Post for Aug 24-30 2014

TaN: As in a previous blog, the only self-made wealthy businessman is one who was able to be successful without deriving any wealth from others.  This “definition” or pre-condition narrows down the exclusive club of truly self-made wealthy businessmen.  “Self-made” implies no assistance whatsoever from any other person (i.e., no one is responsible for the success and wealth accumulated).

Wealth coming from engaging is conventional business operations — like manufacturing and/or selling products — is not self-made.  The wealth obtained came from others, when they spend theit money to get your products — regardless of whether the products are essential or absolutely useless.  It is the consumers’ money that made the businessman wealthy.

A truly self-made wealthy businessman would someone whose wealth did not come from others — like the traditional farmer, where wealth is measured in the quantity of acreage tilled and planted productively and the size of animal herds and flocks and where the wealth did not come from transactions that involve transfering wealth from other people.  The wealth is not measured in monetary units or terms but in the amount of (natural) possession (that has increased through time) — i.e., those living possessions.

It is nothing but empty boasting when one’s wealth came from others, from their purchasing of your products or services.  This is not self-made.  Other people made you wealthy.

TaN: True growth should be “inclusive” growth.  So far, conventional economic growth has been claiming annual economic growths but it has been deceptive.  It does not reflect the true picture and gives the illusion that everything is progressing well for everyone.

The use of statistics does not show the true state of things, especially when the data is cleverly being manipulated to benefit a privileged few.  This is otherwise known as “exclusive” growth, where only a few gain to the exclusion of the greater majority — and who should be the ones who should profit, known as “inclusive” growth.

Exclusive growth happens when the wealthy and influential are the only ones who benefit.  A good example of this would be derivative trading, where money is created from transacting is the stock market without creating jobs and (material) products, where money begets nothing but more money — actually money is not created in such situations but merely diverted from other sources of funds, thus depriving or creating a loss in others.

Stock market investment is inclusive only when it is long-term — i.e., the money stays not only “in the system” but with the business enterprise long enough for the said enterprise use it to generate more jobs and products in the economy.  Anything else is exclusive growth and is advantageous only to those who possess the necessary “capital” — i.e., money, power, influence, et al.

This is the caveat everyone (with half a brain) should be aware of and must struggle for.  To exclude others from the benefits that should belong to all is among the most unforgiveable immoral acts can anyone can commit.

TaN: It is not (quite) true that the youth today are more intelligent than those of yesteryears.  In an experiment some months ago in (I think) “60 Minutes” of CBS, tech-savvy children were handed gadgets and devices that their elders — i.e., parents or grandparents — used in the latters’ youth like portable tape recorder/player and VHS and betamax.  The children could not make heads or tails with the “things”.

What it proves is that what conventional intellect considers as intelligence is actually knowledge arising from familiarity with the surroundings accumulated through time.  Those we have not encountered, the unfamiliar, we become comfounded and uncertain because we do not recognize them; we have not experience “interacting” with them.  We become ignorant and become stupefied.

So, what is intelligence really anyway?  What makes a person intelligence?  What is the true definition of “intelligence” or, better still, how should “intelligence” be defined?

TaN: When you say that something cannot be done because there is no money — i.e., no funding — then money is your god.  It is written that you cannot serve two masters.  It is either God or mammon (money).

This is not to say that there can exist only, rather it means one must priorities and decide which (or who) is more important.  Which dictates or do we listen to.  When we say something cannot be accomplished because there is no money or funding, this means that money decides for you and rules your actions.

The alternative is that even without money, things can be done.  It is just a matter of getting people together, to put in their share, to contribute their time and talents, to unite for the accomplishment of something deemed to be only possible if there is money to make things happen.  After all, money alone cannot do anything.  It still takes people.  Money just adds another step, another cog in the wheel, but it is not necessary because money itself does not really contrinute anything into the endeavor.

The lack of money is always and the most convenient excuse or alibi against doing something good or beneficial.  It is a symptom of the unwillingness to participate in the achievement of something good.  It shows that those who require the involvement of money to get things done are simply saying they do not want to join in the good work and that they have to be compensated for their time and effort.  Money is their master.

TaN: In a business setting, the unethical situation of conflict of interest emerges only when any one of the (three) stakeholders do not act or perform as they should.  In the “early” days of business (i.e., when man, consciously or unconsciously, put up a business enterprise), the inention was to serve and benefit the community.  Man realized that division of labor is more efficient and people began to do what they do best for themselves and for others.  In return, where they are not-so-good-at, others will do for them — a primitive version of: I scratch your back, you scratch my back.  Profit was still not in man’s mind.  [Later, someone got the “bright” idea of contracting people with similar talents and skills with the objective of compensating them for their “trouble”, then offering their works in exchange for some kind of “wealth” — but this is another story.]

Moreover, since the very existence of business is its customer/client base, it is but logical and right that the interest of the customer/client should not be subordinate to that of the employer.  When the employer’s interest supersede that of the customer/client, this is where the conflict of interest begins.  It is aggravated when the employee is dragged into the foray, causing a dilemma for the employee.  They become torn between their duty to the employer — to look after the interest of the company — and the reality that without the customer, there will be no company, no employer, and consequently no employee.

Moreover, man is a social being and as such s/he values his/her links or ties with society (i.e., with other people).  It is important that the links are maintained, if not strengthened.  Many business policies tend — wittingly or not — to strain and even sever those ties by demanding that employees be loyal to the company even (and many a time)  at the expense of the customers’ or clients’ interest or wellfare.

If the profit motive is largely behind a policy instead of dedication and commitment to purpose and obligation, that is when dilemmas and conflicts of interest comes into play.  Employees will be put at a situation where their “socialness” or humanity — i.e., their concern for the wellbeing of fellow individuals — are compromised.  They feel that they have been or are being made to choose “sides” and the prospect of losing employment — if the job is badly needed — weighing against their principles and values.

A case in point would be when employees are told and taught that their primary — and often sole — duty is to make as much profit for the employer as possible, then employees may mistakingly though “obediently” perform unethical decisions and acts in order to comply with their “sense of duty”.  An employee might lie or mislead a client/customer just to make a sale or close an account.  In this case, the conflict of interest would be that instead of taking care of the customer/client — which should be the case because the customer/client is the “bread and butter” — an employee might unwittingly be doing the employer a disservice than helping.

In certain cases, this situation give rise to psychological trauma because the choice is between two equally important “sides” — to the employer and to other people.  And this is mostly borne from today’s business mantra of: Profit above all.

I am not saying that profit must be subordinate or given up in favor of society because it does not have to be so.  There are ways in which responsibilities to society (and environment) can be maintained without sacrificing profit.  After all, if a business does not profit, it is financially unviable.

And this is where the relatively new concept of B corporations come in.  “B” stands for benefit and, instead of a single bottom line, it practices a triple bottom line — the 3 Ps of: profit, people, and planet.  Please read about it.

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