Innovators World, Opportunity, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspective on where we are today, looking forward

Looking at humanity from the beginning of time, we know that humanity created morality about 2500 years ago when Socrates in Greece, Ashoka in India, and Confucius in China described the virtues to strive for in order to live peacefully together. Christians and Muslims have been influenced by Socrates. Ashoka remains influential in India today as his wheel is prominently displayed in the middle of the Indian flag. Confucian values still influence Chinese behaviors as Chairman Mao proclaimed: The laws written by students of Confucius from Qin Dynasty over 2,000 years ago remain in effect in the 20th century. Chinese President Xi Jinping continues with the development of harmonious societies based on “belts and roads” trade that modernize the Silk Road.

Two millennia later, Portugal approved Columbus’ voyage before Spain, but had no money to finance a voyage. Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella defeated the Muslims in the battle of Granada in 1491 which probably financed the Columbus voyage in 1492, before the Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI drafted the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1493 that claimed the entire world for Spain and Portugal, irrespective of the fact that millions of people live around the world.

In other words, morality evolved independently for 2,000 years and we are talking through each other across cultures because the definition of right and wrong has evolved inconsistently around the world. Christians and Muslim interpret morality through religions that are in absolute contradiction with each other. Non-Christians go to hell, and Non-Muslims go to hell. The end result is everyone on earth is condemned to hell since no one can believe in Islam and Christianity at the same time. Among Muslims and Christians, nearly half the world’s population in India and China has no say in their destiny.

Britain became prominent as pirates who stole treasures from ships returning from the Americas. They turned greedy after the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588 and created the British East India Company (BEIC) 1600 to steal treasures from around the world. BEIC survived longer than its similarly corrupt cousin Dutch East India Company partly because the British government granted BEIC monopoly power in opium trade, before the entire world stole what they can in China through opium (e.g. 70,000 tons of silver) within 80 years. USA broke away from Britain 250 years ago. For 200 years (with exceptions like Jeffersonian democracy), USA gave voting power to Caucasian adult males with property ownership, supported by the Supreme Court Chief Justice’s 1823 decision that took land from Native Americans and gave it to European “discoverers.” USA tried hard to reach moral high ground as a global leader which has been completely annihilated by Donald Trump who stole the Presidency.

A century ago, Rudolph Steiner started anthroposophy that respects, but does not follow religions. Anthroposophy incorporates Indian karma and re-incarnation, but not yet the Chinese Confucian philosophies. Anthroposophy integrates mental, physical and spiritual development of children and emulates an egalitarian society. It is the largest secondary school system not affiliated with any religion. By incorporating Chinese morality, it can be nurtured into a global benchmark for educating responsible adults and moral innovators.

Those who ignore history are likely to repeat it. Donald Trump is not only ignoring history, he is blaming history to support his fake reality TV show at the White House. His main goals includes $1 billion income for himself by eliminating the Estate Tax for the rich. Hopefully he will remain an anomaly in future US history.

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Innovators World, Opportunity, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators’ perspectives on making America great again

On this Thanksgiving Day 2017, USA is a divided country focused on history of sexual harassment by civil servants and Hollywood stars in the last 50 years. While it is fantastic that we are addressing an important issue, we are distracted from the theme of making America great again.

With less than 5% of the global population, USA once commanded as high as 34% of global GDP, or about one out of every three dollars of economic activity in the world was American as recently as 50 years ago. We may still have the #1 or #2 economy in the world today, but our share of global GDP has declined to less than 18% on PPP basis. Making America great again means reversing the trend of declining share of USA in global GDP. The current tax package that eliminates the estate taxes will give Donald Trump another $1 billion to his family which definitely will not help reverse the decline in US share of global GDP.

What will make America great again? We need to understand the world around us, and work hard to add value through moral innovations. This is a lot more difficult than just focusing on innovations without regards to morality which history has shown to be unsustainable (including the current tax package which is innovative but without morality). To illustrate, let’s focus on blockchain technologies that deliver privacy, not speculation on currencies (like bitcoin) which George Soros has proven 20 years ago that could cause havoc in the crisis that impacted Asia and soon followed by the internet bubble burst.

