One-percenters aren’t the problem; thinking they are is

This post originally ran October 17, 2017.

Many, many times I have said since starting Copiosis that the 1% isn’t to blame for our current reality. I have said they are wanting solutions as badly as the rest of us. I have said WE (the 99 percent) are just as much responsible for our situation as they are. I have said there will be times in the future (speaking from six years ago) when the wealthy will fund great ideas that can solve our problems.

not the problem
If you think this guy is the problem, you don’t understand the problem.

That prediction has come true.

Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg has said he and people like him should pay for Basic Income as a solution to our wealth inequality problem. Another one percenter has offered five million dollars to the best idea that can solve our most pressing problems. Foundations of the wealthy are offering funding to good ideas as well. I suspect we’ll see more examples of this as time goes by.

Bloomberg recently reported that Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, gave away $4.5 billion of her massive fortune.

In short: if any blame must be thrown around for what we are experiencing, we all own a portion of it. Including the one percent.

But to place all the blame on them, as though you don’t own any, is just plain wrong.

Luckily, no one needs to be blamed because there is nothing going wrong on this planet. Although your eyes and ears and friends and family and the TV and Facebook will tell you otherwise, the world is happening exactly as it should, and you are playing your role in that perfection.

How can I write that in the midst of a pandemic, when so many are broke, unemployed, hungry and so many business are bust? I can explain, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about why I know the 1% aren’t solely to blame, aren’t evil, and, in fact are more like you and me.

How do I know? Because I’ve spent time with them.

A few questions:

  • Is every black person a gang member, murderer, thief, on welfare or an athlete?
  • Is every white person racist, ignorant of minorities’ situations, colonizers, war-mongers or evil Christian fundamentalists?
  • Is every immigrant in your country (Muslim’s for example) in your country illegally, taking your jobs, creating social problems, planning terrorist plots or bringing your property values down by living in your neighborhoods?
  • Is every human being raping the planet, oblivious of the environmental problems you see, blind to problems such as poverty, wealth disparity, or how corrupt our political systems are?

If you’re black or other minority, white, or human, and you said “yes” to any of these questions, you are woefully uninformed. For no matter how you divide humanity, you will always find a diversity of opinions and behaviors within that division.

Examine people in your divided group. You will find very good reasons for their beliefs, beliefs which are forming opinions and driving behaviors. You may not agree with the reasons, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good reasons for the people who have them.

If you claim moral superiority over white supremacists, but at the same time point fingers at the 1% for our supposed troubles, you actually have no morally superior claim: you are just as ignorant as a racist.

That’s why, for example, when people claim the 1% are the problem, I shake my head. For one, people making that claim don’t realize the 1% is a very broad group of people. And that group is not belief-homogenous nor action-homogenous.

Secondly, more often than not, the person claiming the one percent are evil likely doesn’t even know any one-percenters personally. So they’re speaking out of pure ignorance, or hearsay.

Conspiracy theories are not information.

So, just like a racist who has never met a black person and yet claims to know for a fact that all blacks are no-good, dirty, sex-mongering, inferior humans, people who claim the 1% are “evil” without having occasion to interact with any over a period of time, are IGNORANT.

So, if you claim moral superiority over white supremacists, but at the same time point fingers at the 1% for our supposed troubles, you have no morally superior claim. You are just as ignorant as a racist is about minorities.

* * *

When was the last time you spent any time with a person whose net worth was in the multiple millions of dollars?

In October 2017, I spent an entire weekend with more than two-dozen. Not only did I dine with some, have coffee with others and hear them tell their stories, I got to know them, ask them questions, and hear how they became wealthy.

These people are some of the most caring, giving, honest, devoted people I’ve met. They are loving of humanity and are striving to not only help people become the best they can be, they are helping anyone, ANYONE willing to put in the self-improvement work, to become millionaires.

I think that is FAR MORE generous and effective than those who sit in their rooms complaining about life via the internet, believing in conspiracies and pointing fingers at rich people while doing hardly anything to change the situation they complain about.

Dream builders

Take Terry for example, pictured above (in the middle) with me and my brother. Like me, Terry served in the military. He was an Air Force pilot flying C-5 aircraft all over the world. His wife, since early on in her life, has served children. When they met and fell in love, both were serving others in their respective lives. Neither one comes from a wealthy background.

Terry as you can see has brown skin. His wife is light brown. When they got together, his wife’s parents weren’t too keen on the idea. But they stayed together nonetheless.

Terry and his wife have three kids. Over the last twenty years they have been working on the side as entrepreneurs to build an asset they could pass on to their children. They are devoted parents, givers, mentors and now friends. They care about many of the same things I do. Especially social justice.

This past weekend they passed a milestone: they grew their asset large enough to qualify them as one percent members. Terry and his wife were celebrated over the weekend for this massive achievement.

