of them, leadership in government has been downgraded to using the influence of money and power.  And since most of this money comes from large multinational corporations, it is their views they represent.  And herein lies one of the biggest points of confusion in American politics – people do not realize the difference between assisting large multinational corporations that have no loyalty to any community or country including their own, and small business owners who are committed and dependent upon their local community and country.  Too many corporate backed pro business politicians are actually assisting the demise of small businesses and the economies of local communities upon which they are dependent, for the benefit of large industrial conglomerates, all the while the small businesses believe these politicians are representing their interests.  They have not yet realized that the reason they need help is because they are being used to support the agenda of multi-national corporations at their own expense, the expense of their local communities and the expense of their country.  And for those small businesses owners who are also in business to simply make money, it is costing them money.  In the war between the Haves and Have Nots, they are becoming the Have Nots.

          To reverse the trend of choosing people with the wrong backgrounds to lead our society, I invite you to read the fourth and final article in this series, for more insight into answering the question –“Have We Chosen the Wrong Type of People to Govern Us?”

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