Current Events, diversity, Overview

Moral Innovators on narcissism into the 2020s

Narcissists fall in love with their own image, and exhibit excessive interest in oneself. Everything happens as a result of the narcissists’ desires. That is the world of the narcissists.

Even though the most famous narcissist we know today is Donald Trump, he is not the only one. Trump tries to hide behind nationalism, while others can hide behind ethics. France’s President Marcom rightfully pointed out that nationalism and patriotism must be balanced, similar to the way morality and innovations must be balanced to deliver harmony on earth.

Manipulation lives at the core of narcissists. Often the people being manipulated do not even know they are being manipulated because the tools available to the narcissists vary. Donald Trump uses Twitter, Fox News and his new TV station Trump News to reinforce his messages. Often he claims to be Ivy League educated when he only spent two year at The Wharton School instead of four years. Some narcissists shamelessly publicize their education by fully integrating their degree into their names.

Listen to narcissists and you will hear their legacy exaggerated. Some examples: The greatest accomplishments ever, the highest polling numbers, full employment. These claims usually are outcomes that did not result from their efforts. We normally do not transfer government tax revenue from the poor to the rich in the form of a tax cut when we are in one of the longest expansion periods in US history. Ronald Reagan used a tax cut to stimulate the economy. As a nation, it was Ronald Reagan that turned the USA from a creditor nation to a debtor nation during his tenure. Our current economy is over-stimulated, and the imminent recession will probably start as the narcissist exits. These narcissists claim credit for the artificial growth during their tenure and disclaim any responsibilities during the subsequent recessions. It will be difficult for the USA to recover from the next recession given the loss of allies around the world. Without the moral high ground and already heavily burdened with debt and deficit, the options available to USA are very limited and getting even more limited.

There is a parallel in the form of executive compensation. During the height of the 2004-2008 sub-prime housing crisis when $5 trillion value was lost along with 9 million jobs, the CEO of one of the largest mortgage underwriters, Fannie Mae, walked away with $90 million in compensation. The CEO would be equivalent to the narcissist, rewarded with a lucrative compensation, and not responsible for the hard time we went through to recover from the crisis. Millions of lives were affected…

The 2020s will be tough… Together, as moral innovators, we can leverage our diversity to strengthen our democracy, away from the narcissists’ tendency towards autocracy by surrounding themselves with loyal subjects. After all, democracy is the worst form of government, except there is none better. Hope will propel us to improve our democracy.

diversity, Innovators World, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspectives on Making America Great Again

At 228 years old, United States of America has the longest sustained Constitution in the world today. There have been ups and downs to USA’s growth, but generally one growth path from the 1770s to the 1950s, and decline after the 1950s through today. How can we reverse the trend to be great again?

Let us look at history before we project forward.

Our Founding Fathers started as highly motivated immigrants in search of better lives. They overcame British oppression through the 1773 Boston Tea Party. After the Constitution was ratified, the very innovative Americans imposed the 1823 Discovery Doctrine on Native Americans to take land ownership and leveraged slavery in the production of cotton and coolies in construction of the transcontinental railway through most of the 19th century. These actions of low morality transitioned during the Gilded Age that provided concentrated wealth to Rockefellers, Carnegies and Morgans who often turned into philanthropists partly because the estate tax rate was as high as 77%. In the 20th century, Henry Ford helped create the middle-class by giving high wages to workers to buy homes and cars. The USA expansion continued through the unofficial entry into the second world war with the Lend Lease program in 1941 until Pearl Harbor, and sustained growth after the second world war with the Marshall Plan. With about 5% of global population, USA commanded 35% of global GNP at its apex in the 1950s.

Lack of experience in a globalized world has stymied our growth. Arrogance marked the beginning of the downturn when President Eisenhower was convinced by Winston Churchill to implement Project Ajax, a 1953 coup that imposed the Shah onto the Iranians, against their will. We fooled ourselves in the Vietnam War when General Westmoreland publicly stated “Vietnamese do not value their lives” in the documentary movie “Hearts and Minds.” These mistakes correlated to the decline of our share of global GNP to 16% today, despite innovations like internet, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, etc.

Looking domestically, an estimated 64% of Americans have never left US borders. Our K-12 education never taught us about discovery doctrine nor project ajax. Hidden behind the aura of religions like Christianity are values of superiority. The original sermons delivered by Jesus focused on loving thy neighbor. As a messenger of God, Mohammad created an egalitarian religion 1400 years ago, before the Chinese Mongolians defeated Muslims in Damascus and Aleppo 800 years old that changed Islam into the current form of women oppression under the name of Islamic fundamentalism .

We are changing the ways we approach education and redress past inequities with programs like Affirmation Action. Textbooks are acknowledging the annihilation of Native Americans. However, these changes did not happen uniformly across the USA. A large swath of Americans not living in east or west coasts of the USA still have not changed their values partly because changes to their education have not happened fast enough. They associate the American decline to Affirmative Action and new immigrants. Among early evidence of their strength was the high rating of the TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” in the 1980s. Donald Trump found a way through bullying and intimidation to reach the US Presidency without winning the popular vote, in violation of the definition of democracy. It is not surprising that Americans who believe in white supremacy feel their representative is in the White House.

