According to multiple sources, the combined net worth of the top 10% in the United States is a minimum of 100 trillion dollars. If you multiply that by the amount by 10% that has that amount of wealth (approximately 300,000 people), that comes to 10 trillion dollars in the United States alone.
This is a significant statistic in that it reveals how much our country could change if it decided to use a small portion of that to give opportunities to the poorest communities for meaningful job training that would create products and services that would benefit our country and the world.
How can we use wealth to provide for those without opportunities?
Let’s assume that we are going to have the top 10% contribute an increasing proportion of their net worth to a narrow set of causes that are determined to be the greatest needs for the survival of humanity. Immediately, we can see that conservatively this would be somewhere in the range of 10 trillion dollars, staying with conservative numbers.
The idea is that the wealthier you are and the more assets you accrue, the greater would be your giving. This wouldn’t simply be charitable — instead, it would be immediately converted into work opportunities for the disempowered. This, in turn, will help us all maximize the chance for a greater amount of people working and contributing to society and give us a better chance for continued survival on our planet.
It is clear that to accomplish this, there would need to be a very efficient international mixture of the private sector, philanthropic, and government that would be servants making a fair wage to bring jobs to the lower class throughout the world with expert training. The jobs would need to be for work that serves the planet, such as clean energy, regenerative agriculture, transforming the dead part of the earth back into fertile/useful soil, ecosystem restoration, and any other essential needs, including inexpensive housing and medical care.
This needs to be seen clearly not as generosity but as a matter of increasing our chance to survive as a species. We may again want to mention that, unfortunately, millions might need to die due to nuclear bombs, global warming, and repeated international plagues to reveal our interconnectedness of fate.
There would need to be growing credibility of expertise and lack of greed to really inspire those with wealth that they weren’t just giving their money to another ineffective bureaucracy. This would likely have to be gradual to build up trust. It may also need to start out at local levels throughout the world.
The point here isn’t to try to be grandiose enough to know how this would actually work. This will be determined by a collective of dedicated experts in these fields. The challenge is to see that this is needed in some form that can work to create the foundations in the world that are needed to survive and thrive.
Let’s revisit what we spoke about just a little before in a practical example: If we project that the wealthiest of this group will give a higher percentage; e.g., the richest give an average of 10%, then we can see that we would have 10 trillion dollars to move toward an almost unimaginable change in carbon emissions, pull carbon from the earth with regenerative agriculture, devise clean energy alternatives, economic transitions, and also a much-needed training for those that have had work that has been in the industries that will no longer be best for humanity.
This would include the fossil fuel industry, traditional agriculture, traditional construction, and many others. The need to include opportunities for work for everyone is a critical part of the new psychology and its practical expression of it. There would easily be enough money to make a quantum shift in the world situation on multiple levels. We could add what we have talked about ecosystem restoration and massive flood rechannelling of water from the flooded areas to make reservoirs, rainwater gathering, and, when possible, build pipes to other areas that are more arid. We could make inexpensive modular housing or the local equivalent available locally for everyone on the planet, and it would be easy to provide meaningful and beneficial jobs for everyone.
The role of individual responsibility and interconnectedness
In our previous article, we explored how human psychology is rooted in individualism and protecting its own. This way of living is not only true in how wealth is handled both nationally and individually but also how this converts into action that includes everyone having an opportunity to work, survive, have food, shelter, training as needed, and medical care. This is new psychology that is clear that it isn’t dominantly rooted in the individual as it becomes obvious that it is tied to the collective.
The externalization of this psychology is equivalent to the old concept of tithing, and the outside purpose is world survival. So this would be a major function of a World Body or a kind of mass agreement with the world nations that would find the most efficient ways to bring this transformation of true opportunity and survival for everyone.
This is not going to occur unless there is a massive psychological new definition of success, wealth, and interconnectedness. Again, this will need to infiltrate the corporate world, religion, politics, education, as well as individual psychology.
This isn’t meant to discount the value of caring for those we love and want to protect. Instead, it is seeing two levels of life simultaneously, one caring deeply for those you love and the other becoming a protector of those you love by securing the earth’s well-being for them and others to live on securely.
