Not Even One

Democracy, what is beneficial to a majority, has little or no ethical application, and even less economic implication, and certainly no positive impact on economic competence. The reason is that the purpose of economics is to make sure that everyone is served and that everyone is protected. If most people are fed, clothed or housed, that is insufficient, because every life matters. This illogical democratic reasoning about economics has a long uninterrupted history.

The people that we don’t know seem not to be important. Those with a different history, a different skin color, or different beliefs are easy to exclude. Those of a different age, a different culture, or different needs seem not important. The powerful and the vulnerable are are separated by fear and misunderstanding. These divisions have allowed ignorance and superstitious notions to shape their behavior in a destructive manner that fans the flames of injustice that produces the destruction of poverty and the devastation of war.

Of course we can be safer, happier, and more productive when we lookout for each other. Inconsideration for those whom we do not know, blows the roof off the house of reality. None of us are better off without a roof.

The devaluing of some lives, devalues all life. In the same way devaluing some reason devalues all reason. Devaluing some ethics devalues all ethics. Truth is the umbilical cord that allows humanity to be nurtured by reality. We cut the cord at our peril. A 99% majority could  vote unanimously to sever the cord, but it is exactly 100% of us who pay the terrible price for nutritionally depriving us of reality. We become ineffective at protecting future generations. We become inconsiderate of capitalizing on efforts of the past. And of course, we pay by needlessly sacrificing our comfort, our joy, and our ability to survive. As some selfishly shield themselves from cooperative need, all become economically disenfranchised. They loose respect, and sanity. Democracy feeds on the sugar of reality. It tastes sweet, but fails to produce economic health.

In religious terms, God stands with the vulnerable. Who travels with those who piteously leave them behind? Wealth has no economic value when it is used indiscriminately. The cost of doing harm includes the loss of irreclaimable opportunity. Economically speaking, not even one person can be left behind. Each of us is less when they are. Kindness and competence builds economic value, opportunity for all.

The Level of  Economic Competence

Economics provides for the wants and needs of all people across all generations, or not. The level of economics is higher or lower depending on its degree of success. Human behavior is the determinant for that success. In spite of the immensity of of the importance of economic competence, there is no credible study of the subject. In fact the subject has not been academically identified. Nor has the superstitious reason for hiding it.

Economic competence can be defined as first doing no harm, while kindly providing for the general welfare of all people across all geographical, and generational borders. It is the antidote for the poison of war, poverty, and injustice.

The level of competence is the degree to which we are able to protect, and provide for humanity, which of course, is dependent on participation. Participation is the key to success, and academic study is an important tool to shatter the superstitious idea that humanity can prosper by destroying the environment that it shares.

The reason this subject is necessary is the commonly held superstitious notion that economics can expel some people, without harming the rest. Economics, first does no harm. Inflicting harm is not economic. Producing benefit is economic. The level of economic competence measures that benefit. The question to ponder is, how can we measure its level?

Money is produced as a way to value goods and services. Actually, what gives money its value are the benefits produced by the goods and services that are for sale. If economics is to be economical, the marketplace should produce no harm, and it should be beneficial for all. If there is no way to provide goods and service to some people, the level of economic competence is negative, harmful, not economic. Where economic competence is low, people have an individual incentive to harm others in order to help themselves. Harmed people often behave in ways that are both personally and publicly harmful. The harm is often, perhaps always, multigenerational.

People are often educated or trained to become effective at dehumanizing others so they can, comparatively speaking, get a head. Getting ahead, comes with a huge price to other people, and other generations. In many cases it lowers the level of competence with unkind, or disruptive conflict, creating harm, or reducing benefit.

Education, should at the very least, be a study of how people serve and protect each other. It should address the harm we do to each other, and to other generations. It should address how, each moment, we can use a new opportunity to help all people, and it should address that the past contains the lessons for the future. Failing to learn those lessons is what perpetuates the superstitious notion that there is some awesome authority that can give us permission to behave unkindly, to purposely remain stupid, and to create the illusion economic incompetence is a behavior over which we have no control.

