Why empowr (Part 5)

by Johnny Cash on February 04, 2017


Why empowr (Part 5)


Hello everyone,

Together, we've been reading the Why empowr book, written by one of the empowr founders.

Just joining the conversation? You can read the earlier parts here:  
Part 1:   Here
Part 2:   Here
Part 3:  Here
Part 4:  Here

As always, many thanks for your thoughtful comments that you left in the earlier parts.

Each and every comment, each and every word that you leave is being carefully, read and digested by empowr's team and management, the founders and myself. Thank you!

I'll try and post a new part every day when there's not another announcement.

And for the benefit of readers, I promise to do a better job at removing all garbage and unrelated comments, such as "Why does PayPal not support Pakistan" and "Where's my cash out?" and "More money for me!", which have nothing to do with the topic of this blog post.
 

A Tale of Two Countries
 

World War II was the most destructive conflict the planet had ever seen, killing about sixty million people and gutting entire continents. Some of the damage done by the war is still visible to this day, more than half a century after it ended. When the war finally did end, after the development and deployment of the world’s first nuclear weapon by the United States, countries that had once allied with one another out of convenience, in order to fight Germany, quickly dissolved their alliances and squared off against one another, developing a conflict that became known as the Cold War.

The two most powerful countries involved in the Cold War conflict, the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R) and the United States, created two huge alliances. The U.S. banded together with many other western nations to create the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Soviet Union founded the Warsaw Pact with a number of other eastern European nations.

Caught in the middle of this giant international conflict were the people of Germany.

This was because, after the Allies defeated Germany in WWII, Germany was divided into two separate countries. The western half of Germany would, years later, align with NATO, and the eastern half joined the Warsaw Pact nations. While each half of Germany had its own preferred official title, the two countries became known simply as West Germany and East Germany.

Less than five years after the end of World War II, West Germany began to embrace fully various aspects of western governance. The government became refocused on transparent democratic elections and capitalist economic policies, while also forcefully rejecting the communist ideology of its East German neighbor.

In 1949, Konrad Adenauer became the first post-war, democratically-elected chancellor of the German Bundestag (Germany’s top legislative body). Despite having been at odds with the British in his role as mayor of British-occupied Cologne, when he became chancellor, Adenauer made a point of developing close ties with NATO.

Additionally, Adenauer pursued a policy of broad economic reforms that focused on free-market ideals and recognition of individual liberties. His policies led West Germany to become one of the most inspiring comeback stories of the twentieth century.

During the Wirtschaftswunder (German for “economic miracle”), West Germany became a phoenix that rose from the ashes of the most destructive war in human history and grew into an economic powerhouse, as well as a highly influential international force for good.

Adenauer’s governmental and economic reforms were so comprehensive and successful that West Germany even went on to join NATO in 1955, allying with world powers that only a decade before had been at war with Germany.

During this time, East Germany evolved in a very different way. Under the yoke of what amounted to Soviet occupation, the country’s economy made only a sluggish recovery. Marxist Communism was established, and it led to a great deal of dissatisfaction among East Germans because many of the policies made little economic sense. While the East German government was, in theory, supposed to operate with a great deal of autonomy from the Soviet government, many historians agree that it functioned mostly as a proxy regime for the U.S.S.R.

Private industry was heavily regulated or taken over by the government entirely, which stifled entrepreneurialism. Nearly every other aspect of the economy was directly controlled by the government, as well. On top of this, the Soviet Union extracted billions of dollars’ worth of industrial equipment from East Germany as part of war reparations.

Worse, even as they looted East Germany’s industry, the Soviets also imposed heavy quotas on all East German production, forcing many workers to put in incredibly long hours. Additionally, the Soviet Union regularly paid a ridiculously small percentage of market value for the goods it bought from East Germany.

Aggravating these predatory economic conditions in East Germany were the restrictions on individual liberties and religious freedoms imposed on citizens by the government. The East German secret police force, known as the Stasi, became renowned for its repressive, ham-fisted tactics.

Often, Stasi officers would detain suspected dissidents and subject them to incredibly harsh interrogation techniques or even outright torture. Over the course of the Cold War, many Stasi detainees disappeared, never to be heard from again. As the Cold War ramped up and the shadowy conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact grew uglier each year, East German liberties were even further restricted.

Due to the heavy quotas and restrictions on individual liberties imposed on East Germans, many people (unsurprisingly) fled to West Germany or other countries before the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. While the Berlin Wall deserves a book of its own, as it represented perhaps one of the most striking and enduring symbols of the differences between democratic and totalitarian-communist government, I’ll just quickly summarize its story.