Moving from denial to acceptance about mortality and death
A central part of this new psychology is breaking through and seeing that the denial of death has been particularly extreme in the western world and a large factor throughout history in almost every culture. There needs to be continued teaching and counseling to see that the denial of death also creates an unconscious motivation that leads to an increased motivation to accrue continuously expanding wealth (almost always unconsciously) both as a distraction and giving a false sense of immunity from facing our own mortality.
The ultimate insight is that individuals believe they are increasing the chances of creating a sense of immunity from death through wealth accumulation. It is both a distraction dedicating oneself to the attention to gain wealth and, at the same time, gives a false sense of protection when you get beyond a certain point.
This courageous facing of our human reality is an essential evolution of psychological understanding that will enhance the chances for world survival and peace. As it becomes obvious that we all, as humans, essentially have the same needs, it becomes more evident that there is the motivation to contribute to help others survive and thrive. This understanding leads to the fulfilling impulse of wealth being an interconnected asset.
This depth of insight illuminates the age-old illusion that the wealthy are more intelligent and motivated and the poor are less intelligent and lack motivation. This myth is broken and replaced by the universal reality that we are all mortals with very similar motivations and needs is a natural outgrowth of the redefinitions of what it means to be successful, wealthy, and generous.
I have worked for decades with high-net-worth individuals who are amongst the minority and are aware of their own experience that this level of success doesn’t lead to deeper fulfillment. Yet it is also quite obvious that even with this awareness, it is difficult to change age-old habits passed down from generation to generation.
The idea of preparing your nest egg for future potential tragedies and opportunities for those you love appears to be the promise of the golden gates of heaven on earth and a false sense of security (as close as we can come to that, anyway).
I have had a large scale of success in guiding individuals and families to reach out beyond themselves when they can see clearly that they have more than enough wealth for their survival. But, of course, every person’s situation is different, so it requires individual education and a new developmental level of therapy.
We would also do well to have the media reveal this through movies and educational documentaries. As highlighted before, this is not a matter of creating guilt; rather, it leads the individual to be grateful and simply find a natural sharing and contribution generosity that comes with realizing you have enough and the world is threatened. It’s breaking through denial into fulfilling and inspired action and brings a sense of fullness and purpose where an emptiness resides (most commonly unconsciously).
Encouraging our leaders to think of those in need
The short-sightedness of only taking care of a smaller group is easier to see in how politicians only take care of short-term problems that are politically sensitive and present at the moment and rarely look at long-term consequences.
This is a result of both our individual and collective psychology being locked into what we believe has created and will create immediate wealth by short-term beliefs about what wealth and success are. The focus has been so much on what this is going to do for me and mine and ignoring the impact on the interconnected parts of the world and humanity forever until now.
This highlights again the need to start at a very young age with education in psychology, the arts, media, and religion to see the myths of prior millennia focusing on family and individual notions of fulfilling one’s potential and ignoring the impact on the greater world. This kind of new, interconnected psychology focuses on the pressing needs of the earth and the opportunities for everyone to have the right to work, live, and coexist in a fulfilling and peaceful manner.
An example of this is in the US, where the government is giving 75 billion dollars to farmers to subsidize crops that are dominantly feeding animals instead of providing that kind of funding for creating healthier soil and growth of the most healthy crops that will feed the world through regenerative agriculture. This results in enormous poisoning of the air and land and careless use of our resource of water that is now so threatened in many crucial parts of the globe.
We also can see this failure in the way the government spends tens of billions of dollars on homelessness by providing extremely expensive housing and programs rather than creating communities that can provide better services for less than 1/10th of the cost. In addition, as we have highlighted in other articles that this would naturally include the training of jobs that provide work to those who need it. This would also generate much-needed healthy food and energy with a dramatically increased focus on creating health for all human beings on the planet and the earth itself.
There is widespread agreement on how this can be solved, at least among the many founders and CEOs of the largest homeless facilities in California that I have been in communication with. I have also had this same conversation with several other programs outside California that agree on what would be scalable throughout the United States for not only the homeless but also the vast majority of the low-income community that needs help with housing and meaningful work opportunities.
