Merchants Have Settled The World by Dave Salois

When you look back on history, the armies and the battles get all the attention.  History was written by the winners of the wars and chronicles the major struggles between opposing factions of mankind. If you stop to think about it, though, all the armies ever did were to kill people and break things and leave smoldering ruins in their wake.  The history of our species is indeed a story of the “survival of the fittest”, but behind the scenes, the real heroes have always been the merchants, the salesmen and traders.  These are the people who really built civilizations, and supplied the armies, and caused all the great cities to rise along the major shipping and trading routes on all the continents.  These are the great individuals who bravely explored new unknown territories in their search for new products, gold, silk, medicine, and different ways of doing things. It is the merchants like Marco Polo who settled the world and spread knowledge, education, medical procedures, art, and prosperity among all the diverse, primitive populations of mankind; and in so doing, they helped our entire species to advance to become the dominate life form on this planet. 

Now, more than half of the world’s seven billion strong human population lives in the major cities scattered along the shorelines of the continents because they were originally established as ports and were easily accessed by cargo ships. As populations grew, they moved inland and settled the interior of their regions.  Camel caravans, and later developed road systems, facilitated the growth of large destination inland cities.  However, urbanization is not necessarily synonymous with human progress. As a matter of fact, urban slums are outpacing urban growth by a wide margin. Nevertheless, had it not been for the establishment of early trading routes to supply the demand of consumers, human development would not have progressed much at all.  Merchants not only traded in goods, but also spread ideas, and it was this mass communication and sharing of knowledge between the different cultures that enabled our species to flourish and progress.

If the procession of man could be viewed as one continuous parade of humanity, marching in a single column; the seven billion living souls today would be divided up into essentially three different segments from the front end to the back.  At the front end would be the most privileged individuals who enjoy all the amenities of modern civilization such as computers, access to the Internet, new cars, education, and which constitute the most evolved segment of civilization.  This would include bankers, CEO’s of corporations, political leaders, business leaders, professors, doctors, attorneys, and similar occupations in leadership roles. At the front you would find the most advanced individuals of the human race; those who enjoy wealth, higher education, the best health care, creature comforts, the best jobs, and all the other benefits that our civilization has to offer such as large screen television, smart phones, fancy homes, sports cars, jet travel, good food, fine clothing, and all that characterizes a privileged existence. Anyone who has access to the Internet, especially those who earn their living from it, are counted to be among those at the front of the human parade. 

According to recent statistics from Internet World Stats, there are 2,405,518,376 people who currently use the Internet; about 34.3% of the world’s population. However, roughly 51 percent of the world’s 100 wealthiest bodies are corporations, and the richest 2 percent of adults in the world own more than half the world’s wealth.  There is a great disparity and imbalance in the distribution of wealth in the human population, which is quite evident.  Internet marketers and dot com companies have the potential to enjoy a much greater percentage of income and wealth than two thirds of all the people living on earth at this time; call it being in the right place at the right time. 

Merchants and salesmen have always enjoyed a much higher standard of living than the common working class, and that fact has not changed over many centuries, and is not likely to in the near future.  If you are an Internet marketer, count your blessings, for you are at the front of the parade of  humanity.  You have a good chance to become wealthy, but you must realize that the middle class is dwindling at an alarming rate, and if you climb the ladder into a higher income bracket, you could eventually contribute to the problem.

In the middle of the parade one would expect to find all the workers and all the caretakers of agriculture and industry that keep the supply lines full and the food chain moving. This diverse group in the middle segment would have businessmen at the front end, factory workers in the middle, and the field workers toward the back. At the middle of the parade, would be the transitional middle class segments of societies comprised mostly of the workers and those who make the gears of civilization turn.  This portion would include the factory workers, medical staff, teachers, transportation operators, students, merchants, soldiers, and similar occupations.

The back end of the human parade line is actually composed of a rather large segment of humanity, the poor.  Surprisingly, almost half the world’s population, about three billion people, live on less than $2.50 per day.  At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10.00 per day. At the back end you find the primitive, underdeveloped populations who still live along the margins of civilization in grass huts in jungles, who struggle daily for subsistence in the backwater areas or slums of the poorer nations.  The final segments of the parade column  host the many civilized poor, and the primitive populations, that live in squalor in most of the jungles and desert regions, or in the ghettos and slums of the large cities. These individuals that make up the back of the human parade live in abject poverty; they have little clean drinking water and must grow their own food and usually have no access to education and medical care.  

