Thursday, November 01, 2007

Power v. Wealth

This post exists so that I can reference it in the next post.

Robert Kiyosaki pushes a get rich quick scheme book called "Rich Dad Poor Dad." Mr. Kiyosaki's father (the poor dad) was a bureaucrat in the Hawaiian education system. The poor dad excelled at the political techniques needed to move ahead in a big bureaucracy. He didn't know how money works, and was often in financial turmoil.

The poor dad actually belonged to his best friend. This dad taught the young Kiyosaki about the way money works. Following the financial advice of the rich dad, Mr. Kiyosaki was able to do more in his life than if he followed the path of his bureaucratic dad.

Now, I did not like the Rich Dad Poor Book (so no link). The one gem I took away from it was that the bureaucratic mindset judges success by the amount of power the bureaucrat has over others. The free market mindset judges one's success by what one does with their resources. Success to the bureaucrat is the number of people below them in the political hierarchy. The free marketeer judges success by the thing that they have created in life.

I've seen several posts claiming that 96% of Utah's students are in public education.

A monopoly that has absolute control over a segment market is the ultimate desire of the bureaucratic mindset. It doesn't really matter how well the monopoly performs. The state of monopolistic control is the ultimate goal.

The ideal of this paradigm is the organization man who denies their personal ego then throws their entire being into the power structure of the group.

My sympathies are with the small companies that are struggling to come into existences. I look at vouchers choice and really want to see what these independent thinkers would create. I understand the desire to create but not the desire to control.

I fear that the teacher's unions, that are throwing millions to stop freedom of choice in education, are spurred by a primal desire for power. The power is in the monopoly.

When I look at the voucher debate, I see a pro-voucher group driven by the desire to create, and the teachers unions driven by the desire to control. Or better state, I see a group set on nothing less that absolute dominance.

The funny thing is that the voucher proposal will go down in defeat simply because the press will question the motives of the private schools. The public will experience a sense of fear and vote no. We fear that the private schools might create wealth, or do a better job of education for less, not realizing that we've given total power to a more insidious group that has its own motive.

It is true that the political mind that spends its days grubbing for power rarely ends up with as much wealth as the evil capitalist. I really can't say that their motives are purer.

I do feel comfortable saying that the person dedicated to the production of wealth produces more wealth than the person dedicated to the pursuit of power. For that matter, those dedicated to the pursuit of power often impoverish those around them.

I think we are driven by the idea that schools pursuing the creation of wealth will somehow corrupt our kids; so we opt for those who pursue power.

I actually see a well educated mind as the greatest wealth that a person can eve4r hope to attain, and that the best way to cultivate well educated minds is through freedom.


Tyler Farrer said...

I think you're right. It seems to me that power subtracts, while wealth is additive in nature.

I almost always enjoy your posts-so out of the norm, although I often disagree.

Interesting that you would cite the analogy from Rich Dad Poor Dad. While, disliking the book, at least you got something out of it.

y-intercept said...

Thank you. I realize that many of my posts are outright rude. This idea of wealth v. power is really key to my thinking. My posts get rude because I dislike the tricks people use to gain power over others. For example, I love the primary message of Rich Dad Poor Dad (ie, financial education is the key to freedom). The book tends to encourage wild-eyed speculation. It is often used by MLMs to encourage people to buy products that are not going to be able to sell, or by unscupulous real estate speculators who try to cajol people into buying overpriced houses.