How do we know if we are making efforts to understand the world around us? A metric is to know how many Americans hold US passports to travel overseas. Holding a passport does not guarantee that we travel overseas, and this metric is skewed by about 44 million out of 326 million total Americans who were not US citizens at birth. Nonetheless, it is instructive to look at the trend of passport holders under our last four Presidents: HWBush, Clinton, WBush, and Obama. Under both the HWBush and Clinton administrations, the number of US passport holders more than doubled. This trend has declined to less than 100% under WBush and less than 50% under the Obama administration. In all, only 40% of all Americans hold US passports today. The 40% figure is even lower if we take into consideration that the 44 million American immigrants have a higher likelihood of holding passports.

This may be an important factor why USA is divided today: One third of us travel with passports (and know our declining global position), one third of us are passionate and unwavering Trump supporters, the final one third determines who will be elected in the next election.

Remember, Donald Trump was NOT a four year Ivy League graduate and he was not a top student. He was a third year transfer student into The Wharton School. When he graduated from University of Pennsylvania, he was not on the Deans List which was made up of the top 15% of his class the year he graduated. Please don’t let a fake Ivy League graduate who was not among the top 15% of his class fool you by making the White House a reality TV show. Get to know your neighbors and friends who have worldly experience and thrive by knowing your place in the world. Let’s do the right things and make this world a better place.

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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!

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Innovators World

Donald Trump and the changing composition of humanity

Within his first year of Presidency, Donald Trump already has a legacy. Under his watch, USA lost its position as a global leader. His strengths highlight the Christian focus on innovations with very little regard for morality. His weaknesses accelerate the US decline in global standing. We now have a visible turning point of USA’s decline which lowers the standing of Christianity among humanity of Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese.

Donald Trump is a product of the US society, trained to focus on his self-interests, not public goods. He is doing what he was taught to do. He sought a more prestigious education as a third-year transfer student from Fordham University in New York City to Wharton class of 1968 which had 366 students. Donald Trump did not graduate in the top 15% of his class (he was not among the 56 students on the Dean’s List). As a realtor, the government may be just a tool to get the public behind his properties.

In business school, we were taught to find a niche to deliver returns on investments, often taking the path of least resistance. Large businesses lobby the government for favorable legislation. As early as 1823, a highly innovative but amoral Supreme Court decision from the First Chief Justice John Marshall changed land ownership of the entire USA to European Christians. This “Discovery Doctrine” declared all Native Americans were tenants of Christian landlords. We can still see the consequence of this decision by looking at the electoral map today: Republicans control the land in between the coasts while Democrats control major cities in the east and west coasts. If we elect the President based on land ownership, Republicans would dominate national elections.

Election polling did not capture the difference between popular vote and electoral college. Facing defeat, Donald Trump openly called for the Russians to hack into and leak the Hilary Clinton emails. There is increasing evidence that his team, especially Mike Flynn who is a Democrat, colluded with Russians and did just that. In turn, we have heard the strongest Donald Trump support behind Flynn who is not part of his family. Time will give us the needed truth behind what happened in the 2016 election. To paraphrase a Christian motto: May the Truth Set us Free.

Instead of focusing on his tweets, let us defend our values by enforcing our conflicts of interest rules and regulations. Don’t let our government remove the estate tax. Wealth gap will widen if we allow the wealthy to legally keep their assets across generations. We relied on IRS regulations to capture Al Capone, and forced illegally obtained wealth to revert back to the government. Don’t let Donald Trump use the POTUS position to accumulate his wealth. He has already obtained six more trademarks in June 2017, with a cumulative total of at least 123 registered and provisionally approved trademarks in China alone. Sanctions against his empire will be more effective than being distracted by his tweets.

60% of all humans born in the last 200 years have followed either the Christian or the Muslim faith. With the decline of the USA driven by Donald Trump, that percentage may dip below 50% in the next 200 years. It is sad to experience the decline of USA accelerated by Donald Trump.