A third example is the continuous ignoring of immigration reform. For a cost that can be dramatically reduced, we could put the aspiring immigrants to work being trained in Regenerative Agriculture, clean energy, or other services that can be taught while working for free to earn the right to come to our country. This would create clean energy and other beneficial programs to the U.S. and be contained in supportive communities (for safety that they won’t be able to violate entry into the U.S.) with schools, a court, and be screened in a way that is extra safety for the U.S, by the administrators and peers for assessment of character, etc.
This would allow us to have a long-term solution with set limits of how many immigrants we can enable with a sane limit that will allow us to treat them humanely. It is also possible that the costs can be minimized through the work because of the revenue they would create through the beneficial products they create for those that need it the most and for our planet being cleaned up at the same time.
As we look at how our politicians have squandered resources, we can more easily see how, especially those that have wealth, have done the same thing through having what is often a continuous moving target as to how much money they believe is needed to be secure. Again the key is a psychological illusion of taking care of immediate needs for greed or individual wealth at the expense of the masses of people disenfranchised and the planet that has been unprotected.
Finding the balance between our needs and the world at large
We need to individually ask ourselves the key question again and again:
“What is the balance between taking care of my family and increasing the percentage of money and energy to take care of the impoverished and the planet on which we live?”
This is an enlightened question we each need to ask for the rest of our lives to increase the chances of helping our planet and our family long-term and for all of us here to survive and thrive.
The psychology of seeing an expansion of who each of us sees as our primary identity and purpose in life is to have a greater connection to the earth and those that most need help. We need to have this simple new insight based on recent epidemics, humanity, and wars.
This essential psychological perspective is that we are at our best by both being our independent selves and realizing we also need to be significantly interconnected with a sense of natural collective responsibility. This becomes particularly evident when we aren’t in denial about the dangers to our planet and see that it is also creating a much-needed safety for those we love as well. It’s key to being able to move forward to deal with these threats to our survival.
As we look at how to solve the central issues of global warming and poverty, we can see that this is a very solvable transition to change the massive trajectory if we had the will of the people inspired to see a common purpose. This could even result in an immeasurable positive change of identity for so many people to feel interconnected with others and the earth.
I can hear the many intelligent doubters, of which I am one also, that there are so many nations that will have no part of this. We take a look at Russia and China with Putin and Ping, and it isn’t hard to be skeptical. It may take action on the part of the parts of the world first that are experiencing the awareness of the threats to their own lives and their children.
There are so many subtleties, including trade cooperation, and safety in the world, that these will have to be addressing the realities of the world as this unfolds. Just because there is likely to be significant resistance isn’t a reason not to be devoted to a movement that is dedicated to world survival.
There is also reason to be optimistic due to the ten of thousands of impact investors, philanthropists, and active forward thinkers and doers that are dynamically involved that are outside the main news. In addition to the many organizations that we have already highlighted, in upcoming articles, we will also shine a spotlight on major movements that are happening globally that are now in combination with the trillions of dollars toward a rebalancing of the world. Don’t underestimate the power or the intelligence of the thousands of groups that are aware of our peril and are already dedicated behind the scenes to supporting survival on our planet.
I have spent thousands of hours working with people over the last 40 years in various ways, exploring how people with a certain degree of wealth can have a sense of ‘having enough’ with what they have. They then can be guided without guilt to see that they have enough to give in beneficial directions. Almost all of us have been trained that the more security we can keep in our control, the better off we are. However, we need awareness that this is no longer dominantly true. We are no safer if we have more money or reach a higher level of wealth because our survival depends on these changes being implemented.
Most of us need to be educated — often starting with psychological development — that when we share our resources, provide healthcare, create work opportunities for the disempowered, and eventually collectively and gradually reduce defense spending, we can improve our chances of surviving and having a greater sense of wellbeing.
This is dominantly true if we truly utilize the money for the most efficient safety measures for the planet and reduce the class division of the wealthy and the poor because of the lessened chance of terrorism, permanent alienation, and war.
Of course, this will take time, as the current powers have to become legitimately afraid that this is a survival issue to create enough motivation to make such a big change. But nevertheless, a centralized power that guides and takes care of us as we move through this breakthrough understanding and unity is what humanity needs as soon as possible today.