Failure is an opportunity to learn. Individually people instinctively learn this lesson by observation, by trial and error, and by empathy. Nature is provides a compass, and it provides an incentive. Socially people, do not learn the lesson, easily. There is an other guide. A superficial guide that demonizes human weakness, and the failures that are an integral part of success. Seemingly successful people, those who hid their weakness, and their mistakes, reign over those who are learning. Economically speaking, the successful people who wield power over the others can actually believe that they are superior, as they hide their weakness, and mistakes, often blaming them on others. History, past and present, is packed with authoritarian figures “fiddling, while Rome burns.”

Economic competence can not be measured by demonizing the act of learning, and its results will never be credible if they are presented by people who rise to power by hiding mistakes. Economic knowledge is acquired by finding those mistakes and learning from them. The superstitious notions surrounding the blackhole in economic education probably began as a coverup, hiding harm by blaming the people who are harmed. This superstitious culture has been inherited and passed on by multiple generations.

People, as a species, improve their lives by improving the environment in which they live. Improving their environment helps them become competent, kind, and fulfilled. It helps future generations, who inherit far more than genes, and if past generations lived for a purpose, we also have a purpose.

We cannot help that we are not smarter, but using hurtful, superstitious notions as an excuse to destroy our own environment can not end well for us as individuals, or for the whole of humanity. Economies are directed by nature to serve human needs. Superstition is directed by ignorance to hide inadequacy, inhumanity, and incompetence. The time to turn history from its tragic cycle is decreasing. As our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers we need to identify harm, learn how to succeed, measure our success, and pass a method of steadily increasing economic competence to enhance the environment for all generations.

Free Speech

Free speech is what we inherit. What we say determines what others will inherit. Abusive rhetoric is what suppresses free speech. If what I say is hurtful, people will find a way to suppress my speech.

To promote free speech, we speak of our own shortcomings, and we speak of the need for justice. To suppress it find we speak of fault with others, while we ignore our own faults, or we abuse others with our speech. Free speech is not won in a fight. It is earned by others. I inherit it, I improve it, and I pass it on for the benefit, and the enjoyment of people that I do not know.

The abuse of free speech is what suppresses it. Bureaucracy has no conscience. It gains power, as it loses dignity. Bureaucratic power suppresses free speech. Institutional dignity improves it. Justice and free speech are not independent of each other.

 

Liberty

The question is not whether or not we have liberty. The question is what are we going to do with the liberty we already have? Whether or not we are free, is an inheritance. What we do with our freedom is what others inherit from us.

What we do with the ball of opportunity, either creates freedom, or it creates oppression. It is our choice. We can inflate the ball of liberty, or pass emptiness to those, who, like us, expect more.

Oppression is the misuse of liberty.

Devolution

The term evolution is used to denote positive transformation that makes it possible to use environmental opportunity toward the service and protection of humanity. When economic opportunity decreases, devolution is occurring. Economic devolution can impair or destroy genetic improvement.

Poverty, injustice, and war are devolutionary indicators that show the destruction of natural opportunity. Just as light creates the possibility for vision, diligence, cooperation and kindness create the possibility for economic evolution.

Read more.

Academic Superstition

Knowledge or Propaganda?
By
Rolfe Ericson
rolfeericson@gmail.com

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to identify the critical need to change superstitious academic beliefs that negate academic value. The article focuses on bureaucratic shortcomings that cause institutional goals to divert from improving the human environment to accumulating power and wealth in a manner that is harmful to the human environment. The article uses a conceptual approach to show how, and why current academic theories don’t work, are carried out in secrecy, and how they are economically and environmentally destructive. It further demonstrates unsound academic footing that environmentally fails to protect humanity by showing how the flawed concept of GDP is used to mathematically misrepresent environmental harm as economic growth. The article describes why financial accounting is insufficient for economic measurement. It describes the use of economic behavioral accounting as academically appropriate, and critically necessary for improving the environment for humanity.

Read the article (2,000 words)

Love

Love is an integral economic resource. It is the foundation of its meaning and purpose. Economics is all people caring for and protecting all other people. It is the antithesis of letting people harm themselves, harm others, suffer, or be humiliated.

A healthy population loves itself. It is safe. It exudes diligence, competence, kindness, and joy. Economics is how it accomplishes that. Without economics the health of humanity suffers. The characteristics associated with good health suffer in the shadow of economic dysfunction.

