Why are academics economically important? There are major influences outside of our own personal experiences that affect our behavior. Our experiences affect what we know, how we feel, and how we behave. One of the major outside influences that affects who we are, and what we can become is our exposure to credible facts, the quest of academics.
We each have a set of beliefs that are based on superstitions, facts, and questions. These beliefs affect or dictate our behavior. Our history indicates that our capability and the quality of individual efforts are economically dependent.
The question to contemplate is, what does optimal economic cooperation look like? Optimal economic cooperation involves optimal academic effort, competence, credibility, and behavior.
Optimal economic cooperation involves solving problems that have never been solved. The economic problems of poverty and injustice have plagued humankind through the entire history of humanity. They have a solution that involves a paradigm shift in academia and three other pillars of civilization, and the other three involve academia as well.
The other three pillars that affect human behavior are government, commerce, and religion. Along with academia, these three organizational structures are designed in a manner that can only fail humans, humanity, and the environment that houses them. When we change the design, we will change the outcome. Old habits die hard, but the lessons of history dictate these bad habits be expunged. The question becomes, not if change is needed, rather how do we affect change in a system that is a product of thousands of years of precedence?
Bureaucracies have run the world for thousands of years, evolving at the same rate as their human slaves. Bureaucratic peace on earth is the emergence of one winner in a clash with the competition, to rule the world. History keeps chasing its tail because bureaucracies thrive on conflict, and if there isn’t any, they will make some. That is how they generate their power, and that is how they hold it.
As individuals we seek bureaucratic protection. Some of us have an opportunity to advance, bureaucratically better ourselves, but our bureaucratic gods, unjustly shame us, impoverish us, or dispose of us when we fail to be of value to them. Individually people do what they believe is in their best interest, and besides being powerful, bureaucracies are persuasive.
Persuasion comes in several flavors. Our personal beliefs convince us which tastes best. Our nutritious beliefs, ones that feed human betterment, come from facts, but facts are hard to harvest, even when they are ripe. The slow collection of knowledge has largely been caused by the size of our environment, and the long time over which it has evolved. Each of us is but a speck in the scheme of our environmental universe. Yet each or our actions affect all of the rest of those living, and those who have not yet been born.
Philosophers have been telling us, at least since the beginning of written history, it is very important to be kind to each other, to humankind, and to the earth that we presently inhabit. Bureaucracies have some admirable traits, but kindness is not one of them.
Thomas Jefferson, among others, stressed the importance of an educated electorate. He believed that a citizenry would be unable to govern themselves without an adequate education. The question is, What should people with an adequate education know? Apparently, the education we receive is inadequate, since the world is at war, most of its population is poverty stricken, injustice is prevalent, and people can barely take care of their personal needs. We are engaged in personal and bureaucratic conflict that causes one person’s gain to be another person’s loss, and humanity’s loss.
The adequate education that evades us, is hiding in plain sight. There is a natural force that needs to be studied. Just as Newton, noticed the predictability of gravity, and thought that it would be a good idea to document his observations to verify their validity. This other force is just as common as gravity, and it needs to be studied. Just as Newton’s study resulted in our ability to navigate space, and easily communicate around the world; the study of this other force will render our education adequate to civilize ourselves and protect our environment. It is this force that determines the quality of human life, and if there is human life. The effects of this study on economic behavior will dwarf the effect of the invention of the wheel.
The force to which I refer is the natural force of economics, all people working for, and protecting each other. People working together for a common goal are empowered, are enthused, and are compassionate. They feel better. They are more competent, and humanity is better off. The force empowers bureaucracies, whose administrators harness these outcomes for personal selfish goals. These administrations are bureaucratically exalted at the expense of humanity, the quality of individual human life, and the tragedy of environmental devastation.
Beliefs are ideally based on fact, with some hypothesizing in the direction of likelihood. Often however, they are flights of fancy, superstitions, or they can be the desperate justification for poor behavior. Beliefs can demonize others, or they can be self demonizing. Beliefs can be hopeless or helpful. Ultimately our beliefs dictate, or at the very least affect our behavior. Academic credibility with demonstrable facts will focus our beliefs, and ultimately our behavior in a positive direction, toward peace and justice.
