2002—Ground Zero Plus 387
Global Economic Vigilance:
The Duty Of Global Corporations
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
$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.
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.
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
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
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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