I mean, how many people do you know who have done the work to go from a wage slave to a multi-millionaire?

Terry and his wife and kids aren’t some evil family, hell-bent on enslaving humanity and raping the planet. Instead of doing that, they spend ALL their time showing others how to build companies that can make them as wealthy as Terry and his wife have become. And they aren’t charging anyone a dime for the coaching.

All the one-percenters I met over the weekend were just like Terry and his wife. More than 24 of the wealthy class. If you’re claiming the one percent is the problem. You don’t understand the problem. You certainly don’t understand wealthy people. And you don’t understand your role in the problem.

Are there bad people who also happen to be rich? Of courseJust as there are bad people who happen to be white, black or some other minority (Muslim, for example). That doesn’t mean they are all that way in any case.

But more importantly, You get to choose what you see in the world. No one is forcing you to observe what you observe. The problem is, what you put your focus on, is shaping your life experience. So keep pointing fingers at the one percent. But don’t think that’s going to make any fundamental change.

Because it won’t.

What postmodern revolution looks like

Revolution is uncomfortable

What does the postmodern revolution look like?  Is it sexy and exciting? Marching in the streets?  Talking on the news?

Is it wearing hoodies, or posting slogans of pseudo-solidarity on social media? What does it take to make lasting, fundamental change?  Joining nonprofit organizations that have been around so long they’ve become part of the establishment?

Engaging with my passion that is Copiosis, along with others similarly passionate about it, I see first-hand what being a postmodern revolutionary looks like.

It’s not glamorous.  It is inspiring sometimes, and often it’s stepping in areas you’d rather not go.  The postmodern revolution taking humanity into the future, requires courageous acts in the face of overwhelming psychic and emotional pressure to not act, or act like everyone else.

The postmodern revolution relies on us moving into our DIScomfort zones if we really want to change the world.

By psychic and emotional pressure, I mean the inertia of learned, habitual behavior that maintains everyday life.  It’s pressure based in fear-reality, which says if you don’t spend every moment being productive, you can’t make your rent or mortgage or put food on the table.

Under this pressure we neglect activities that enrich and inspire, where heart-to-heart people and nature connections nurture.

Such connections happen among family members and friends.  But also neighbors and acquaintances, strangers too.  The postmodern revolution is waged—not on the streets in protest, not online, and certainly not in the nonprofit industrial complex. Often it feels like smiling, even while facing what ordinarily would pain you.

It’s small acts acted in accordance with passion. That means it’s unique to you. It might be protesting in the streets. But that’s not the “right thing” for everyone. For others, it’s organizing a new planetary economic model.

The postmodern revolution means challenging yourself to do that thing you don’t do because you’re too busy, have to work, are tired, or would rather veg out watching Master of None.  The postmodern revolution relies on people moving into their DIScomfort zones.  Change is uncomfortable at first.

Keep it up though and discomfort becomes a new reality. One where the world is changed, for the better.

If not you, who?

Tyrant Charity.001I’ve made the argument that getting rid of government is a good idea, mainly because it is interested only in its self-preservation. I’ve also argued that traditional tools for sparking change—demonstrations opposing something and charismatic leaders leading the masses on a cause—are bygone tactics of a bygone era.

If this is all true, then what?

It’s simple: we need a better way to create change. I already wrote about that in previous posts too.

So we have the method, the strategic approach. Next we need the tactical approach. We also need the people who are going to make it happen.

That’s where you come in. If charismatic leaders can no longer lead us to fundamental change, if overt mass demonstrations are impotent against those who rule, then there’s only one person left.

That’s right: you.

That doesn’t mean you have to do anything that will put your life at risk. It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job or leave your family. What it does mean: you taking a look at what is going on. Not in the world. In your head. You see, what’s going on in the world doesn’t matter much. I know, you probably believe what’s going on in the world is all that matters. Congrats. You’ve been well conditioned. But what’s going on in your head is way more important.

Among the way more important things going on in your head, the most important of those is how you see yourself. If you don’t see yourself as responsible for the world you’re experiencing, you are giving up your power to create the change you want to see. That’s a tough sentence to read and own what it says.

Fact is, most of us live our lives in exactly that way. Some helpful questions to consider, that show how much you give up your power to create the change you want to see:

  • Do you make personal sacrifices for your family, children, parents?
  • Are you aware that history as taught in school, religion as taught in church, values as passed on by your family, the importance of your work, your nationality, your ethnicity, your favorite sports team, celebrity, car, etc., may be tools used to keep you docile?
  • How much TV do you watch?
  • Of that TV time, how much do you spend watching the news?
  • Do you identify as one of these: Liberal, Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Left, Right?
  • If you identify with any of the camps above, how often do you make effort to understand those on the other side of the aisle?
  • Do you complain about those you disagree with as being responsible for the way the world is?
  • Do you believe reforms (election reform, campaign finance reform, finance reform, etc.) can have a meaningful difference on the way your society works?
  • Are you a “realist”?
  • Do you see the world as perfect the way it is, needing nothing to change?
  • Do you know your essential nature as eternal, worthy, influential and the central focus of the universe?