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovator Perspectives on Donald Trump

The glue that binds us is love. Our love of USA is rooted in our democracy, knowing that it is the worst form of government, except there is none better. We must therefore live with all the imperfections of a democracy. The most enlightening statistic in this week’s Presidential election was: Out of 232 million eligible voters (or 77% of total population), Hilary Clinton received 26%, Donald Trump received 26%, and “DID NOT VOTE” accounted for 46% (and third parties for the other 2%). In absolute numbers, Barack Obama received 66 million votes in 2012, compared to 59 million for Hilary. Mitt Romney received 61 million votes in 2012, compared to 59 million for Donald. In other words, 9 million less voters voted in 2016, and Mitt Romney would have beaten Hilary based on the number of votes received. Our challenge is to get the 46% non-voters to vote. Without a Constitutional amendment, we cannot change the electoral college. If it is true that we have one person one vote, Hilary would have won with the popular vote.

Because of the electoral college, the location of the voters also makes a difference. In five states (North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan), the difference was less than 180,000 votes in each state. In fact, if Hilary had received 70,000 votes more in Pennsylvania, 28,000 in Wisconsin, and 12,000 in Michigan, she would have received more than 270 electoral votes and won. The irony is that Hilary actually lost both Michigan and Wisconsin in the Democratic primaries to Bernie Sanders, yet they were not “battleground” states until near the very end of the campaign.

USA is a nation of immigrants. Native Americans arrived over 10,000 years ago, and Caucasians arrived 500 years ago. We gained independence from Britain in the year 1776 (240 years ago), ratified our Constitution in 1788, and George Washington was sworn in as the first President in 1789. Many of our Founding Fathers were slave owners, and about 1% of the total population were eligible to vote under various rules such as land ownership which was removed in 1828, after the Supreme Court used the Discovery Doctrine in 1823 to take away all Native Americans land ownership. Non-Caucasians became eligible voters in 1870, after the Civil War; women were allowed to vote in 1920; and the voting age was reduced to 18 in 1971. In other words, the only ineligible voters are children under 18, resident aliens and other people not officially recognized as US citizens. Today, our Constitution is the longest surviving written charter of government in the world, as amended 27 times (most recently in 1992).

The strength of our nation is in the values that we deliver from our hard work in combination with our diversity. In other words, there is no entitlement to value based on diversity alone. Diversity delivers value only in combination with hard work. Hard work does not always mean physical labor, as Bill Gates developed computer software, and Steve Jobs developed computer hardware. We know that the less educated Caucasians in rural America propelled Donald to victory. We can no longer ignore their issues for future elections. Until we address their issues, we may continue to be surprised in elections. Meanwhile, let’s observe if a very visible trend that affects wealth entitlements (by allowing wealthy families to transfer money from generation to generation) will be further reduced. The maximum estate tax rate was 77% between 1941-1976. Ronald Reagan reduced it to 55%; George W Bush reduced it to 45% and the current rate of 40% was reduced under Barack Obama.

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator perspectives on 2016 Presidential Election

If we compare what is happening today to what have happened in history, USA is heading for a Civil War this century unless we collectively take action to protect our democracy.

Humanity has not changed much for 5,000 years. Four communities (Egyptians, Sumerians, Indians, and Chinese) represented over 90% of humanity 5,000 years ago. Egyptians became Christians; Sumerians became Muslims; Indians have been divided by religions, and Chinese remained largely atheists for 5,000 years. Today, Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese represent over 90% of humanity.

Among Christians, Catholics was the dominated sect between 1,600 and 1,000 years ago, when the Roman Empire controlled Europe. After the downfall of Western Roman Empire, Orthodox Christians split from the Catholics 1,000 years ago. Orthodox is still the dominant sect in Russia today.

Soon after the Roman Empire was extinguished in the form of Byzantine Empire in 1453, Catholic indulgences, including the infamous Pope Alexander VI who sold the reading of Rosary for a shorter time in purgatory before reaching heaven, led to the Protestant split in 1517 by Martin Luther and John Calvin. Today, our global leaders live in Protestant nations like the USA.

