Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

12 August 2008

Creative Capitalism

I was getting my increasingly gray hairs cut over lunch and picked up a Time Magazine featuring an article by Bill Gates about "Creative Capitalism". It actually caught my eye because my friend Chris Jones blogged about it yesterday! He also blogged about me! Ha... he called me "a passionate person....big ears....big mouth....big heart..."

Just one ear Chris. The ears are lopsided... it's where the charm comes from.
Anywho...

People dump all over capitalism, and often it's very warranted. Capitalism, like democracy, like communism... is a man-made system... run by men...and therefore flawed. They all contain nuggets of good malfunctioning because of greed. BUT whether you like Windows or not, Bill Gates is doing good in this world. These are some things that stood out to me:

Creative capitalism isn't some big new economic theory. And it isn't a knock on capitalism itself. It is a way to answer a vital question: How can we most effectively spread the benefits of capitalism and the huge improvements in quality of life it can provide to people who have been left out?

Governments and nonprofit groups have an irreplaceable role in helping them, but it will take too long if they try to do it alone. It is mainly corporations that have the skills to make technological innovations work for the poor.

One study found that the poorest two-thirds of the world's population has some $5 trillion in purchasing power. A key reason market forces are slow to make an impact in developing countries is that we don't spend enough time studying the needs of those markets

There's another crucial benefit that accrues to businesses that do good work. They will find it easier to recruit and retain great employees. Young people today — all over the world — want to work for organizations that they can feel good about.
Bill Gates


In Chris's little blog blurb about me yesterday he said:

"Dave is working with a bunch of us in Ontario on a regional team here for 24-7 and spends most of his time dreaming about how to take over the world...in particular the City of God...according to him....Brantford!"


And it's true. I do think about world domination.
THIS is honestly my dream...

Sitting in front of a map of the world (like a Risk Game) with Billions of dollars in my pocket... strategizing how to feed everyone, build revolutionary infrastructure, facilitate the dreams of the storm weathered... and see many see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

That's my dream. And some of the principles in this Creative Capitalism article open the doors to this. This is why a "business anointing" is SO vital for our earth. Christians with money with vision. Vision to invent... vision to create things AND WEALTH... and strategy about HOW AND WHERE to invest their money to help millions of people.

It's really so easy. Here's how Bono's Red campaign started...

"a few years ago I was sitting in a bar with Bono, and frankly, I thought he was a little nuts. It was late, we'd had a few drinks, and Bono was all fired up over a scheme to get companies to help tackle global poverty and disease. He kept dialing the private numbers of top executives and thrusting his cell phone at me to hear their sleepy yet enthusiastic replies. As crazy as it seemed that night, Bono's persistence soon gave birth to the (RED) campaign. Today companies like Gap, Hallmark and Dell sell (RED)-branded products and donate a portion of their profits to fight AIDS. (Microsoft recently signed up too.) It's a great thing: the companies make a difference while adding to their bottom line, consumers get to show their support for a good cause, and — most important — lives are saved. In the past year and a half, (RED) has generated $100 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, helping put nearly 80,000 people in poor countries on lifesaving drugs and helping more than 1.6 million get tested for HIV. That's creative capitalism at work."
Bill Gates


Want to know why this excites me? Because it's doable for the same reason why the infrastructure at the Beijing Olympics is so state of the art and excellent. Follow me here.

Because the government in China is quite totalitarian... they wanted new fantastic buildings and cars off the road... and had the authority to do it, so they did it. There wasn't an opposition saying they couldn't. Now... obviously there are downfalls to this set up, but when it came to accomplishing a specific goal... they wanted to, and had the means to... so it happened.

When A church wants to do something, it can an arduous political process to accomplish goal. That, combined with the fact that most churches struggle just to get by... little of social consequence gets done. It's one of the reason's why big giving, generous business folks have a hard time tithing or even giving to churches. I don't think it's necessarily the right answer but it is what it is.

But with a "Creative Capitalist" who has the means and the vision to do something... and God captures their heart... Who's telling him no? Honestly... a few influential people with captured hearts could change the face of our world.

I believe this.
I pray for this...
...a lot.

2 comments:

Jason K said...

Good blog Dave! I'm in IT now and have studied Mr. Gates throughout high school and college. While capitalism can be used for good, it's often in small parts. It's nice to see Mr. Gates giving back. He has sinned greatly to get to where he is now ;)

But one must be very careful about this comment: "How can we most effectively spread the benefits of capitalism and the huge improvements in quality of life it can provide to people who have been left out?"

Our current wars are centered around those ideologies. Just as it's important that we do have contributions from a Capitalist market, it's also just as important to have checks and balances in place to ensure the quality of life improves, and the element of control is questioned on every angle.

Too often the Capitalist Market provides a fraction of what's needed, and too often it's done as a publicity stunt to get us to purchase more of their products. There are very few that can match Mr. Gates contribution to mankind. I applaud him for this.

It's those that spread the word of hope, provide comfort to those that are suffering, and acts of kindness from the individual (which Mr. Gates is doing) that will change the world, not "Creative Capitalism".

Dave Carrol said...

Hey Jay. Thanks for the thoughts. It's true that it's the non tangibles (hope, kindness, ect) that ACTUALLY change lives. For me... that's what Jesus died to share with the world so that's why I hold him in such high regard and worship Him... not the money.

But money is something very significant. One of the most misquoted scripture is 1 Timothy 6 9-11 where people wrong say that money is the root of all evil. it actually says...

9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

What we do with our money is so important and can release the intangibles by our generosity. Rick Warren (who is a big pastor in the states) wrote a book called "a purpose driven life" a while back that was a best seller over and over... make Rick Warren very rich and influencial.

Rick decided that he would give away 90% of his personal income and live off 10%. THAT'S amazing! And frankly... it's inspiring to others to live sacrificially... to live generously... to realize the wealth we're surrounded with is disproportionate.

I'm quite sure that capitalism is not THE answer... but world leaders (and like him or not guys like Gate ARE because of his money) living generously not only changes things with his money but because it inspires other to do likewise.

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