The city of Berlin was located in East Germany but was in the unique position of being controlled by four different world powers. Divided into quarters, the city was controlled by the U.S., Britain, France, and the Soviet Union.

                 Why empowr (Part 5)

 

Since the city was located in East Germany, the East German government and the Soviet Union had a great deal of control over how easily the western powers could supply their people within the city. This created a number of difficulties for the allies. At one point during the Cold War, the Soviet Union even cut off all supply routes to the Berlin’s western half, forcing the U.S. and its allies to airlift supplies to West Berlin in an operation that would become known as the Berlin Airlift.

During the Cold War, so many East Berliners tried to escape to the West that the Soviet Union built a huge wall, complete with heavily armed guards, razor wire, and minefields to prevent the exodus. Despite this, the population of East Germany declined from 19 million people in 1948 to only 16 million in 1990.

Over time, thousands of East Germans tried to escape over the wall, and hundreds were killed or captured.

The unsuccessful socioeconomic policies and restrictions of individual freedoms imposed on East Germany by the Soviet Union eventually drove a large wedge between the Soviets and the East German people. As a result, after decades of being dominated by Soviet influence, an increasingly independent East German government began to seek a closer relationship with both West Germany and other members of NATO.

 

Finally, after years of conflict and despite the efforts of the Soviet Union and its proxy, the East German Socialist Unity Party, the Cold War did not turn out in their favor. The flawed economic policies and iron-fisted rule of the Soviet Union combined with the huge costs of the Cold War to bring about the collapse of both its own communist government and many of the puppet regimes it had maintained over the course of the Cold War.

In 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened up, and people began to cross freely between East and West Germany. The wall was soon torn down entirely. In 1990, the two Germanys reunited into one country. This reunification led to a dismantling of communist economic policies and the reinstatement of personal freedoms. The result was a huge increase in per capita GDP in the former East Germany.

                   Why empowr (Part 5)

Despite an exponential growth in GDP, there were some downsides to the reunification. Many East Germans lost their jobs, and the homeless count increased as a result. Further, many East German women who had benefitted under socialist rule from great strides toward gender equality found themselves at odds with the male-dominated western economy.

Though some things made reunification less than ideal for a number of East Germans, after a relatively short period of time, the country regained its reputation as one of the most economically important countries in the world. An East German woman, Angela Merkel, even became chancellor of Germany. Now the most powerful economy in the European Union, Germany’s highly efficient democracy, world-class educational system, and thriving technology-driven economy are the envy of many countries across the globe.

The story of the two Germanys is just one of a number of examples of how countries with democratically elected governments have consistently outperformed countries with every other type of government.

The truth is that I could write an entire book on how democracy has saved the world, but, as I said earlier, I’d rather be brief than make you read through pages of evidence. So, since pictures tell a thousand words, here are just a few graphs that demonstrate the huge difference democratic governance can make:

           Why empowr (Part 5)

                                               The Koreas

 

The Germanys

In the following graph, follow the line to see how fast East Germany’s GDP rose as a percentage of West Germany’s GDP after the fall of the Berlin wall:

           Why empowr (Part 5)

 

In the following graph, even though the U.S. clearly has the higher per capita GDP…

              Why empowr (Part 5)

 

 

Catching Up Overtaking: USSR v.US GDP, 1946-1992 

…upon closer investigation, you can see that the main economic activity of the old USSR was oil production—so their true economic capabilities were even worse than they appear:

               Why empowr (Part 5)

Much has been written about why democracy works better to improve the lives of its citizens. I won’t use buzz words like transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Those concepts also happen to be totally possible under non-democratic systems.

While there are a number of factors in play, it is my opinion that one simple concept is responsible for the majority of why democracy works better than other systems.

I believe that, if we all understand this simple concept, we’ll see why many democracies like our own here in the United States are currently experiencing great difficulty. 

You’ll also gain a deeper insight into why we made certain decisions and utilized specific approaches, as we worked to build our own democratic framework within empowr.com.

In the next part, we'll discuss that one simple concept.

