Businesses, Society and Other Entities

On a visit to our old family home I browsed some old magazines looking mainly for business and science related articles. Old magazines can be good sources of reference material for other writings, especially with subjects where significant changes occur over a span of time

Most of the magazines were acquired by us siblings on different circumstances and sources more than ten years ago. They have the common characteristics, generally, of being already old when acquired. Some were bought at bargain price in unknown sidewalks of some cities.

Various prospective magazines were in common boxes: old issues of The Economist, World Executive's Digest, National Geographic, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Time, American Scientist, Astronomy, Discover, Newscientist, Popular Science, Scientific American, Science & Mechanics, Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, Omni, Science Digest, Sky & Telescope, Smithsonian,The Sciences,other miscellaneous magazines and journals on science (fact, fiction, or both).

Our mother that time had been following on TV a soap opera of romance. A remark that may be proverb made in the soap was quite extraordinary in its specificity. Subsequently, references were later checked for the possible proverb.

The soap was Asian, suggesting that the remark might have bearing in old Oriental philosophies or disciplines. The circumstances are hazy now, but “Fated to Love You” might be the soap’s title. That one involved a love triangle between a very rich boy and two girls of lower income groups. Some other guy also seemed to be involved, so it probably was a love quadrangle.

The general thought of the proverb was translated roughly to English and searched in the internet, although this writer was not really sure there would be results (ref. Picture Capsule 1).

Picture Capsule1: Search on keywords ‘Wealth not retained after third generation’

The result of the search was surprising, at least for this writer: the proverb or else other variations of it is common in most cultures including the advanced countries of modern times. Not only that, the proverb is real enough for some really important people to necessitate certain real actions.

The rough translation phrase used for searching was: “Wealth not retained after third generation”. An equivalent saying for it common in the United States is “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” (in this hub let’s label the proverb as the ‘Shirtsleeves phenomenon’).

Some notable articles that were returned by the above search have their tiles listed below. They may be copied and directly searched for further reference: (1) Cumberland Legacy - The Unrecognized Challenges of Inherited Wealth (2) Immigration To The Land Of Wealth.

The ‘Shirtsleeves phenomenon’ is a pattern observed in the rise and fall of some family fortunes. In this pattern, an enterprising person or persons in one generation creates initial wealth. Next, the second generation elevates its social status largely out of the wealth bequeathed by the previous. In the third generation, all wealth or what is left of it is lost, mainly due to a tendency of this generation to just enjoy and spend everything, or else mismanage the wealth.

For the fourth generation, only the memory of the family’s past luxury may be left. Some disagreeable emotions and disposition might characterize this generation. The initiative or industry shown by first generation to create wealth generally is not apparent in the generations that follow. So recovery, if ever, would be a remarkable achievement that may require some time.

The ‘Shirtsleeves phenomenon’ may be addressed now through various means. Appropriate organizations may be availed – advice centers, institutions, agencies and other entities of varied purposes. Numerous texts, references, advices, and other knowledge resources dealing on the subject also now exist

Entities called ‘Trustees’ may be employed in the disposition of wealth to recipients. In some cases charitable entities or socially related purposes had been used as beneficiaries for some major proportion of family wealth.

For the generation with the family wealth, use of the aforesaid various means could be insurance that recipients, especially recipients that are close relations in succeeding generations, are not spoiled by inherited wealth. The search key words ‘Trustees, shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves’ may display some of the said means (ref. PictureCapsule2).

Picture Capsule2: Search on keywords ‘Trustees, shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves’

On a broader perspective, whatever gains some family got from using those means that address the ‘Shirtsleeves phenomenon’ may benefit society too. The ramifications might only be better studied through the appropriate sciences (sociology, psychology), and maybe other logy and learnings (anthropology, history, etc.). On the other hand magazine articles might also provide some insights.

Organizations are sometimes likened to living organisms. For that matter so also may society be, as well as other non-organized groups. As entities all may have comparable states and characteristics during their lifetimes from birth to death

Whatever, the state of a constituent small entity (let’s call it ‘Person entity’) in all of them may influence, directly or indirectly, other constituent broad entities (disregarding counter influences or internal diversity). Conversely, a constituent broad entity may also influence its constituent entities.

