Mental Billionaires

Ed Howes

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Congratulations! You have just won a billion dollars in the Global Magic Lottery. To receive your winnings you must submit a detailed budget to the Global Magic judges. You have thirty days to submit. The top ten of one hundred finalists will be announced in sixty days. If you are one of the top ten, you will receive a Global Magic credit card with a billion dollar line of credit.

The reason the poor so radically outnumber the rich in this world is poverty consciousness. I know because I live in the richest nation in the world and have been dosed with poverty consciousness since I became aware I was conscious. There is no doubt fortunes are squandered all the time and new fortunes made with greater frequency. The person who has no idea what he or she would do with such wealth, has no business controlling it. This is where the lottery horror stories of ruined lives have their roots. The poor are mostly poor because they have no plan for wealth. Nowhere in their educations and life experience is the possibility of such a great responsibility brought to their attention. In the absence of prosperity consciousness lies the irresponsibility of poverty consciousness. There is a certain amount of comfort in it.

The minute we think seriously about what we would do with the social responsibility of great wealth, we change. We become more responsible in our very thinking. Do we set up trusts to help bring about changes we want, long after we are gone? Do we spend the whole thing to solve a problem societies are dragging their feet in solving? What to do, what to do?

If changing one’s consciousness from poverty to prosperity was not a worthy exercise of itself, what better way do we have to know who we really are? If how we spend our money tells us something about who we are, how we would spend a windfall will tell us much more.

This exercise is so simple, it ought to be global and it should begin early in a child’s life. It should be repeated prior to every birthday celebration. By the time a child understands the significance of a thousand dollars, that child should be managing hundreds. What would be the consciousness of a high school or college graduate, who has not only submitted a new budget every year, but has saved them to compare as a measure of personal growth? What if all the new wealth of the world fell into hands well prepared for it? I think we would be living in a world far superior to any previously known.

A few years ago, I tried a marketing experiment. While most of my neighbors were unaware of those in the community who had difficulty obtaining decent food, I knew there was a small number who required assistance. I found a couple nearby sources of organically grown produce and began marketing some of their weekly production over the Summer.

I began a local fresh food bank. I offered the fresh produce to the public on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. I distributed what was left to folks in need Saturday afternoon and Monday morning. In offering the food to the public, I set no prices, explaining with signs, flyers and orally that we are just trying to get this food bank up and running for the community and we would gladly receive whatever people would give. They could take whatever they wanted from our tables.

There was no shortage of people who told me this model would fail and they were all right. Neighbors who were not in need of assistance had little desire to help those who were in need and nobody had any idea of the value of the produce without prices for mental calculation.

“How much do you want for these?” Whatever you’d like to give. “No, really, how much do you want?” Well, we are paying about a dollar per pound on average. “Where is your scale?” We have no scale. “Oh, you should get one. Here, is this enough?” That’s fine, thank you very much for your support.

My neighbors were not interested in helping to feed the hungry. They wanted to know if they were getting a bargain or paying too much. The consumer mentality had been ingrained in them. They could not assign a market value to the food or the charity without prices. They needed to judge if my prices were high or low, when in fact the produce was free to those who needed free food. I lost a few hundred dollars over five or six weeks and got an education. All the people I was trading with had poverty consciousness. Some will have future occasion to learn that free food has more value than the price and high quality food a higher value still.

I was reflecting on the parable of the unprofitable servant in the gospels. Two servants double the capital their master had entrusted with them. The third returned the capital with no gain. Fear of a harsh master was his excuse. He was deemed unprofitable and his capital taken from him, given to the most profitable servant. This is a hard lesson. However, most of us unprofitable servants beat the system. We spend the master’s capital on what we want. When he comes to collect, we tell him it has disappeared. We tell ourselves we have no master and deep down we know we are living foolishly, if not dangerously. This is the reason American workers are forced to pay withholding taxes to the masters.

An industrial society needs cheap labor to rapidly grow capital. Although a post industrial society no longer needs to increase concentrated capital to prosper, generations of wage labor continue to produce surplus wage labor, which depresses the wages and again rewards concentrated capital. This forces the wage earner to set aside scarce resources as personal or retirement capital, as the President now hopes to do with a portion of the Social Security tax. The gross earnings of wage labor include a 20% tithe that comes off the top (the tithe of the firstfruits. ) The net wage represents expenses, capital and disposable income. But the wage earner is seldom taught about the purpose of capital and the goal becomes to cut expenses (bargain hunting) and increase disposable income, through merit raises and promotions or career changes.

What happens to this structure when a child is imbued with the understanding of the power of capital? What happens to a child who is taught that multiplying capital makes her or him a profitable servant who will always have access to the means of production, will see many more opportunities to grow capital and will live well on the earnings of the capital? That child will never see wage labor as anything more than a means to an end and s/he might choose not to waste $80,000 of capital on an education that promises to double wages after the debts are repaid. That child will learn that the specialized knowledge required for capital growth can be obtained by interests, experience, libraries, correspondence courses, specialty literature and other low cost sources that do not require indebtedness.

No matter what our age and experience, to nurture poverty consciousness is a subtle form of slavery and theft. We rob ourselves. We rob our children. We rob our masters, our neighbors and the rest of the world. Most of all, we rob the one who has placed all possibilities at our disposal.

Ed Howes sought and found. Knocked and entered. Now he sees things differently. To see more of what he sees, please visit - or do an author search right here at Ezine Articles.


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