A closer look at the parade column, however, reveals that the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for only 5 percent of global income. 1.6 billion people — a quarter of all humanity — live without electricity. Nearly one billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book, or sign their own names. There are 2.2 billion children in the current human population and one billion live in poverty. Rural areas account for three in every four people living on less than US$1 a day, and a similar share of the world population is suffering from malnutrition.

The parade column continues to grow at the rate of 82 million people per year, but it is unfortunate that not everyone enjoys an equal share of resources. The front 10 percent of the parade column, about 700 million, controls 50.8 percent of the world’s income.  The richest 20 percent out in front accounts for three-quarters of world income. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening severely and there is a rapid increase in the gap between the rich and the poor, the haves and have-nadas. The middle class in most developed nations is dwindling sharply with a concentration of the wealth controlled by a small percentage of the population at the top. If this trend continues, the middle class could shrink considerably, or disappear entirely, leaving just two categories: the rich and the poor.

If the parade column could be seen from above on purely an economic basis, the front portion would be a grossly inflated bubble from which would protrude a long, narrow, undulating line joining another bubble at the back end, instead of a fine, uniformly wide column. Unfortunately, it is what it is, and you can either take advantage of your position in the parade, or not.  The distribution of wealth among the human population is out of balance and out of your control and won’t change any time soon. All you can do is try to position yourself to move toward the front of the line as best as you can.  The choice is yours.

In 2004, the total wealth of the top 8.3 million people around the world rose 8.2 percent to $30.8 trillion, giving the upper tier of humanity control of nearly a quarter of the world’s financial assets.  In other words, only about 0.13% of the world’s population controlled over 25% of the world’s financial assets.

In 2005, studies show that the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The world’s middle 60% consumed 21.9%, and the poorest twenty percent consumed just 1.5%.  The poorest 10% accounted for just 0.5% and the wealthiest 10% accounted for 59% of all the consumption in the entire world.  A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of fresh water, and these 12 percent do not live in Third World countries.  The imbalances are everywhere and a serious course-correction is necessary to turn the trends around, but it probably won’t happen in our lifetime.
So, as an Internet Marketer, I count myself extremely fortunate to be among the grand class of entrepreneurs and merchants who have helped develop our world and spread civilization into the far reaches and dark corners of our planet.  Commerce has always been the life-blood of a nation, and businessmen and merchants, not armies, have always created all the great edifices and institutions that have long endured throughout history.  If the segment of humanity living in poverty is ever to achieve better circumstances, then it will probably be because so merchants influenced their development.

I make my money by my ability to influence and induce others to take action…to advertise…to get the word out about their particular product or service, or to acquire knowledge from others about how to improve their circumstances and financial situation. I make my money by helping others to make money, and that is a good thing.  

Making money is, in itself, an honorable profession, but like all things in life, it can be easily overdone to excess. Things have to remain in balance if they are to be sustainable. When making money turns into pure and simple greed, then it becomes unhealthy and tends to cloud one’s judgment. Greed spawns evil outcomes, which often leads to calamity and war on an international scale.  Knowing when “enough is enough” is one of the pillars of wisdom that few people, or nations, ever learn in life.  Instead, the ideas that “more is better” and “might makes right” usually become the prevailing mantras of the greedy, and are toxic mindsets that are responsible for the gross imbalance of wealth distribution among the human population.

You can become part of the change that is necessary to turn this around.  Join the crusade.  You can take full advantage of your position as an Internet marketer and strive to make as much money as you can, with the intent of giving back some of what you have earned to help the poor. You are in a truly unique position and can teach others to earn a good living from the Internet and redistribute the wealth in that way.  You can become wealthy and set up online charities that match donations and reduce your tax obligations while effectively benefiting the underprivileged. You are in the right place at the right time in history.  You can make a difference in the world by becoming successful online and then teaching others to do the same.  Become wealthy, then pay it forward, and help others to acquire wealth too.  By earning income online, you will be redistributing some of the world wealth into your pocket, and by giving to charities and other causes you support, you can support the poor and needy from your actions.  You cannot give, if you first, don’t acquire it.  You can’t give out anything if you don’t have it.        

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