A kind of resonance thus, in a sense, may be established between a constituent broad entity and its constituent entities. In time the resonating influence may gather enough intensity and could resonate also to the broadest possible encompassing entity (let’s call it ‘Society entity’). The resonance may have two forms: either beneficial or unfavorable to a broad entity and its constituents.

A common state of organizations is stagnation. To offset it, programs designed to preserve or revive the organization’s vitality may be setup by the proper ‘Persons entity. Stagnation or other organizational dysfunction may be read in some magazine articles.

The “World Executive’s Digest” (December 1983 issue) carries an article titled “How to Prevent Organizational Dry Rot”. The article principally addresses business organizations but is also applicable to any other kinds of organization. It was condensed from the October 1965 issue of Harper’s Magazine, New York, N.Y.

Recruitment of new constituents with the appropriate expertise or talent is usually one of the top advices to prevent stagnation. That would need however, external environments conducive to develop the prospective constituent’s expertise. Since external factors are often already beyond the capability of an ‘Organizational entity’ to influence, that might limit tbe entity’s future improvement.

Intriguing phenomena may be manifested by ‘Organizational entities’ under certain states, maybe stagnation or whatever. Familiar entities like governments and related institutions manifest such phenomena known worldwide, like inefficiency, corruption, etc.

An article in the December 1995 issue of the Reader’s Digest (Publication in Asia) illustrates some kind of unfavorable state in a very large ‘Organizational entity’. The article was titled “The United Nations is Out of Control”.

Interesting remarks and conclusions by some high level ‘Person entity’ insiders were given in the last section labeled “Halfhearted Reforms”. In summary, not much hope was expressed or expected of future attempts on reform. That was years ago in 1995 however, so the matter might have a different view now.

The article was the last of two reports. The first however was unavailable to this writer and was not read. It has the title “The Folly of U.N. Peacekeeping”, in the November 1995 issue of Reader’s Digest (Publication in Asia).

Entities expecting competition or faced with new competition in their own field often display extraordinary performance. A new or wider field may also produce similar beneficial states. Without much effort but just doing their designed functions, business constituent entities may invigorate themselves and maybe help ease some social ills and concerns.

The ‘Businesses entity’ is good at adaptation. It always evolves means to handle stagnation tendencies and other hindrances to business existence.

In all social classes entities may exist with enough possession to will or bequeath another, (let’s label all the entities as ‘Bequeathers entity’) The Bequeather’s bequeathment need not look much to other entities, but may be considerable for the intended recipient entities.

In the ‘Shirtsleeves phenomenon’, entities/resources (let’s label them as ‘Bequeather Aids entity’) appeared that a Bequeather may avail for bequeathment decisions. Some are entities like trustees, advice institutions, social work/welfare related groups (let’s label them as ‘Social Developers entity’), etc. Books and other knowledge resources may also be viewed as constituent entities of the ‘Bequeather Aids entity’.

The ‘Bequeather Aids entity’ in the ‘Shirtsleeves phenomenon’ however is generally known only to Bequeathers in the top social class. Simpler and more affordable alternatives might be needed for Bequeathers in lower social classes.

So to sub-classify, ‘Bequeather De-luxe Aids entity’ may represent all ‘Bequeather Aids’ used in the uppermost social class. Another group labeled ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’ may represent all ‘Bequeather Aids’ for the lower social classes. Two separate groups of Bequeathers for the top class and the lower classes may each be labeled respectively, as ‘Bigtime Bequeathers entity’ and ‘Regular Bequeathers entity’

Sometimes a ‘Regular Bequeather’ has no living relations (let’s label all relations, both the living and generations to be born, as ‘Heirs entity’), or for some reason decides to leave its living relations with no or little bequeathment. In such cases the ‘Bequeather’ may need other options in the disposition of possessions.

With regards to the ‘Heirs entity’, both ‘Regular Bequeathers’ and ‘Bigtime Bequeathers’ may have similar concerns. Some Bequeathers concerns may be read in Picture Capsule2 (Caption- Search on keywords ‘Trustee, shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves’) in the articles titled as follows… (1) Litigous Leiters – TIME (2) Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in Three Generations : Pennsylvania

A common concern for ‘Bequeathers’ is possible enmity among ‘Heirs’ caused by bequeathment decisions. Another is the consideration that premature bequeathment may spoil some young generation in the ‘Heirs entity’. Generally the concerns may be expected where the ‘Heirs’ are close relations of the ‘Bequeather’, which is usual.

