Monday, May 5, 2014

Black people and crowdfunding...

We note with interest recent comments published in Time Magazine and written by Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang. Mr. Fortgang apparently feels compelled to not apologize for something I don't recall anyone asking him to apologize for, being born white and male at a time when it pays to be both in the richest country on earth. (For an interesting take on Mr. Fortgang, take a look at Slate Magazine's response.) This follows similar statements made by Donald Sterling and Clive (not Al) Bundy, Mr. Bundy seen here with a Clarence Thomas look alike.

Mr. Fortgang believe that his 2 or 3 years of success are due to the investments his parents made in his education. On this, he is partially right. The problem is that investments do not matter, since returns from investments for certain people have been purposefully limited. The fact that he does not recognize this makes him arrogant, selfish and stupid.

Mr. Fortgang's attitude is only possible with a surplus of wealth, not talent. This long term, inter-generational wealth is the privilege to which Mr. Fortgang refers and the benefit of which, apparently, he is unaware. This lack of knowledge insulates him from the real world. This insulation is problematic, however, because the world is moving to be both more competitive and more diverse. Anything that does not synch to the real world is eventually going to cause trouble, like a building out of compliance with not just building codes, but the laws of physics. It will fall down. 

One key issue for Messrs Fortgang, Sterling and (not Al) Bundy is that everyone, I mean globally everyone, is literate now. Add to this the fact that history shows that some people have more to answer for than others (in terms of bad behavior), and this gives rise to fear and massive insecurity, particularly ironic in the face of the wealth surplus I mentioned. (And, by the way, siding with extremists will not save you.)

This links to crowdfunding in several ways. First, crowdfunding will eventually reveal the talent that lies outside the privileged groups, like the laws of physics will eventually reveal the flaws in that building I mentioned earlier. This will generate good business ideas and good businesses. Secondly, the control mechanism aspects of the capital allocation process which gives rise to most of the privilege Mr. Fortgang refuses to apologize for, are removed by crowdfunding. Just as with voter registration rules, the only way for privileged groups to control the political sphere now (with literary and diversity both growing rapidly) is to limit access to the ballot, but the only way to do this in a democracy is unethical. This syncs into and adds one more incident to the list of things Mr. Fortgang will not apologize for.

Messrs Fortgang, Sterling and Bundy are proof that that years of active discrimination have damaged perceptions. These perceptions limit the ability of Black people in the US (and worldwide) to obtain business financing. 

The bottom line is this: crowdfunding works to make the country better, fairer, to unleash suppressed creativity, to allow people to earn for themselves. Crowdfunding will facilitate the realization of this potential. 

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