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 Innovators perspectives on Diversity and Race Relations

How do we define terms like diversity and race relations today? As a former member of the Fortune 500 company’s Diversity Committee and a reviewer of Princeton University’s Prize in Race Relations for over 10 years, it is becoming clear that these terms mean equal opportunity, independent of race.

Often, race is defined by physical characteristics like skin color. A group with more people of various skin colors is considered diverse. In fact, Moral Innovators know that 95% of humanity evolved from the values introduced by Confucius in China, Ashoka in India, and Socrates among Christians and Muslims around 2,500 years ago. These values have been influenced by cultures, languages, and other factors, but they are race-blind, and together, they have oppressed women for thousands of years. While we talk about Donald Trump and his incitement of violence and hatred today, the consequences of such behavior is not related to race. We have seen white people beating up on blacks, and black people beating up on whites within the confines of Trump events alone. In a strange way, we may have started to realize the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose vision was “we are not judged by the color of our skin, but the content of our character.”

President Barrack Obama, as the first African American US President, has made Race Relations worse, not better, after eight years of his Presidency. The Democratic Party is no longer focused on the working class as evidenced by his lack of action on the Estate Tax which has decreased from 77% in 1977 to 40% that Obama did not change in the last eight years – meaning the rich elites do not have to work as hard to legally preserve their wealth from generation to generation. Who is carrying the core message of the working class? Donald Trump and his message to get jobs back to the USA and exclude immigrants. Trump’s key message reminds us of the Immigration Restriction League that was founded by three Harvard graduates in 1894 to build a superior American race. The Wharton School, where Trump graduated, was also home to James Young, the Director of the Wharton School and a member of the Immigration Restriction League.

How do we see through this maze? Focus on two things:
1. Economic opportunities to sustain our quality of life, and
2. Hope to reach/realize these economic opportunities now or through our children.
Neither of these two things mention the word “race.”

It is critical that as few of us give up on our hopes as possible, because giving up on hope annihilates rational thinking, and concepts like suicide bombers under the name of God begin to make sense. Adolf Hitler was first democratically elected by rejecting to pay for 1919 Treaty of Versailles as part of the end of World War I. To sustain Hitler’s popular support, and probably referencing information available in the USA, Hitler gave Germans the hope that a master race can be created by murdering the inferior Jews that resulted in the Holocaust. The word that describes the creation of a superior group of people is called eugenics.

In the 1920s, before the rise of Hitler, eugenics was taught in 276 university courses in the USA and part of the college curriculum studied by over 20,000 college students. Mentally and physically handicapped babies were murdered and mothers sterilized to preserve a healthy population in the USA, and the State of Virginia did not repeal the Sterilization Law until 1974. An estimated 70,000 individuals, mostly African and Native Americans, were sterilized without the patients’ consent or coerced at the risk of losing welfare benefits. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People promoted eugenics in “Better Baby” contests. This means the USA was a clear violator of human rights within our lifetime. The fact that USA has been a human rights violator makes it difficult to impose such universal human rights worldwide today.

With hope, we can apply the Moral Innovation framework to balance continuous improvements with morality that drives economic opportunities for all. Costco is an example of a company that committed to not making more than 15% profit on its products supported by a reasonably paid workforce, and WeatherTech promotes US laser technology for competitive automotive accessories. China has many economic opportunities and is focusing on morality in the form of anti-corruption to deliver hope for equal opportunities. Meanwhile, China is paying the price of progress with the extremely poor environmental quality that have long term consequences after lifting the largest number of humans from poverty in the last 60 years. Until India fully addresses the removal of the caste system, there will be very little equal economic opportunities for progress.

In summary, Moral Innovators know that diversity and race relations give us hope for equal economic opportunities to thrive during our lifetimes.

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