As we prep to celebrate Independence Day, better known as the 4th of July, I think about how far we have yet to go. At this point in time, America as a Nation should be held to a higher standard. Yes, America is a “meritocracy” where skills are rewarded, but we are also one of the richest nations on earth. The 20th century saw massive wealth accumulation, so much so that Millennials stand to inherit over $40 trillion dollars. Most of this money lives in capital markets, earning suboptimal returns with moderate risk. That money could be put to such better use.
The idea of Impact Investing should be an American norm.
The American GDP is of importance to us all. To see capital collect dust, waiting to fund the next tech company, while millions of Americans live in poverty is distasteful. The idea of charter school booms with public school decline is distasteful. High rates of unemployment and incarceration are distasteful. Why are we investing in China and India as a government? Why is Private Equity investing in the same countries and other emerging markets? Why doesn’t American health issues in low income communities non reflective of the Foreign Aid to other countries? Why is there so much poverty? Why is all this going on within our borders when there are TRILLIONS of dollars available to solve American issues and boost our total economic output? Because we aren’t interdependent.
America is built on the foundation of the distinction of the other, it’s built on capitalism and the idea that it’s better to exploit time rather than develop skills. The world is building around America, while we are sleeping in our inequities and inequalities. We applaud celebrities for tweets of support and joining social causes, we applaud millionaires and billionaires the same way. But are they doing their part? Are they missing an opportunity to actually invest in the development of the country, to position us for a more prosperous future in a changing Global landscape?
We are. Impact investing is growing to a $300 billion dollar industry. Impact is the idea of adding social or environmental impact into the investment picture. As demands for more socially responsible investment opportunities increase, more and more financial institutions are creating products for their clients. JPMorganChase, Wells Fargo, UBS, Goldman Sachs, the list goes on. The idea of making money, while making a difference is becoming all the rage. As we grow into more economic options to financially incentivize impact investments, America will become more interdependent. Looking within it’s own borders for investment opportunities that can impact millions and changing the landscape of America. Imagine an America with more professional competition, where your skills dictate opportunity and not your skin color of family black book of connections. An America built by Americans for Americans. The government should not be solely responsible for the development of it’s citizens, not when private money is leaving our borders to build up other borders. We can create for-profit change in America, it’s already being done, we just have to have the desire and intention to do it on our own soil.