Friday--October 4
, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 387

Global Economic Vigilance:
The Duty Of Global Corporations

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, October 4--The world is the playground of Terrorism.   But that playground can be cleansed once the Global Corporations of Vigilance band together to squash Terrorism.
        It is time for the global business community to raise its Shield of Vigilance and protect its children--profits.  For without profit, there is no prosperity.  Just as without children, there is no future for humanity.

      In 1926 George S. Clason  wrote a short, simple, yet inspiring book to explain how profits work.  He described profits as the "children of hard work."   He used the word "children" to denote the multiplication of profits, and how wisely invested money bred more children, and their children's children gave birth to even more.
        But "children," whether in the form of profits or human beings, don't grow unless they are nurtured, watched, guarded, managed.   Clason was in many ways, a Parent of Vigilance.   His goal was to release his children from "financial Terrorism" and lead them down the road of prosperity.
       The major thesis of The Richest Man In Babylon is that if a person doesn't invest hard-earned money to grow prosperous, he or she will become a "slave to wages."   The worst "terror," he suggested, is being "debt-ridden."  He loathed the idea that a mother or father would be manacled in financial bondage so that his or her waking moments were spent scurrying about to pay daily bills and living in Fear and Intimidation of money.   A well-managed "prosperity plan," he proposed in his parable-style writing, allowed parents the time to enjoy their flesh-and-blood children, and to live free of the yoke of debt and its attendant Terrorisms.
        His first "prosperity  rule"  is to pay yourself before paying your bills   Out of each daily earnings, he advises, you pay yourself 10 percent of your wages.  Then, and only then, pay everyone else.    If you are the last person to be paid for your toil, he says, all the money will slip through one's fingers and none will be left for the future.   But if one's  budget begins taking 10 percent first,  locking it away for the "rainy day,"  then anyone can learn to live comfortably on the 90 percent left over.   The result, he proposes, will be "financial freedom" rather than "economic slavery."


         His parables don't stop at paying yourself off the top of your earnings.   To achieve wealth, he describes, you must manage the "children of profit" so that they can grow.   He talks about the "children of profit" having "babies."   Using parables, he says the wealth of an individual and family is about investing your first 10 percent so it grows and multiples, children begetting children begetting children..   In ways and means, he might be called the first CEO of Corporate Family Vigilance.
         In our troubled world, Terrorism is all about enslaving people in "emotional debt"--building up the deficit of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency while tearing down the profits of Courage, Conviction and Right Action..    By disrupting the normal flow of human endeavors, Terrorists aim at crippling or hobbling a society's economy.    They seek to drive capital out of the market, and shrink the availability of prosperity.    They lay siege on the right to be economically as well as emotionally and physically  free to leave in peace and harmony.

         Terrorism attempted to induce Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into the belly of the Corporate Giants of this earth.   On September 11, 2001, they attacked the epicenter of world wealth.   They smashed the World Trade Centers in hopes of puncturing our nation's economic might.  They sought to cripple America's position as world financial leader, holding our right for economic freedom up as a crime against humanity.   Symbolically, they drove the Sword of Terrorism into the pocketbook of the world.
        But, in their haste to hate the Western World's "financial freedom rights" they overlooked the fact there were over 100 different countries represented in the Twin Towers.  They neglected to realize the World Trade Center wasn't just the epicenter of American capitalism, but a cornucopia, a United National Financial Center, within which the economies of the world were daily fueled.  Their attack wasn't just on America or Western ideology.   It was an attack on Global Corporations--an attack on the right of the poor to elevate themselves and their children out of primordial ooze of poverty.
         If one group should most angered by the Terrorists' attacks, it should be the Global Corporations.    The impact on their future is far more devastating than it is upon any singular state and nation.  While states and nations and their leaders may come and go, the Global Corporations remain a perpetual icon to the evolution of all humanity, the source of disposing the Terror of poverty for the Vigilance of prosperity.
         Over $30 trillion a year of world commerce is created around the 24,000-mile circumference of this globe, which spins at more than 1,000 miles at 23 degrees on its axis.   The gravity the earth creates hold more than 6 billion people to its surface, and the key of thought allows them to think through their selfishness to the future prosperity of their children, and their children's children's children.   Leading that forward thinking is the Global Corporations who invest in that prosperity, who seek to manufacture and merchandise the goods and services that will improve the world and protect their investments. 
        No one has a bigger stake in the world for eliminating Terrorism than the Global Corporations, for Terrorism seeks to tear down the capital improvements of nations, and throw the world back into the Stone Age, while Global Corporate Strategy focuses on the future, and how much wealth can be created for themselves and the people who farm the resources of earth.  
        Contrary to the critics of "big business," without "big businesses' belief in the future of humanity, continued world prosperity would be in peril.    The Global Corporate Companies wouldn't explore new and better ways for families and children to live better lives.  Big Businesses'  motivation, like that of any head of household, is the security of their "children of profit."   Unless the world is safe for them to invest their "profit children" in new ventures, they will hold back, hedge, wait until it is.  Then, everyone loses.   We backslide rather than advance.  We retreat rather than charge ahead. That's why the battle lines of Terrorism must be fought by the Corporate Global Giants.   If they fold, the world whimpers.    

