Friday, February 22, 2008

Economic Revolution

One year, pre-9/11/01, I decided that I would do something "responsible and grown-up" with some of my leftover birthday money. Being positively influenced after hearing a platinum-plus rapper/entrepreneur talk about his investments in an interview, I decided that I wouldn't strictly use my funds to feed into my fashion fetish. Instead, I decided to invest in oil stocks, just like the enterprising rapper said he had. I was proud of my decision, and the restraint that I exercised when I invested my money instead of splurging on a shopping spree.

It was my first foray into investments of any kind. It was an even more pioneering effort for me because I don't come from a background where purchasing stocks is the norm. I was proudly attempting to set an economic trend for the generations that would come after me. However, my enthusiasm surrounding my financial moves has sadly waned.

In the aftermath of 9/11, and the "war for oil," I began to learn about corporate greed and destruction. This was a subject matter that I was not previously knowledgeable about. Once I began to get a glimpse of how the oil companies operate, my previously "responsible investment" was now marred by a dark cloud. This lead me to think whether or not a "clean dollar" actually existed in this economy.

We can let our imaginations stretch, and go down the list of the different ways that people can generate income that is peripherally comprised of dirty money. Just to scratch the surface: What about, salespeople who sell clothes that are unknowingly manufactured in sweat shops? What about teachers who teach from the mundane Board of Education curriculum? What about city employees who get their checks from corrupt city municipalities?

With so much blood and grime on practically every American dollar, the American economic system is destined to collapse- just on the principle of karma alone. This is why I feel WE NEED AN ECONOMIC REVOLUTION.

A revolution is defined as "an upheaval characterized by great change." I feel that we need a huge change to the economic system. It may be unrealistic to think that we can start from scratch. However, we can overhaul the standards by which our money is made and spent.

I suggest that we begin to research who we spend our money with, and attempt to ensure that we treat our dollars like we treat our votes at the ballot box. We should hold the companies that are campaigning for our dollars to task about how their goods and services are being provided, and what they are doing with their profits.

I also strongly suggest the emergence of budding entrepreneurs who build companies based on the intention of exercising real responsibility and financial power. Businesses that consciously adhere to making money in a way that is not unconscionable and exploitative are a necessity in the economic system. This type of economic revolution is our challenge and privilege. If we can pull this off, it will assuredly pay dividends for generations to come.

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