What about the path forward?

There is no magic dust that can make change happen overnight. Please remove our emotions and develop a sustainable path forward. There will be ups and downs, but the path to growth requires a balance of innovations with integrity. There are two key dimensions:

1. Let innovation thrive. This includes the continuation of Silicon Valley practices to find the best talent anywhere on earth. For example, we may lead the world in Global Positioning System (GPS) with 5 meter accuracy today. China’s Big Dipper will have more satellites with encrypted accuracy of 0.1 meter. If left alone, Big Dipper will become the global standard this century.

2. Encourage global education throughout the USA by including topics like the Discovery Doctrine and Project Ajax. Broaden the horizon of the 64% of Americans who have never left the US border. This disparity of knowledge is a factor in our divided USA. We need to past the tipping point as defined by Malcolm Gladwell to embrace our globalized world.

The only constant in life is change. We must embrace change and do the right things together!

diversity, Introduction, Opportunity, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator proposal for changing the world – one child at a time

We are clearly seeing increasing violence both domestically within the USA and worldwide these days. While the call for peace and calm can help get these incidents out of the immediate news headlines, we need a sustainable morally innovative solution that can take several generations if adults elect to work together, or several centuries if we collectively focus on educating our children.

Today, about one third of humanity follows the Christian faith.  This trend started over 500 years ago when the corrupt Spanish Pope Alexander VI declared that Spain and Portugal owned the world outside Europe in the Tordesillas Treaty.  The first ones to contest this declaration were other European Christians who innovatively created the corrupt State-sponsored Dutch East India Company and the even more corrupt British East India Company to gather resources needed to industrialize the world.  We know, for example, it was the British government who gave monopoly power to the British East India Company that produced opium in India and sold the illicit drugs into China (and almost bankrupted the Chinese economy).  The immoral Japanese military also helped take over 70,000 tons of silver out of China through illegal distribution of opium.

Another 20% of humanity today follows the Muslim faith, and Islam is the world’s fastest growing faith.  Since the first OPEC price increase in 1973, our newly industrialized world developed an insatiable appetite for fossil fuel, and an average US$2 trillion dollars per year have been transferred to Muslims each year.  Each time we fill up our car with fuel, or turn on the air conditioner anywhere in the world, we contribute to the demand for fossil fuel and eventually maintain or sustain the status quo that transfers wealth to the Muslims.  Another impact is global climate change which is a by-product of our industrialization and exasperates the fact that we are 20,000 years into the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle of global warming today.

On a global scale, our most severe conflict has been driven by the Christians’ and Muslims’ efforts to convert all humans.  Unless we create a way that allow humans to believe in both Christianity and Islam, there is no way humanity can have peace when two significant faiths strive to convert the entire humanity into one faith.  Within this framework, the declaration of independence by Israel in 1948 was like introducing a spark in a fuel tank.  While the role (and population) of Israel has been similar to Hong Kong for the British Protestant Christians during the opium war, USA has added plenty of oxygen to the spark in a fuel tank when President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq that spread the conflict between Christians and Muslims like forest fires.

Now is not the time to double down on our faith without reason.  We need to let our children thrive with knowledge of their places in the world in order to make the right decisions and make the world better.  Let us not baptize our infant children nor declare heaven belongs exclusively to any one faith,  claimed by both Christians and Muslims.  There is an alternative sustainable path to peace.

What is that alternative path?  We start with a very difficult challenge to understand and morally develop the age-appropriate motivations of our children.  In order to invoke the motivation hierarchy introduced by Abraham Maslow last century in a measurable way, let us try to map humanity into Maslow’s hierarchical layers of needs measured by wealth of humans.  We know that money cannot buy happiness, so these numbers should be modified by non-financial parameters:

  1. Two billion (~30%) humans on earth living below poverty. The number one focus for these two billion humans is to secure food for survival.  This is Maslow’s physiological layer.
  2. Five billion (~70%) humans seek safety through employment, police/fire protection, access to health care, investments, among other things. This is Maslow’s safety layer.
  3. Twelve million (~0.1%) millionaires living on earth seek friendship and family, among other things. This is Maslow’s love/belonging layer.
  4. 2,000 billionaires seek respect, confidence and achievements, among other things. This is Maslow’s esteem layer.  Donald Trump wants the US Presidency to try to excel in this layer.
  5. Essentially no one is free of prejudice and take actions based on facts, possibly except the Gates Foundation supported by Warren Buffet. This is Maslow’s self-actualization layer.

These layers cut across all humanity (including Christians and Muslims) and exist everywhere on earth, including the USA, the largest economy on earth.  Trying to separate African Americans and Caucasian Americans will not work.  It is not a matter of “Black Lives Matter Too” versus “All Lives Matter.”  We need hope and opportunities that differ among humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.