          In Fortune Magazine, the top Global Corporations for 2002 are ranked.   And, ironically, the leader of all Global Companies is not a giant oil or automotive company.  Instead, it's a company that has built a world-wide dynasty of merchandising by reaching out its hand to the people of the world and welcoming them to their thousands of stores.  
         The Fortune 100 top Global Company leader is none other than Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart is a company that merchandises to the families of the world.   It has toys and clothing and groceries and all the "creature comforts" of the 21st Century at reasonable prices.   But it's hallmark is friendliness, community.   It is the warm hand of the Giant, a sign of what Global Businesses can do for and with the communities of nations.
         Last year Wal-Mart racked up $219 billion in worldwide gross revenues, making it the leader in Global revenues..   It was followed by Exxon Mobile with $191.5 billion, General Motors with 177.2 billion, and British Petroleum with $174.2 billion.   
          Ranking European companies included, first, BP ($174 b), then Daimler Chrysler ($160 b), Royal Dutch/Shell ($135.2), and Total Fina Elf ($94.3 b) from France.   In Asia, the leading companies were headed by Toyota ($120.8)  followed by Mitsubishi ($105.8 b),  then by Mitsui ($101.2 b) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone ($93.4b)
         These are but a few of the host of Global Corporations whose livelihood demands a secure world.   All major companies know war is wasteful and seek to avoid it..   A bomb dropping on the soil is a waste of manufacturing capital, for it destroys rather than grows what it touches.   While there may be a temporary surge to an economy at war while it pours billions of dollars into weapons of destruction, there is no equity in a bullet.   Once a bullet is spent, it is useless.   And, if it kills or maims, it limits the economic potential of its victim, further depreciating its value to the future of prosperity.  War is bad business for anyone with vision.

New York City Times Square Headquarters, Lehman Brothers

Lehman Brothers: $22.3 billion--ranked 212th Globally

     No sound Global Corporation would encourage war, for wars gut the economy, wound it, and cause it to heal slowly with ugly scar tissue in the wake of its smoldering ash.    It will take many many years to recover the economic waste of the World Trade Center destruction, and, the precious lives that were lost are incalculable in value.   
         On September 11, 2001,  Terrorism jammed a giant crowbar into the pistons of world commerce, and virtually shut down one of its main operating engines.   Worse, Terrorism has infected the world of commerce, making people fearful of investing in the future and intimidated by on-going threats of war.   Complacently, many hoard the money they would have spent to wait and see what is going to happen next.
         Fortune reported the economic damage to the world economy last year as vast in the wake of the Terrorists' attacks. Earnings in 100 of Fortune's Global 500 companies were less than half of the previous year, and 297 of the Global Giants saw profits fall.
        One could say metaphorically that the Terrorists kidnapped the Global Corporations' Children--their profits.   Extending the metaphor, they are "beating them" still today.   
         In response to the attacks, global business leaders are tightening their belts, workers are being laid off.  Everyone is holding their breath to see what is around the corner.   In the meantime the vice of debt squeezes.   Prosperity's march has stopped while the world awaits the storms of war and all the waste that results.
         Terrorists forget the richest countries have the same problems as the poorest.  That problem is debt.  Its mantra is reflected on a T-shirt slogan that shouts: "Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's Off To Pay Bills I Go!"
         In the helter-skelter rush to achieve prosperity, the average person has ignored the parables of the Richest Man In Babylon.   Instead of saving and investing, modern societies spend more than they earn.   Ironically, people have become slaves of debt out of "free will," rather than because of some tyrant steals their wages.   It is time the average person began to think like a Corporate Global Giant--protecting not only his or her children of flesh and blood, but also wisely investing earnings to grow them as one would any member of a family.

         If Terrorists realized that the average person in a capitalistic society is swimming in debt, not unlike fellow citizens in underdeveloped countries, perhaps the animosity wouldn't be so great between cultures. 
        But that would be a lot to ask of Terrorists who limit their vision to infecting the world with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.    Terrorism's goal isn't to build the safety, security and prosperity of the children or their children's children, but rather to destroy such prosperity, to shackle it and drive others who live in houses and drive cars into cold, dank caves.

