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The human element in capital

December 2nd, 2023 | Tags: Dickson C. Igwe capital economics BVI Virgin Islands
Dickson C. Igwe. Photo: VINO/File
Dickson C. Igwe

Education and learning are the most crucial elements in the building of Virgin Islands' prosperity. The human element is the defining factor in the capital mix. The appropriate mix of the components of capital drives wealth creation, with excellence in human resources as Key.

OK. Whether it is the sole proprietor, or tiny organization with a handful of employees, through to the multinational corporation employing hundreds of thousands, and even a vast nation-state, the most important force for prosperity is the individual’s learning, and then that individual coming together with other individuals skilled and otherwise, in teamwork, to realize a vision.

The human element decides the value and power of the capital mix required for achieving any outcome; that is the reason enterprise as driven by the entrepreneur or businessperson sits by itself as the leading factor in economic productivity and the most critical form of capital. Supply-side economics is the belief that the producer is king.

The objective of capital is simple: it is increasing profits, growing the balance sheet, and appropriating wealth and power for the owners of capital described as investors and capitalists. There may be other objectives such as where capital is managed for the common good such as is the case in nonprofit organizations, or under a socialist or communist state. The preceding forms of organization and governance are increasingly remote, as capitalism reigns supreme this 21st century. Private capital is pervasive and ubiquitous in today’s materially driven social and economic culture.

Capital has become a nihilist. It bows only to the most adept and wily capitalist. A winner-takes-all culture has created a global ruling class of billionaires who rule the planet. Politics is subservient to capital. Today, 100 families control the world’s most powerful corporations. In essence, the tiniest minority of men and women rule the world. These people tend to be North American, western European, and white, although increasingly, global wealth and power is becoming more widely spread, especially as Brazil, India, South Africa, China, Russia, specific Middle Eastern states, and developed Asian states, compete with the west for the highest stakes in the global capitalist culture.

Then the human element is the most critical portion of the capital mix. The entrepreneur sits in control of capital and how capital can be managed and harvested to build wealth, create jobs, and supply the planet’s consumers with all they need to exist, from food and drink to homes and household appliances, computers, and cell phones, even cars, trains, and jet aircraft. The products of capital and the capitalist are as diverse as they are limitless.

The management of capital is the reason education is the most important ingredient in a country’s wealth creation armory. Wealth creation requires a socially healthy, well-skilled, and well-educated population, to utilize a country’s capital. This is human capital.

Out of the education process, whether vocational or academic, comes the entrepreneur, the human resources manager, the healthcare professional, teacher, the mechanical engineer, the computer programmer, the skilled roofer and mason, the chef, the boat captain and the airline pilot. The preceding, a tiny sample of the output of the learning system. Learning added to capital generates wealth and power for the society, with the capitalist, also known as the investor, in the driving seat.

Supply Side Economics argues that in generating wealth for the owners of capital, there is a trickle-down effect: wages for management and employees, taxes for government, and charitable effort. What is good for Jack the Capitalist is good for the country, and everyone else.

Now, Germany and Austria are two nations that churn out highly skilled workers, in a variety of skills: heavy tools, heavy manufacturing, car making, chemicals, aeronautics, and so forth. The two states are a type of industrial heartland of Europe.

When we board an Airbus or Boeing, we rely on the education and skills of hundreds of thousands of people to arrive safely at a destination. Likewise with healthcare. It is not only the capital – technology a hospital, and the millions of dollars in medical equipment, that saves lives: it is scientific capital, plus the skills of the medical professionals working in harmony with technology.

The wise investor, before deciding to place his eggs in any basket will first assess the human element: the work culture, skills, and management, of the people in the organization, town or city, or even country, before committing his cash. A poor human element mixed with capital brings the organization and business crashing down, notwithstanding the high value of the non-human elements of the capital mix. Never take the human and social elements in the capital mix for granted. It is the horse pulling the cart.

11 Responses to “The human element in capital”

  • bvibuzz (02/12/2023, 11:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    We all must work on being wise investors
  • smh (02/12/2023, 12:40) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    What he does be saying Mehson
    This man boring or wha
    • Bush Professor (02/12/2023, 14:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      To smh, are you taking the time to read and understand what he is saying? How can the BVI be a competitive society/community if the next generation(s) of leaders would not even take less than 2 minutes to read an article on the role of human capital in the allocation of capital. The best written policy would sit on shelves or in computer files and would be useless unless effectively implemented by human capital. The 2024 O&M budget when approved by the HoA would sit and money not allocated to departments. by dedicated civil servants/personnel in the Finance Dept do the allocations. Dickson can effectively speak for himself. Nonetheless, he is saying Human resources/human capital is the most important resource and must be educated, trained, and led effectively for positive outcomes. And resources must also be managed effectively. .
  • Xxx (02/12/2023, 13:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need government policies that are transformative for both businesses and the economy
    • E. Leonard (02/12/2023, 21:37) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Organizations generally put their policies through a creative destruction process every 3-5 years or sooner to determine currency, functionality, workability, relevancy, applicability, etc of existing policies , updating, revising, and modernizing them as needed.
      • @R. Leonard (03/12/2023, 18:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        To E. Leonard, creative destruction , what does it mean? It it something the BVI should do? When writing ah yu need to think about we duncy heads.
  • lodger (02/12/2023, 16:03) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good read but his writings are in the clouds
  • GateKeeper (02/12/2023, 22:01) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Albert Einstein defines insanity as: “ Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” In the Virgin Islands we keep sending our students , the best and brightest through 12 or more years of education and not teach them about money, expecting them to then demonstrate financial intelligence. In addition to STEAM, Virgin Islands students should learn about a) VI history, and b) money. The little most of us k ie about we learn on the street. VI students, the VI people/ residents must get financially educated and literate.
    • @GateKeeper (03/12/2023, 09:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ GateKeeper, got you. Every four years, we keep reelecting/electing failed , recycled, underperformed , etc politicians to the HoA to just take up space, a place holder in many instances and expect national development progress. We keep recycling the same old political parties which live on the dreams of the past, offering nothing fresh, and then fuss about the lack of progress. Keep dreaming and by time you wake from your slumber, the VI will be back in the colonialists hand. The late Ray Charles can clearly see this. Let’s get off our entitlement , dependency , I got mine not my responsibility, etc., binge and work to keep our country and take it to the next level. Stay ever vigilant folks!!
    • Ne Timeas (04/12/2023, 15:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      To GateKeeper,yes, human capital is the most important resource but they must be financially educated with a high financial IQ. Leonard commented on creative destruction. The secondary school curriculum must be revamped to include finance/money. The VI has a myriad of problems, including health, education, infrastructure, social services, economic, etc..Nevertheless, succeeding governments have push the problems forward instead of solving them, making the problems worse and costlier..Identifying problems create the opportunity to solve problems but leaders prefer to push problems forward instead of using leverage to solve them.
  • Quiet Warrior (04/12/2023, 23:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    To Ne Timeas, politicians push forward problems and kick difficult issues down the road to avoid dealing with them, hoping that delay and procrastination would solve them. Poor leadership.

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