Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Corporate Law

Tonight I sat in the back of a plane worth 25 million dollars and it only carries 8 passengers. That's the power of corporations who could never finance their activities without the protection of corporate law.

When I see people like Bill Gates and Bill Clinton and Kofie Annan and Angelina Jolie and all the people who so want to help create prosperity in Africa the first thing that always comes to my mind is the power of money and if applied humanly, what it can accomplish.

The Amazonians who realized their land could be taken away from them made one succinct decision that has been a landmark precedent for anti-poverty activists around the globe. I don't know where they got the money from but they financed Ivy League business education for enough of the younger generations so they could come back and fight for their rights of their land with powerful corporate law, and with english and judiciary skills - how truly the world works for those who have the tools to play the game we all are governed by.

And so we are learning the corporate law of Kenya and of Africa - likely the most fractured legal systems in the world but nonetheless working in places like Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa. If there is one thing that post English colonies in Africa might be grateful for is the system of common and civil law that remains. Not because it's better than whatever was there before, in fact I'm sure it's not, but what it can be used to do from this day forward - to level the playing field and to get in the game before it's too late.

Hopefully by January SHINDA will be a corporation - paying taxes, sharing ownership, taking advantage of how the global economy really works on behalf of the kids who need it most. And if there's one thing I know the Kenyans who work with us can do as well or even better than anyone else is to think, to discuss, to anaylyze and debate and determine what is right, what is fair - how to SHINDA for their own good. In the eyes of the law, everyone is supposed to be equal.

I have always thought that the world is made up of 2 economies - like superhighways travelling at the speed of sound - twin Autobahn's shooting across the globe. One highway is the 'good economy' that cleans up rivers and cares for children - the one that makes us all happy and healthy and proves to us that there is enough. The other one is the 'bad economy' that wrecks everything, drains the lakes, starves the indigenous and discourages us to believe that there will be something green and beautiful for our children, our grandchildren. And there are millions of us out there working passionately into the night scheming to hijack capital out of the bad economy so it can get to work in the good one. That's all it is - these intentions are not contrary - they are not two highways going in opposite directions like we sometimes feel. They travel towards the same goal that is the future whatever we determine it shall be.

Can we protect children using the same tools that have made them so very vulnerable? I think so. I'd like to see someone stop us from trying.

FBO YYJ - Victoria

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