          Terrorists like to use the gap between developed and underdeveloped nations as a club to justify violent behavior and indiscriminate killing.   They cite that 15 percent of the world's population earn 91 percent of the income.   They attack the World Trade Center because the top 5% of the world's population earns $22,000 per person while the earnings of 35% of people on earth is $300 per person.   
         They forget that people who used to earn $300 now earn $22,000.   They forget the 10 percent of the world's population currently earning $4,000 per person are moving up toward the 10 percent who earn $24,000 per person.  They ignore the 35 percent who earn only $1000 per person are moving toward the $4,000 per person plateau.
         Terrorism also forgets about economic variations.   A friend of mine just returned from India.  He was a on a pilgrimage to Nepal.   I noticed he was smoking.  I asked how much a pack of cigarettes cost in India.   He smiled and said "one dollar, and they're better than ours."   I thought about the difference of $7.50 a pack in New York City and $1 a pack in India.   
         Then I thought of  Big Mac Index the Economist magazine utilizes.   After promoting all the economic pundits regarding the economy worldwide, the Economist runs an annual survey of the price of a Big Mac in various parts of the world, and uses their findings to indicate the rise or fall of the world's economy.

         Everything is relative.   It is like someone asking me:  "How are you doing, Cliff?"   I tend to respond:  "Compared to what?"
        One cannot give a true and honest answer to anything without comparing it to something else.    I might think I'm having a bad day financially, when in comparison to other people in other parts of the world, my lowest level of economic poverty might make me a rich man in others' eyes.
         And there is no one better to compare the world as it is to what it can become than the Global Corporations.   Global companies have their operations spread into the four corners of the earth.   They have more at stake to stop Terrorism than any one nation, for their nation is the world, and their opportunities lie in developing the underdeveloped, in building the wealth of individuals so the individuals can return that wealth through the purchase of goods and services. 
         In one sense of the word, Global Corporations are the world's  "heads of economic households." Collectively, they have the power to build Shields of Vigilance against Terrorism as no other coalition on earth.
        Currently, President Bush is trying to rally the support of national leaders to back his assault on Iraq.  He is seeing the support of leaders who may or may not be in pivotal roles in the future.  Their decisions could be more political than profitable.   Their views may be skewed by their desire to hold their power.
        Corporate Global Giants on the other hand are ruled by profits.   No matter who the leader is, profits reign king.   If such profits are the "children," of the Global Giants, then each leader is forced to protect the "children's children's children" from harm.   Ultimately, the Global Giants are the Fathers and Mothers of Vigilance, for by the nature of their leadership they must look far out into the future, and work toward the building of prosperity rather than fall victim to short-range decisions that may affect the future earning of the company--the future security of the children of profit.
         This makes them most qualified to become Parents of Vigilance.   It makes them defacto members, whether they wish to admit to the role or not.   Unless they rise above their selfishness, and look to the future security of their profits, they won't control the helm of their ship for long.   Stockholders in Global Companies want their leaders to be Big Thinkers--they want them to have the Courage, Conviction and take the Right Actions to protect, not put in peril, the "children of profits."

        The first step to achieve security is to eliminate Terrorism.
         But since Global Corporations are not engines of destruction, do not have military strike forces, they cannot "hunt and kill" their enemy.   But they can do what they do best--"create and build."
         To conquer Terrorism, Global Corporations can become Corporations of Vigilance.   Collectively, they can ban together and form a unified front, promoting the Pledge of Vigilance.    They can encourage the people of the world to learn the Principles of Vigilance, and to employ them in their homes and neighborhoods and communities and nations.
         Vigilance, the sum of one's Courage, Conviction and Right Actions in the face of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, can defeat Terrorism over time.    Terrorism seeks to embezzle the assets of human dignity and purpose.   And it takes great leadership to remind people there are alternatives to Terrorism that don't include guns and bombs.  
        Global Corporations can become true "Nation Builders" by promoting Vigilance.  When the citizens of a nation stand up for prosperity for their children, and their children's children, they will topple those who oppose such prosperity.  They will see the corrupt nature of power and rise against it, but only if they are reminded they have the power to do so.   They will only rise up when they are reminded their children, and all children, are to be the first priority of human evolution.  Only when they see their children as "children of profit" will they defend the riches of human opportunity as the Swiss do their bank accounts.
        Global Corporations who rely on business stability don't want people suffering in poverty.   Commerce depends on the "wealth of nations," not on the "bankruptcy of nations."   For economies to be stable, people need hope, belief, confidence.    They need Vigilance and its elements of evolution--Courage, Conviction and Right Action.  And the best poised teachers of that are the Global Corporations.
         The formula for building the wealth and peace of the world is Vigilance not Terrorism.
          That's why it is time for the Corporate Global Giants to agree on one simple tactic--to become Parents of Global Vigilance.   It is time each Corporate Giant took the Pledge of Vigilance, and saw profits as their children.

          If the Global Corporations consider themselves Sentinels of Vigilance, and promote the Pledge to all the citizens of their communities, Terrorism will find no place to spew its venom.  Courage will smother Fear, and Conviction will drive Intimidation over the horizon, and most of all, Right Actions will remove the Complacency that there is "no hope," that the "poor" can never become the "rich."
           It is time to nation build.
           It is time for the Corporate Global Companies to lead that building.
           It is time for them to become Corporations of Vigilance.

Go To Oct 3 Story--"War Heroes Can Be Schoolteachers"

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