294 Comments

Russ Toews

I have never looked at it that way. Thanks

6 months ago
Alexandraprince

No Other Love...
No other love would ever do; no one could ever move me like you. You'll always be in my heart's keeping, whether I'm awake or sleeping. I'll always desire you when dusk slips away; and yearn for you when the stars melt into day...alexandraprince2005ak ( AT ) yahoo.com

6 months ago
Mohd Jasri Abdul Azis

Very hard attract attractive prospects, by the way have to be patient for going to be master via empowr

6 months ago
Riad Ezzat

Waiting to know of the one simple concept., Thanks

6 months ago
Alexandraprince

No Other Love...
No other love would ever do; no one could ever move me like you. You'll always be in my heart's keeping, whether I'm awake or sleeping. I'll always desire you when dusk slips away; and yearn for you when the stars melt into day...alexandraprince2005ak ( AT ) yahoo.com

6 months ago
Alexxia

Great part Jonny! Very interesting, I enjoyed it!
Thanks for sharing, waiting for the next one. :))

Alexxia

6 months ago
Larysa Matvieienko

Thank!

6 months ago
Steven Loh

This chapter improves my history and economic lessons too... very interesting. ha ha ha... Thanks for posting

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Steven, that's great to hear that this particular chapter is helping you better put certain historical and economic events and lessons into perspective. empowr was certainly created with purpose, and in response to many such lessons. Thanks for reading, Steven!

6 months ago
Amada Marcelino

Wow, what a GREAT history.....

6 months ago
Aurora Cruz-Schertel

Yes it is a great history.

6 months ago
Md. Ariful Islam

Once again well done....

6 months ago
Zlatko Miko

Thank you for your very useful analysis.

6 months ago
Yar Nov

Very interesting! Thank you. I love Berlin. New 2017 met in Berlin!

6 months ago
Dzack Co

Oh boy, getting more interesting...
Why Empowr book part 5 - The Concept of Democracy

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Dzack, we love to see that you're getting hooked!! ;)

6 months ago
Aurora Cruz-Schertel

It is a very interesting and informative post.End of October,1989,I saw many East Germans that came to West Germany.I even saw how the West Germans warmly welcome them.Thanks for this post.

6 months ago
Aurora Cruz-Schertel

correction please:I mean month of October,not end of October.

6 months ago
Indra SiGe

And they sang 'Wind Of Change' (Scorpions)

6 months ago
Stanislav Lisakov

Very good post

6 months ago
Alexandraprince

No Other Love...
No other love would ever do; no one could ever move me like you. You'll always be in my heart's keeping, whether I'm awake or sleeping. I'll always desire you when dusk slips away; and yearn for you when the stars melt into day...alexandraprince2005ak ( AT ) yahoo.com

6 months ago
Katherine (nl Citizen)

I do agree that democracy works better than the non-democratic systems. As you can see it on the graph and since democracy is lead by the citizens. Citizens who have the right to vote or decide and the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.

The conflict comes when citizens don't care, especially on education and laziness to learn. It will be easy for them to get manipulated and that the chosen leaders are quite manipulated by the negative forces around them and or leaders have their own interest by using the democratic power.

Since the building of this democratic framework within Empowr are base from the reality and history of democracy, there will be a chance that you will able to build a better online community and I´m looking forward on that.

6 months ago
Johnny Cash

Excellent points, Katherine. When people become don't care enough to vote, very easy for bad leaders to emerge. And when their education system fails them, the citizens are more easily manipulated because politicians can tell them things that are not based in facts, and the citizens might believe them. We're clearly seeing this happening in a number of places in the world...
Democracy has possibly never been more challenged, as it seems to be now, especially as the U.S. not only becomes the poster-child for democratic decay, but also retreats from the global stage, opening up space for bad actors.

6 months ago
Katherine (nl Citizen)

Sad to say (opening up space for bad actors) is happening.
I´m actually afraid to think about that, I hope everyone does.
Sometimes I thought that you can read the future because when there´s a sudden instability of economy and conflict between bad leaders and countries, I can recall back the previous history of your post. It´s weird though.

6 months ago
Derf

BUt why is it that he says right out that he doesn't want to even hear questions about pay out. If there is no pay out and no one can ever find out about it as I have asked all of the success coaches and they refuse to answer, what is it all about?

6 months ago
Надежда Sibirskaya

All very interesting !!! Thank you!!!!

6 months ago
Lidiya Makulova

Very useful information! Thank you!

6 months ago
Сергей Поникаров

All very interesting. Thank you!!

6 months ago
Illi Mai

The US is definitely facing great difficulty and has been demoted from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy" losing its status for the first time in history: https://mic.com/articles/166629/the-us-was-just-demoted-from-full-democracy-to-flawed-democracy#.K8K6L2zxx

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Hey Illi, it's great to see that you're making connections between these chapters and current democracies. The more of these connections that you can make, perhaps the easier it is to understand the history and mission of empowr. Thank you for sharing such an interesting article - keep up the good reading! :)

6 months ago
Muhammad Sadeeq

Wow, what a GREAT history

6 months ago
Andrey Kotlov

A man should know his story.

