Rock Stars and WMD on the “Stairway to Heaven”
Many rock stars and Hollywood and Bollywood stars are called but few are chosen. Very few are truly transformative as far as the poor are concerned. Many are self-consumed with narcissism and the idolatry of wealth and self. Idolatry and wealth are largely directed at these personalities as well. These idols, the modern version of the golden calf are not often engaged in altruistic acts. When they are involved in fundraising for the poor, they often operate WMD, weapons of mass delusion. Why? As former Senator Barney Frank said in a video, in order to be transformative, you have to be pragmatic and you have to study accounting. I pointed out in II. “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” very few rock stars, Hollywood and Bollywood stars are familiar with accounting or have studied the various disciplines needed to make a meaningful economic difference in the quality of lives. Their fundraising is not pragmatic. Where does the money go? It is accounted for? The NYTimes pointed out in an article entitled “When Food is not the answer to hunger,” NGO aid and fundraising are not solutions when the donated food destroys the productive capacity of the local farmer and interferes with the ability of the farmer to participate in the monetization of production. The resulting destruction and choking of the entanglements in the market web are well-intentioned. As Voltaire cynically but candidly (pun intended) pointed out, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Amitai Etzioni noted in his book, “An Immodest Agenda,” in 1981, noted what it takes to create an industrial and infrastructural renaissance in the U.S.economy. This involves the elements of:
1. Transportation of Goods
2. Communications Systems
4. Financial/Legal Institutions
5. Human Capital
6. Research and Development/ Innovative capacity
7. Investment through savings in capital goods
This is all relevant to the highly industrialized U.S. economy and highly developed U.S. infrastructure but what about emerging economies that are largely agricultural like Argentina and Chile or dependent on fisheries likePeru. These are dependent on the ability of the farmer or fisherman to bring goods to market so that these can monetize their assets. Needless to say the productive capacity for which six areas of the economy are infrastructure, are critical. The economic web when choked either logistically, by transportation, poor communications or the interference in monetization caused by financial chokepoints in the web intersections or entanglements of an economy, wreak havoc on the farmer, the fisherman, the miner, the entrepreneur, the poor.
The critical question regarding rock stars, Hollywood stars, Bollywood stars, academics, consultants, economists, politicians, NGOs and those operating WMDs on the economic “stairway to heaven,” is “Are you transformative? Because “You Don’t Always Get What You Want.”