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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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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