6 months ago
Anzela Antonova

In fact, you opened for me the unknown facts about the Second World War! You know a lot, and it becomes more interesting for me.I for democracy all over the world! In fact so much want, that no child in the world did not need ede.Esli children are fed, then the parents everything is fine, but if the parents perfect, then order in the country and can be in the sun

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Hi Anzela, we're happy that these chapters are eye opening for you. While the author certainly knows ALOT, it's also the desire to keep learning every day that's so important. In order for empowr to continue on the path to success, we must be open to continued learning. It also sounds like you're quite passionate about the well-being of children, which is awesome! Keep up the good work, Anzela! We're happy to have you on our team :)

6 months ago
Angela Jurmoni

Thank you for this interesting lesson about democracy. I enjoyed the dialogue between Katherine and Johnny Cash, too. There is no doubt that education is very important, not only for democracy or a democratic country. Investing in education is one of the best measures a government can take but this is not enough!
I can't wait to read the next chapters. It is an interesting analysis of our society.

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Angela -thanks for summarizing the important of education so well! It's also awesome to see you so engaged (reading through other dialogues). That just shows how eager you yourself are to continue learning. Investing in education is so crucial, which is why empowr itself continue to do its best to improve upon it. Remember, we're always open to hearing suggestions on how to better do that. Thanks Angela, and so thankful to have you on board! :) Have a great day!

6 months ago
Anzela Antonova

And the most my great dream that I could own decisions and to bring up children properly, and not because someone wants to breathe freely - this is happiness !!!

6 months ago
Johnny Beason

Germany has the strongest economic standards on the planet. Stuttgart, Germany is the home of Karatbars International GmbH, where Gold Bullion in gram sizes to the masses of hard working human being around the Globe. Everyone deserves good food, clean water and greater education. In Germany after WWII, a house could be bought for 5oz. of Gold because the Mark crashed. Mr. Harald Seiz, CEO of Karatbars has a vision that transcends the need for money in abundance for those masses of people that die for lack of Financial Intelligence. The third world war will be the last war! We either self-preserve or we will self-destruct. God did not create a stairway to NO WHERE!!!

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Hi Johnny, thanks for sharing and your passion is quite palpable! You made some great points regarding food, water, and education. Your example above really points out the need for stability within a democracy. This is certainly something empowr will need to take seriously, should we want to succeed. Thanks for sharing, Johnny!

6 months ago
Ichsan Jaiti

I wait your next blog ...
It's open my mind.. great JC

6 months ago
Jelisavka Pudrlja

hvala za divno štivo

6 months ago
Francis Hernandez

GREAT BOOK,,,, THANK YOU ... UNTIL NEXT POST....

6 months ago
Enmyjobs

Multumesc

6 months ago
Vadim Shiryaev

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing this interesting history of the platform. Wish the platform, empowr team and all citizens a shining success.

6 months ago
Deah

Very interesting! Perfect for the World today! Thank you!

6 months ago
Alexandraprince

No Other Love...
No other love would ever do; no one could ever move me like you. You'll always be in my heart's keeping, whether I'm awake or sleeping. I'll always desire you when dusk slips away; and yearn for you when the stars melt into day... alexandra2005riches (AT) yahoo. dot com

6 months ago
Татьяна Вишневская

Interesting post. Thank you.

6 months ago
A Мирон Гамалий

History. History need to know. And best of learning from history. To become better people. And not vice versa.
History shows - few want to learn. Many do evil more than their predecessors. Let's start - of himself. Change your thinking, and not others. Then we can proudly bear the name of "man." I hope that in Empovr we can help each other in this.

I'm sorry for the mistakes translator.

6 months ago
Muhammad N Rasikh

Its awesome to read a new chapter daily on Empowr's history. It will help us all better understand the ideas of Empowr's founders. Wish you all & the platform a shining success in the mission. A lot of thanks. :)

6 months ago
Richard Burger

Very true I been around since August 28th 1962 and can remember alot of what has taken place since 1969
and there after. Have seen it all from man going to the moon to the great walls going down in Germany to
what is going on today world wide.

6 months ago
Sam Shirazi

Hi empowr
I have a question, if i invite a person and that one earns $ 6000 from inviting peoples then does it mean I would earn $6000 too?

6 months ago
Johnny Cash

It's really hard to be considerate of others and stay on topic?

6 months ago
Sam Shirazi

Excuse me Johnny but i asked this question on the topic before (why empowr) and nobody answered me.

