By Mahari A. McTier
I recently read a book by John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO of Operation Hope, titled ‘How The Poor Can Save Capitalism’, and he successfully makes his case that the poor can save capitalism. It was the most unique and radically outside the box analysis of the current state of capitalism. He cleverly made his point in a simplistic way that was not convoluted with economic statistics, academic theory, or philosophical rhetoric. The book is simply practical in its delivery.
The book was about saving America. All of America. Not Black folks or Asians, Latino, or Native American folks. It’s not about white folks. It’s about all of us. The reality is this, whether you are Black, white, red, brown, or yellow, increasingly everyone just wants to see more green – U.S. currency, that is.
I think it’s fair to start by defining poverty according to John Hope Bryant. The HOPE Doctrine on Poverty says that there are three things that define poverty and struggle more than any set of financial numbers ever could: self-confidence, self-esteem, and belief in oneself; role models and environment; aspirations and opportunity. Or lack of these things. It is my opinion that most people don’t decide when they start the journey of life that they want to be poor. The face of poverty is not always who we think. The myth is that only low income people are poor or suffer the consequences of poverty. America has millions of people living with a sense of staggering uncertainty. These aren’t just the poor. I call them the nearly poor, the almost poor, the could be poor, and the temporarily poor. This class of Americans could range from a homeless man on 4th Avenue to a midlevel manager making $50,000 a year. They are one paycheck away from losing everything. They are constantly choosing which bill they will pay this month, or calling Alabama Power to ask if they can put a little on it. America must understand that these people keep our country going.
John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass). His newest bestselling book is How The Poor Can Save Capitalism (Berrett Koehler Publishing).
Bryant is a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, and co-chair for Project 5117, which is a plan for the rebirth of underserved America.
Bryant is the only bestselling author on economics who is also African-American.
Posted by Natasha Eldridge, Office of the Chairman