The ‘Regular Bequeather’ may need the ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’ to fully address all the aforesaid needs and concerns. Its wise decisions could benefit successive generations in its ancestry. In the long run favorable benefits may resonate also to the broader encompassing society entity.

Necessity, as a proverb goes, is the mother of invention. It could motivate some entity to initiate ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’ formation. Various other entities may converge and take part as they see fit. The rough outlines below give some possible general considerations, constituent entities, and characteristics for the ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’.

The ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’ would need effective means to promote itself, considering the possible bulk of the ‘Regular Bequeathers entity’. The capabilities of ‘Regular Bequeathers’, material or otherwise, would be given important consideration.

The ‘Businesses entity’ may sense opportunity here and could be the initiator Some members may adapt, or spin off, from a parent entity. The ‘Insurance Business entity’ could be one of them, considering the appropriateness of its professional assets. It is popular with many ‘Persons entity’ and its known techniques in promotion and sales would be useful. A line in statistics and probabilities may also have application.

Some constituents of the ‘Bequeather Bigtime Aids entity’ may join in and adapt themselves to the ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’.

The ‘Social Developers entity’ would be needed and will be there. It could provide the ‘Regular Bequeathers entity’ with more or better options in bequeathment decisions.

The ‘Academicians entity’ with access to varied knowledge resources may come in too. It can be basis for informed and wise decisions in bequeathment. With enough influence, it may act as brains for the ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’ and give the latter attributes that may pass for thought and sentience.

The ‘Academicians entity’ may plan and initiate bequeathment options attractive to both the ‘Regular Bequeathers entity’ as well as to the other constituents of the ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’. The knowledge resources it may develop could be superior and more enduring than those of other constituent entities in the ‘Regular Bequeathers entity’.

Given time the ‘Bequeather Economy Aids entity’, like the ‘Bequeather De-luxe Aids entity’, could be a boon to society. At the start maybe, new constituents may be prone to hype, a usual tendency of new entities in the ‘Businesses Entity’. “There’s gold in them thar wills” or something similar might be the hype initially.

Interestingly, back in1995 a Special Report noted some growing shift in power and influence from governments to multinational business. The report was titled “Who’s In Charge Here?” and published in the June 26 1995 issue of NewsWeek (The International Newsmagazine). The magazine’s cover had two self-explanatory captions - “Does Government Matter?” and “The state is withering and global business is taking charge”.

Business ethics was given considerable space in the report. A preconception for a long time in the past was a view of giant corporations as inconsiderate monsters driving for maximum profits. The report described some efforts of major corporations to improve its image.

Work regarding succeeding generations and society brought to mind “Marching Morons”, a unique phrase from a title encountered many years ago. This writer was not able to read the related story then, but a search of the internet using the phrase furnished some info including the story’s plot (ref. Picture Capsule 3).

Picture Capsule3: Search on keywords ‘Marching Morons’

The plot postulates a drastic decline of intelligence in the majority of a future population, leaving only a few capable and hard pressed to make their society livable. Some other phrase containing “Marching” was also referenced in a web page yielded by the search, depicting or related to high population productivity, population problem, or such. .“Marching” seems to be readily associated with some social concerns.

Articles for pressing social concerns often include in the latter part an authoritative summary indicating how authorized ‘Organizational entities’ may act. Future changes might be judged based on past article assessments and current situations.

An article with early warnings on global warming was published in the October 2, 1995 issue of Time (Asia), titled “Heading For Apocalypse?”. The article had a report from the International Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC, a U.N. sponsored entity) indicating that global warming was underway. Climatologists and other scientists had similar opinions. A summary in the last part on the possible actions of industrial nations and other ‘Organizational entities’ was not encouraging.

The ‘Society entity’ generally show awareness of social concerns only when chances for amends is already difficult or too late. Despite best efforts for control, social concerns may pass from generation to generation, possibly putting the ‘Society entity’ of each in a corrupted state. It could be an expectable trend, downwards and unfavorable, that the ‘Academicians entity’ or the ‘Businesses entity’ might help break.

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