Academics have always focused on the collection of knowledge. Knowledge is what schools study and teach. Academic outcomes, however, include more than knowledge. They are the effects of applied knowledge. Like vibrations that are not sound until they are heard, knowledge is of no use until it is applied.
Visualize a school as a black box. Students go into the box and emerge on the other side, changed. We want the students to emerge creative, confident, and considerate with a thirst for knowledge. That is seldom how they emerge. Our pillars‘ plan is to do more of the same, and expect different results. They stare at test scores that stratify students as if they were parts on an assembly line. Half of the students pass. Half fail. Failure is the result of genetics, poverty, illness, different learning capacities, and styles, just to name a few of the reasons. The very act of being judged for bureaucratic facility is not only demeaning, but it is counterproductive. Isolating children from other age groups robs them of many opportunities to teach and learn. It treats them like items in a factory. Shame and disrespect are disciplinary tools that teach a lesson of their own.
Many students emerge from the black box like horses that have been whipped. They do what is minimally expected, and nothing more. Depression, violence, and mind numbing substances needlessly follow socially disenfranchised students from abandoned families to early funerals.
Those categorized as top students are used by bureaucracies to do their bidding. Many goods and services are produced for the benefit of humankind, and some are produced for different purposes. Our history, and our behavior are exhibitions of living proof that poverty, and injustice will endure, that half of humanity will be treated as if it has no value. From the bureaucratic point of view, it is only right to treat the disenfranchised badly. They deserve it, and if we use the suicide rate to measure the results, many of those whom we mistreat agree that, “yes,” their lives have no value, hence the early exit.
The important thing to know about knowledge is the importance of its application. Applying knowledge is an economic skill. Hidden between the covers of a few dust laden books is the word ethics. Prior to now, ethics has been practiced mainly for show. It was considered more or less a religious issue, but as bureaucracies have evolved, religious bureaucracies sometimes have been far less than kind in their lack of restraint, regarding “casting the first stone”.
Ethics is kindness, and every economic act starts with an act of kindness, and is propelled with kindness. How about those acts that are unkind? Economic acts, first do no harm, and they start with an act of kindness. Business transactions that do harm, or fail to start and proceed kindly are antinomic. There is an unnecessary cost to humans, or humanity that needs to be apparent and accounted for, because kindness is what drives the natural economic force.
Economically you do little to help yourself. Did you make any of your clothes? Did you produce your own food? Did you build your house, your car, or the road that brought you here? Did you protect your family from foreign attack or home invasion? Economically you are, helpless. The things that you have, and enjoy, or need are a gift from others who work for you. Aren’t they kind? You work for them. Aren’t you kind?
Education is no different, teaching is an act of kindness that is often counter to bureaucratic rules, religious, governmental, academic, and/or commercial. Students emerge from the black box economically stripped of their humanity, prepared for bureaucratic subservience. Teaching knowledge is an act of kindness, if you do no harm. Kindness is a kinetic act. Kindness is the application of good.
The “cold hard calculus of economics” that I studied in college was as alchemy is to science. It presented no ethical accountability to the under served, or the under protected. It presented money as having value that it doesn’t have, a fairy-tale existence that protects money from reaching areas of need. The course was about distributing goods and service with no tie to the well-being of humanity, or its environment. GDP is the cost of human behavior with no regard for its quality. The economics that I studied superstitiously presented economics as political gossip material. It was then, and still is a method for the well-heeled to fleece the students who walk out of that black box.
Money has a perceived value of what it will buy, but in a system where ethics, kindness, is not the norm the perceived value is highly overrated. Bureaucratic cheating costs the working poor their livelihood, and it plunges people into poverty. Those who make just enough money( perceived value) to live, die if the money has less value than it is perceived to have. The perceived value is not the actual value. The actual value of the money is the cost of the items it buys. Monetary cheating reduces the actual value of money. If I had saved one dollar as a five year old child, its actual value now, seventy years later, would be only five cents.
