“Industry, Thrift, Intelligence and Property” This is what Booker T. Washington said would lead newly emancipated American slaves to equality as full citizens.
It is a motto to live by for all Americans.
Income inequality persists–and is, in fact, growing wider–because we as a people do not make productivity and ownership the priorities for why we work and how we pay ourselves. Our community is fixated on service and low-yielding distribution, while larger corporations focus on wide-spread gains and siphon money out of our neighborhoods.
But we are going to establish productive, fulfilling work and cooperative teams as the bases for whole, Real Household income.
Most working poor and middle class Americans only earn a salary or wage, defined by the IRS as an earned income. The work you are designing will also produce passive and portfolio income.
Wage and Prestige
To live on wage alone means no matter how much money you make, you are always living paycheque to paycheque. To balance this, we obsess over the prestige of a higher wage. A household depending only on wages has no control, no leverage, and no insurance.
Wage, Salary, Commission
Wage, Control, and Leadership
You make money by owning goods or services. You have control over it and you lead a team to manage it and insure its existence. In the original American democracy, only men who owned could participate in civil discourse because they were considered most responsible.
Stock, Property, Real Estate
Wage, Influence, and Teamwork
You make money by using money; yours and from investors. You influence what happens because it is your creativity and good judgment that is moving money in productive ways. And you work with others to manage it and insure its existence.
Dividend, Interest, Royalty
Working and middle class Americans obsess over the weakest and least involved income, earned income, when they should be building up to have all three. In his bestselling series, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki describes his own father, his Poor Dad, this way: as a very educated man who saw climbing a professional ladder as the way to succeed, despite the obvious flaws in this model:
- The small increases in income by promotion never equal the value of the work inputed to gain the promotion.
- The small increases are eaten up by earned income taxes, regardless.
- The system of climbing a ladder to gain income guarantees only a few winners regardless to how well of employees any of the workers are; what’s more is that to justify itself, this system creates more levels, more branches and more bureaucracy with absolutely no impact on quality.
- After everything is said and done, this system expects you to retire with no built-in equity in your career and you are to accept that you will be poor in your retirement, having a smaller income in your golden years. What did you just work 30 years for?
If you can see the flaws in this way of designing business and charity, then don’t bother with it. There are other models, other entire understandings of how to work and how to pay your team than this worthless rat race. Now is the time to design a service that will contribute to your household and your advocates’ households in substantial ways.