Discouraging The Rent-seeking Change Agent

It is not right to think you want to change the world on another person’s dime. You must develop a mindset that the substance of your labour is what will generate every resource required for the work you want to do. Stop thinking like the thief that wants to reap where they have not sowed. The idea that you should build a non-profit organization around your quest to change the world should be discouraged. This is because it creates “rent-seeking” change agents. Rent-seeking is an economic concept that refers to people (or entities) that want to partake and increase their own wealth without any value creation, or increase in productivity.

If you want to change the world in a way that is sustainable, independently verifiable and quantifiable, the best vehicle to do so is through a business. When you think about the biggest problems facing mankind, problems like illiteracy, disease, and poverty. The most work being done to fight these problems are done by for-profit companies. Free education is a noble goal, but we must understand the reality that providing high quality education is expensive. If you want to change your world by eradicating illiteracy, it is unreasonable to think you would do that by begging around for funds. You do not eradicate illiteracy by holding three-day workshops. One must commit to build schools and charge fair prices.

The bottom-line is that you should not operate as a rent-seeker. And do not be a beggar. Make your own money. Focus on your productivity, and create value as you drive the changes you want to see in society. The reality is that fundraising encourages a kind of behaviour that seems useful in the short-term, but it is harmful in the long term. It is easier to create buzz and raise funds for a three-day workshop than to coordinate the resources required to build a functional organization. It is hard to teach, train and mentor farmers over the years to increase their productivity. When you could just host a two-day seminar to “empower” them and move on to another community to repeat the tomfoolery. Unless you commit to drive your work by creating value, you cannot change anything.

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