GDP is, “gross,” national product, a bureaucratic tool. It is a measurement of economic good, plus antinomic harm, plus the cost of cleaning up antinomic harm, and unfortunately, it doesn’t account for harm that wasn’t repaired, harm that couldn’t be repaired, or harm done to people who haven’t been born. True economics is how all people serve and protect each other across generations, and around the world. That is what needs studying. True economics is about the well-being of humans and humanity. It is not about turning human beings into gold. Is no one in academia embarrassed about the superstitious presentation of economics? Are you offering witchcraft next semester?
In economics the economy works for the people. Poverty cannot be eradicated with the poor unable to participate. There is amazing academic work that is being quietly done each day, but the credibility of all academics is at stake, when our beliefs are not based on credible, demonstrable fact.
The bureaucratic architecture that hijacks the worlds economy is harming our capacity for life, and our quality of life. How does a people change a precedent that has existed for thousands of years when the customs and laws were designed to protect the enslavement of its people? How does a people change a precedent that fails to serve and protect them? How does a people turn the economic flow from spawning greed to feeding need? How does a people turn from being sycophants to bureaucratic institutions to leaders that protect and serve the human family.?
There is another precedent that is as old as bureaucratic architecture. It is kindness, treating other people as you would want to be treated if the situation was reversed. Most people are kind, but they fear the bureaucratic beasts. We are not going to kill the beasts. We are going to tame them. They won’t like it at first, but all will turn out well. Here’s how we will tame the beasts.
The financial industry uses financial accounting to protect their source of income. When they loan money, they don’t care if you kill the pope, as long as they get paid well for using their money. Further exacerbating the situation is the monetary devaluation that exists uniquely for those who have the most limited access to monetary resources, poor tax for the impoverished, income security for monetary pirates. Financial accounting does not protect citizens from bureaucratic robbery. It hides the crime.
We are going to use KC (Kind Competent) accounting. By design it is not a “legal” document. It is a window through which true monetary value is clearly measured and recorded to track its progress toward eradicating poverty and injustice, inside and outside of the bureaucratic beasts. It identifies each financial transaction that does good or harm. It tracks transactions that start with an act of kindness and publicly affirms them. It tracks transactions that do harm, or fail to start with an act of kindness. It identifies cleanup costs, and the cost of damage that isn’t repaired, or can’t be repaired.
This accounting identifies the source of kindness and competence, and activity that does harm. Using KC accounting, there is no need to sink the ship, just don’t allow pirates to anchor her in their harbor.
Have you ever noticed how uncommon it is for somebody to drive down the wrong side of a highway. Our expectations are to keep people doing the right things on the highway, and it will keep people doing the right things on the economic highway. It is the right thing to do, and it is how we will finally be capable of serving and protecting each of the worlds citizens, all of them, optimal economic progress for this and future generations.
Academics must paint yellow lines down the center of the economic highway. Old school academia collected knowledge for their bureaucratic bosses. They viewed knowledge as if it were flat. Ethics makes it a sphere. All knowledge has an ethical dimension. Measurements of knowledge have only perceived validity before they are applied, because all knowledge has an economic hemisphere, and an antinomic hemisphere.
Gathering and applying knowledge is an economic necessity that requires thought, calculation, measurement, public reports and peer reviews. Knowledge is both a hazardous material and a social necessity. Its application is an economic skill that requires academic oversight to ensure that, first, no harm is done, and second, that benefit is received. The purpose of education is economics.
Academics has eyes that see dangers that are indiscernible to bureaucratic pillars. It has eyes that see possibilities that bureaucratic pillars cannot detect. New school academics must also have a heart that feels the antinomic despair that cannot be felt by the ancient bureaucratic pillars that compel allegiance at unreasonable cost. The ancient pillars disallow knowledge from penetrating their stoney walls. Academics must expand its knowledge to include the true science of economics, that is the center line in the highway toward the betterment of humans and humanity,