6 months ago
Sam Shirazi

On the topic (PART 4: Six (6) new ways to accelerate your cash) ,end of the page

6 months ago
Ken Pringle

Eye opening for sure, wait until the next part.
Thank you Johnny, you too are an inspiration.

6 months ago
Elizabeth Audas

Thanks for the great history lesson!! When I was in primary and secondary school, these things were routinely taught in regular core classes throughout the country, Nowadays, the material you covered, everything in this country's history before WWII and many historical events after WWII are relegated to elective classes known as "Ancient History" and are not routinely taught to all students in this country. It concerns me a great deal that students in the US aren't being taught the complete history of the US unless they take elective courses!!

This all makes me doubly glad that empowr exists! Empowr citizens are building something that will insulate us from the inevitable problems that the US and the entire world are starting to face. I'm so thankful that I can build something here that will sustain me and my family when basically all hell breaks loose world wide! The dedicated people who designed and implemented the concept of empowr and the people who keep the platform running every day can never be thanked enough for the daily sacrifices they make to make sure that empowr happens. Then to the growing number of Success Coaches that have volunteered to teach, train, nurture, etc. the millions of empowr citizens around the world, you are truly extraordinary for doing what sometimes must be extremely challenging. I salute you for your dedication to empowr.

I know I don't say any of this often enough and I know that I personally be a bit impatient, but I really do appreciate so much everything that all of you at empowr are doing and it is a real treat to be able to read the thoughts of one of the founders! I continue each day to look forward to the next chapter!!

6 months ago
Johnny Cash

Elizabeth, your kind words mean a lot to myself and many others here.

Thansk for your faith in the community and belief in the mission.

6 months ago
Shazia .

Thank you for this great post.

6 months ago
Yuriy Baragin

Hello Friend
I believe that, if we all understand this simple concept, we’ll see why many democracies like our own here in the United States are currently experiencing great difficulty.
The need for money forces us to make money out of money

America is the richest and most developed mill in the world's most powerful economies, because you understand the principle of debt leverage.

You make money out of debt, investing borrowed money in the business
Yuriy

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Hi Yuriy, thanks for participating :) Democracies are certainly not immune to great difficulty. It's great to see that you recognize this as well. Hopefully as empowr charges forward, we can continue to learn from such past and present difficulties, and apply these lessons to our platform. Thanks, Yuriy!

6 months ago
Yuriy Baragin

Thank You Mila :)

6 months ago
Isabel Darlerbe

Thank you for another informative read on democracy and how it is supposed to work. Great reminder of how the Cold War came about from a crippled democracy and power hungry leaders.

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Hi Isabel, we're happy to hear that you've found this chapter informative. The Cold War was certainly an event filled with much to analyze (plenty of lessons to be digested!). Thanks, Isabel!

6 months ago
Tita Tanta Muntean

Frumos articol si adevarat in lumea noastra ar trebui o democratie dar nu cum o au multe tarii
parerea mea e ca nici comunismul nu a fost rau dar a fost gresit interpretat fiecare om citeste o carte dar fiecare retine din aceea carte ce vrea asa e si politica ,,binele unuia este raul celuilalt ,,comunismul ,fiecare avea io casa ,avea un loc de munca si grija zilei de miine nu era ,,,,in democratie dispare locul de munca ,este un fel de sclav platit putin si greu ti casa frica zilei de miine te inbolnaveste deci care e mai buna ....o opinie personala lectura este realitatea de astazi in istoria de ierii multumesc

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Hi Tita, thank you for sharing your very interesting outlook. By learning as much as we can about different economic and political systems, the more we can apply that education to improving the empowr platform. It's great to see that you're analyzing positive and negative parts of different systems. Thank you for sharing your views, Tita!

6 months ago
Mibms0210

Great story and i like What the empower do right now to help people.Very good and go on with this good concept platform..

6 months ago
Rotgam Jonathan

thanks for the added knowlegde

6 months ago
James Byrd

Thank you.

6 months ago
Alexis Bertis

interesante el interés de llevarnos al conocimiento de los esfuerzos realizados por el equipo de emporw, solo me queda decirles mil gracias

6 months ago
Usman Abubakar

Thanks for sharing and giving an insight into the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. You didn't only summarize it, but also made it lucid and comprehensible. I have been longing to read it up, but always discouraged by the volume and length of most that have come across.
Thanks once again for sharing.

6 months ago
Mila Sorensen

Hi Usman, thank you for the honest feedback. We're glad that you found the chapter informative, but not overwhelming in information. The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall is definitely an event worth studying, as there were many lessons to be learned, that empowr in particular can learn from. Thanks for your input!

6 months ago