Without imperial influences after 1453, Catholics found an opportunity to sustain prosperity after Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon defeated the Muslim Moors in Granada and paid for the voyage by Christopher Columbus in 1492. It was the same infamous Pope Alexander VI (born in Spain) who drafted the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1493 that gave the world to Spain and Portugal. 20% of treasures extracted (i.e. taken) in North and South America were paid to the Spanish King and Catholics for several centuries. Britain started out as pirates and stole from the Spanish ships loaded with treasures from the Americas. After Britain defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, British East India Company was formed in 1600, followed by the Dutch East India Company in 1602 to directly compete for global treasures.

For 200 years after the 1588 Armada defeat, Spain (and other Christians) took millions of Africans as slaves to the Americas (that kept the population in Africa the same between 1600 and 1850 while the rest of the world’s population more than doubled). The victims include Native Americans who were almost annihilated. Despite these amoral acts, Spain still lost North America to Protestants.

Spain was left without external sources of wealth. A large wealth gap became apparent that led to the 1936-1939 civil war which was won by Francisco Franco who became a dictator until his death in 1975. King Juan Carlos I succeed Franco and led the Spanish transition to democracy today.

USA became a global leader through industrialization when the cotton gin based economy succeeded with slave labor. We prospered as a munitions supplier in both world wars. However, Korean Armistice, Vietnam War, and the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts have drained American wealth, and US companies helped Muslims in Saudi Arabia establish ARAMCO and later the OPEC cartel that is transferring an average US$2 trillion/year since 1973. Just like Spain, USA wealth gap has emerged. Ronald Reagan was the first to introduce trickle-down economics, and Donald Trump is a beneficiary of trickle-down economics. There is a large base of less educated Americans who seek opportunities for their own American dreams. By focusing on gun control, we are distracted from the historically low inheritance tax that sustains the wealth gap. If not Donald Trump, there will be a stronger representative similar to Spain’s Francisco Franco. This stronger representative today is Hilary Clinton. We must remain diligent in monitoring her actions, or we will head for another civil war. For 2017, three cheers for our first female President!

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovator perspectives on Christianity #3

This is the third of three essays on Christianity that cover the three Christian breakthroughs from a Moral Innovator perspective:
1. The formation that started 2,000 years ago
2. The split between Orthodox and Catholics 1,000 years ago
3. The split between Catholics and Protestants 500 years ago

In Christianity #1 dated September 11th, 2016, the focus was on formation of Christianity 2,000 years ago. Pre-Christian communities like Essenes and Therapeutae focused on the soul or spirit. Several centuries after the death of Jesus, the writers of the Bible’s New Testament wanted believers to yield their souls to the consubstantial Jesus Christ, leaving all Christian believers only with their personalities. By adopting the Greek philosophers’ “Logos” (instead of Ethos or Pathos) to present compelling arguments for the soul and spirit, pre-Christian communities like Essenes and Therapeutae (and later Gnostics) had to become heretics. This story has not ended, as we may be able to find out more through the Dead Sea Scrolls which have been attributed to writings mostly of the Essenes.

In Christianity #2 dated September 18th, 2016, the focus was on the split between Orthodox and Catholics which was formalized in the year 1054, about 1,000 years ago. Orthodox Christians believe Jesus Christ is full human and full God, part of the trinity. Catholics believe in a consubstantial trinity. Both made Jesus a God even though Jesus himself did not proclaim to be God himself. On the surface, the divergence within Christianity was driven by power and rituals (e.g. should bread made with yeast be used or not during Eucharist/Communions. Catholics say yes, and Orthodox says no.

In Christianity #3, we focus on the Protestant schism from the Catholics. Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517 (in Germany) and John Calvin broke from the Roman Catholic Church in 1530 (in France), leading a confederation of Christians that collectively are called Protestants.