Individuals are incapable of caring for themselves. Typically they are vain, selfish, foolish, and greedy. Others’ love for them, as well as their love for others apparently injects a quality that is rare or absent in individuals. Each of us behaves better in the presence of those whom we love, and those who love us. The more people who serve each other, the greater the love, and the better the economics. Of course we must serve and protect people who we have never met. They are friends of friends of our friends. We also must serve and protect friends of friends of our children’s children who won’t be born till long after we are gone. The love will still be there. Economics is the secret of love, and love is the secret of economics.

Which came first? As in the mystery of the chicken and the egg, we don’t know. Love is the reason for economics. It is the nest where economics hatches.

Read more.

Our Hidden Sins

In order to learn how to become effective at serving and protecting humankind, we must study the subject, serving and protecting humankind. Failing to serve and protect even one person is unkind, just as them failing to serve and protect you is unkind. Economics is what ties our knowledge to our lives. those bonds should be carefully, competently, and most importantly, kindly tied.

Over the course of the entire history of humankind. we have been incompetent at taking care of our fellow human beings. Poverty, injustice, and war still exist, and there is no general acceptance of a plausible plan to improve the situation. Clearly, if we accept the premise that adequate education provides the knowledge that is required to allow us to be effective in that care and protection, the education that we receive and share is insufficient. Being mean is unkind, and so is being intentionally stupid.

We need to try to understand how we can care for and protect each other, and we need to demonstrate that it is in everyones best interest to do so. What universities around the globe refer to as the academic discipline of economics belongs in the same category as alchemy, witchcraft, and astrology. It uses human beings for inhumane experimentation that is not based on fact, or even good intentions. As it is currently practiced, economics is nothing more than a superstition that divides humanity into unsustainable political and social groups that blame and punish each other for the their entirely predictable collective failure.

Kindness is a trait that has always been considered the domain of religion. We are supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves. Philosophers have touted kindness for as long as there has been written language. If kindness is important, shouldn’t we have enough knowledge to succeed at being kind? Shouldn’t we expect others to have it? Shouldn’t we share it?

Business and politics have not embraced the value of kindness except in those cases that it serves their selfish interests. Acts of unkindness are thought of as unethical, but in the world of business, as in the world of politics, kindness is a target. The easy exploitation of kindness has put civilization in a downward spiral, the same spiral that put Jesus on the cross.

There is a naturally existing economic force that is responsible for the survival of humanity. Individually we are capable of little, we are weak, slow to develop, and not particularly smart. The force that goes unnoticed is generated by people helping people, just being kind. That force is the reason that you have clothes, a place to live, a way to go places, and why you may reasonably have expectations to live into adulthood.

Loving God, and loving your neighbor as yourself requires effort, the same amount of effort that you use to indulge your personal needs and desires. Being stupid, not studying about what is needed to eliminate war, poverty, and injustice is lazy and mean spirited.

Seeing no evil is unkind, if you aren’t looking. Evil is an economic vacuum that needs to be filled with kindness, and kindness requires a base of knowledge that can effectively eradicate unkindness or injustice that is historically perceived as an eternal force of evil.

Evil is a superstitious notion that people use to explain the chaos left in the vacuum of a lack of economic support. It is a place where we failed to protect God’s creation and our fellow human beings. In the future that failure can be avoided by people kindly intervening, natural economic force. Evil is a superstitious excuse for the lack of economic intervention. Ignorance is the primary reason that anyone accepts the excuse. Evil can exist only as long as humanity fails to accept responsibility for doing God’s work, caring for and protecting its children. We need to learn how to do a better job. Economic knowledge does not instinctively appear.

There needs to be a course of study that allows us to gather and disseminate knowledge about the natural economic force that is created when human beings kindly serve and protect each other.  Religious institutions kindly note the importance of being our “brothers’ and sisters’ keepers” while they superstitiously “cast stones” at evil. Placing blame stifles economic progress pitting people against each other, against humanity, and against God.

There is currently no academic curriculum that encompasses the study of natural economic force, and no research that embodies it. We all live in God’s kingdom, we wait generations for our opportunity to serve. Our service is a blessing to others, their service is a blessing to us. The power of this force is observable and measurable, and its absence results in unnecessary human suffering across many generations and in every corner of the world.

Remaining stupid is mean, unnecessary, and lazy. This is the opportunity that we have, not so patiently, waited for. Our efforts will make war, poverty, and injustice a distant memory. Our reward will be “peace on earth and good will to humankind.”

Academic Necessity

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,

First do no harm, then do much good.