There are no right answers. If you seriously considered these questions, then you have already begun the essential process of becoming something more.

A new opportunity presented itself at the end of 2012. No, I’m not talking about any Mayan Calendar stuff. I’m talking about something much more profound. The opportunity is yours for the taking. Should you step forward, your life will become far more interesting, far more fun, far more empowering. We’ll explore this in a future post.

How the rich get richer and why that’s not a problem

THE WEALTHYAh, the rich. They have few worries.  They can pay people to take care of their problems. They enjoy the finest things.

Some people, particularly those on the left, believe that rich people are to blame for the world’s problems.

I don’t think they are.  In Copiosis, the rich will get richer, and that’s not a problem. Here’s why.

First, everyone in Copiosis becomes far richer than they are today.  You’re out of debt and can’t get back into debt.  Your house, condo, or apartment is yours. Student loans are eliminated.  If you want to continue your education, that’s provided to you at no cost.

Second, money you’ve been spending on healthcare, insurance, and taxes you get to keep.  Many formerly ordinary expenses are a thing of the past.  Your grocery costs are far less than you pay today because your basic food is yours at no cost.  If you want luxury foods, you’ll have to offer NBR for that, but it will require far less NBR than the amount of money you’d spend today.  Dining out at many restaurants will be at no cost too, if they offer basic, not luxury foods.

So if you’re not wealthy today, in Copiosis, you are in the sense that many of the things you had to earn money for are now available to you without having to pay for them. All that money you would spend on these things is now free to be used for whatever luxuries you want. What’s more, you’re free to choose any occupation you want.  You don’t have to rely on a job to earn a living.  You’re rich.

Of course, the same applies to rich people. In Copiosis, they’re even more rich than they were before. Taxes go away.  All the property they are paying for is immediately theirs, free and clear. Whatever debt they have is eliminated. Their educational expenses, basic food, and medical care—like yours—is provided to them at no cost.  No more insurance, either.  Everything you enjoy, they get to enjoy too.

Today the wealthy are also powerful. They can influence society by paying to create laws and policies favorable to their interests.   In many cases interests means not losing the money I do have and making more of it doing what I am currently doing.  In fact, the United States was founded on this basic principle.

In Copiosis, wealth has no power.  A rich person has no power to sway any decision, because wealth is expressed in terms of Net-Benefit Reward (NBR) not cash.  The only thing anyone can do with NBR is obtain luxuries.

There’s no government in Copiosis, so there’s no legislative influence to buy. Even if there were, NBR is non-transferrable.  Buying influence means giving your money to an elected official with the expectation that your support will get you special treatment.  NBR eliminates those transactions.

Property wealth simply means more opportunity to benefit others with that property.  Property in and of itself has no value unless it’s highly desirable.  Even then, a person with a highly desirable property could sell it, but the NBR he requires doesn’t come to him, so selling property seems crazy. Value in property is created when it is used to make people and the planet better off.  So if your property is a cigarette manufacturing facility, well, you’re not likely to get richer with that.  The net benefit of creating cigarettes, is likely to be far too negative to make it worthwhile for people to work in the factory, for advertisers to tout such a product, and for stores to stock them.

The rich can’t lord their wealth over others and make them do their bidding by paying them a wage. That’s because no one’s income is dependent on any other person.  A rich person’s NBR, like yours or mine, is worthless to anyone else because it is non-transferrable.  What a rich person can do is create opportunities that may attract others wanting to be part of that opportunity. There will be lots of opportunities in Copiosis, far more than today.

The rich tend to be pretty bright people, too.  If they use their smarts to make people or the planet better off, and those solutions help a lot of people or benefit large portions of the planet, rich people can become richer.  Things they need—capital goods and labor—to make their ideas reality they don’t have to pay for, so it’s easier for them to make things happen in Copiosis.

Of course you, too, can become richer if you do something similar.  Things needed to make your ideas reality come at no cost to you, as well.  Both you and rich people just have to convince people that your idea is a good one, that it will benefit people or the planet, thereby generating NBR.  So in regard to getting rich in NBR terms, the Copiosis playing field is far more level than what we have today.

Some fear the consolidation of power.  No one can consolidate power in Copiosis. There is no power to consolidate massively enough to cause systemic damage.  Some fear hoarding of natural resources. That’s not possible in Copiosis. Even if one person could own all the resources, he still needs others to do something with them.  In Copiosis everyone is reacquainted with the age-old truth of humanity: We’re all in this together, and we all depend on one another for our wonderful lives.

That includes the rich.