No line can be drawn for humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.  However, we can provide opportunities for our children living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy to seek their aspirations through education.  As long as our children learn the universally accepted Golden Rule (do unto others what you want others to do unto you) and believe there is hope to achieve their aspirations, we gain trust to respect our second amendment rights to bear arms, while reducing violence between police and citizens.  By adding moral innovations to the education curriculum, indiscriminate shootings in school will decline when our children and adults have the Golden Rule in mind.

Changes should be visible when we add the Moral Innovations framework into our education curriculum, including the Golden Rule.  Please encourage our children to do the right things as they thrive with knowledge of their places in the world.

diversity, Opportunity, Overview

Focus on Opportunity when we mention diversity

Our business school professors and investment advisors teach us to diversify stocks in a portfolio to reduce risks.  The justification is higher profit for risked adjusted diverse portfolios.  How do we apply this concept to social sciences?

As a nation of immigrants, USA has a diverse population from South America, Asia, Africa and Europe with different moral values and faith within each ethnic community.  Over 150 years ago, the unspoken goal of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was to provide more opportunities for slaves.  Looking globally over time, the unwritten problem of India’s caste system has been the concrete barrier among the castes where anyone born within a caste like “soldiers” can never be anything else but soldiers of different ranks.  The fatal problem of communism has been the complete annihilation of economic incentives where no one wanted to hard work (and therefore evolved into Socialism where limited private economic ownership is allowed).  Today, we are still fighting for equal opportunity, with the underlying belief that our diversity delivers greater value than other countries around the world.

Within the USA today, we are divided by our emotions around “black lives matter” versus “all lives matter.”  We have bigger issues with our constitutionally protected right to bear arms and our ability to identify (mentally ill) terrorists to draw lines that cannot be drawn (and if drawn, cannot be enforced by law enforcement agencies).

Remove our emotions, and we find ourselves trapped heading in the wrong direction.  We are increasing our spending trillions of dollar every year increasing security at airports, police regional conflicts around the world, and build bigger law enforcement agencies.  For the next 4-8 years, our commander-in-chief is a choice between:  1) a follower of eugenics like Hitler who, as an offspring of immigrants himself, wants to build walls to exclude immigrants; and 2) an extremely careless career politician with a cheating husband.  How can we sustain our global leadership status with these choices?

To take advantage of our greater value of diversity, we need to know possible paths, or at least hope, to provide opportunities.  We cannot deny white males opportunities which the court has guided us in cases such as the Bakke reverse discrimination case in 1979, or deny Caucasians to become mayor of Washington DC where a majority of the population is African Americans.  Let us acknowledge Native American rights have been violated for centuries and help them address the alcohol addiction problem with jobs.  We have gone beyond our borders when we celebrate Columbus Day when Columbus never landed in the USA, or remember the Jewish Holocaust in a DC Museum when the holocaust did not happen in the USA.  It is time to address issues that did happen within the USA.  If we want to fight for fair trade or universal human rights across the globe, we should first have fair treatment of Americans within our borders.  Our law enforcement agencies cannot be effective without the support of the people within the communities they serve.  Our teachers cannot be effective if they do not teach our children 80% or more of the Native American population was annihilated within 200 years of the arrival of the Caucasians.  We should know that the population of Africa remained flat for 250 years between 1600 and 1850 when the population of the rest of the world more than doubled because millions of healthy male Africans were captured and sold into slavery around the world.  USA would not have industrialized without slaves because the cotton gin revolution required slave laborers to succeed.  Russia succeeded in industrialization when Stalin forced famine upon Ukraine and other parts of their economy.  China learned to focus on the power of the market economy to avoid a repeat of trying true Communism through their Cultural Revolution.  India is finding out democracy is the worst form of government, except there are none better.

Our children can learn and establish their own moral values, and our value of diversity will re-emerge.  This is not a political game.  We learn from each other, and the result will be fewer emotional outbursts that involve guns and deaths.  Ultimately, when we deliver opportunities for everyone to do what they want within our moral innovation framework, we will have harmonious societies.  Where do we find these communities?  Look at our schools:  There has been harmony at the graduate school level where American and foreign students have studied together for many decades.  Within the last decade, foreign students have increased significantly at the undergraduate level and within the last 5 years, at the high school level.  When we promote global education instead of concepts like “axis of evil,” we have opportunities to achieve harmony.  Don’t expect that building walls at the Mexican border or sending more military advisors into Afghanistan or Iraq will solve problems.  Global education is one of many sustainable action steps to reverse our current course of self-destruction.  Education that delivers opportunities for comfortable living/lifestyles is blind to bias and rewards hard work.  By expanding education at various levels,  we can also deliver hope to homeless veterans and poverty stricken victims who are more likely to be converted by extremists and candidates for suicide bombers.

Think “opportunities” when we talk about diversity which, by itself, cannot deliver harmony.