500 years ago, Catholic Christians had achieved independence after the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. Not only was there no longer an empire to backup Christians, the lure of treasures in the Americas led the Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI (1431-1504) to draft The Tordesillas Treaty adopted in 1493 by Spain and Portugal. This Treaty gave 90% of all of Americas to Spain, and the remaining 10% to Portugal which became Brazil today. 20% of all treasures collected in the Americas had to be turned over to Spain as royalty. Pope Alexander VI was one of the most controversial Popes, partly because he acknowledged fathering several children by this mistress, and partly because he expanded the practice of granting indulgences. For example, beginning July 13th 1495, up to 5,500 days less in purgatory can be purchased for reciting the Rosary, a Dominican meditation on Christians’ 15 greatest mysteries. Martin Luther’s protest in 1517 included the selling of indulgences such as reciting the Rosary.

Protestants generally believe the church belongs to the followers (or congregations), and not a separate institution like the Catholic Church. For example, Presbyterians are governed by their congregations, whereas some Calvinists’ believe in pre-destination. More recognized Protestants include Methodists (England), Baptists (Amsterdam), Episcopalian (USA), Pentecostal (USA), Churches of Christ (USA). Others include Salvation Army, Quakers, Mormons, Unitarianism, etc. Martin Luther’s marriage to a former nun Katharina von Bora also set the model for clerical marriage.

One of the most significant reasons Martin Luther (1483-1546) succeeded with the Reformation was the translation of the Bible into German, followed by the mass printing of German Bibles using Gutenberg movable type. We know that the printing of the Vulgate, or the Latin version of the Bible, started as early as 1450s. Up to 180 copies of were made, most of them in two volumes (the first volume ending with The Book of Psalms). We also know copies of vellum were heavier and sometimes bound into three or four volumes. The introduction of the movable type print was comparable to the internet as we entered the 21st century. No longer were scribes needed. Errors in reproduction were eliminated by the printing press. By adding several principles to the art of translation, Martin Luther also influenced the writing of the English Tyndale Bible (and later the King James Bible completed in 1611).

Martin Luther spent most of the last part of his life translating the Bible into German. After being excommunicated by the Catholic Pope (1521), the German New Testament first appeared in 1522 and the entire Old and New Testaments in German began to appear around 1534. In his later works, Martin Luther also expressed Jewish homes and synagogues should be destroyed, their money confiscated, and liberty curtailed, against some of his own congregation of Lutherans. There is still debate among scholars whether the World War II Nazis correctly characterized Martin Luther’s anti-semitic views.

Protestant congregations also adopted Logos to justify a new concept (such as Quakers) based on logical (moral) values, not credibility (Ethos) or emotions (Pathos). Many cult-like religions have been led by charismatic “lone wolf” leaders who attracted enough followers to sustain a congregation. For example, David Koresh believed he was the final prophet in the Davidian Branch. We probably recognize David Koresh as the child abuser who died in the FBI raid in Waco Texas in 1993.
What were the underlying moral values behind this Protestant Schism? It was the belief that scripture (e.g. Bible) has higher authority than the Catholic Church, and no institution or state such as Vatican can replace scripture. A clear example is Catholic confessions. Whereas Catholic followers confess to a preacher, Protestants repent directly to God in prayers.
Today, we know that Protestants and Catholics each have about 1 billion followers, which when combined with the 200-300 million Orthodox followers, make up 35% of humanity.

After 2,000 years, Protestants cannot reasonably expect the Vatican to just disappear because there is no need for Catholic Churches when congregations follow the scripture. An effective way to address this and other differences between Protestants and Catholics is to return to the original message Jesus himself preached during his three years of actual preaching: Love thy neighbor.

The next essay will introduce Islam. With 85% Sunni and 15% Shiite, there was a similar schism among Muslims. We will then introduce the Indian and Chinese civilizations. After we look at Christianity, Islam, Indians and Chinese, we will have addressed over 90% of the 7+ billion humans, and begin to address how Moral Innovations can facilitate a peaceful, homologous world. It will not be Utopia, but we can still thrive with knowledge of your places in the world, so we can do the right things and make it better.

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